Best Kept Secret

224p. (Family Tree: Bk. 3). Scholastic. 2014. Tr $16.99. ISBN 9780545359443. LC 2013032027.
Gr 4–7—In this third installment of the series which follows four generations of women in the same family, readers get to know Francie, a girl growing up in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Francie struggles with dyslexia and has difficulty in school. The slim volume follows her, chapter by chapter, as she overcomes her learning disability and graduates from college. A secondary purchase where circulation of the previous two titles is strong.
In book three of Martin's multigenerational family saga, Francie (Abby's granddaughter and Dana's daughter) faces challenges throughout her childhood, from dyslexia to a frightening attempted abduction (the titular secret) to her parents' divorce to beloved great-aunt Adele's cancer diagnosis. The episodic structure strains under the weight of too much family history and drama, but Martin manages to keep the narrative voice engaging throughout.

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