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My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck, Long Island, New York 1941 (Dear America)
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My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck, Long Island, New York 1941 (Dear America)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  2,311 ratings  ·  105 reviews
In a diary that brings to life the dramatic happenings on the home front during World War II, Madeline Beck is living in a boardinghouse with her mother while her father is on an aircraft carrier guarding the Pacific Coast. After discovering that a German U-boat has landed near her home--a little-known, true incident on Long Island--she and her classmates form "Kids Fight ...more
Hardcover, 182 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Scholastic Inc. (first published 2000)
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Voyage on the Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson WhiteAcross The Wide And Lonesome Prairie by Kristiana GregoryStanding in the Light by Mary Pope OsborneThe Winter of Red Snow by Kristiana GregoryA Coal Miner's Bride by Susan Campbell Bartoletti
Dear America Series
8th out of 42 books — 174 voters
Cleopatra VII by Kristiana GregoryMarie Antoinette by Kathryn LaskyAnastasia by Carolyn MeyerElizabeth I by Kathryn LaskyVoyage on the Great Titanic by Ellen Emerson White
Our favorite diary books
16th out of 173 books — 85 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Ana Mardoll
My Secret War (World War II) / 0-590-68715-8

"My Secret War" paints a wonderful portrait of America in 1941. Madeline cultivates a close friendship with her German-Jewish neighbors, and learns to tread respectfully around the fear and sadness they harbor. She is distraught when she learns of the Japanese-American citizens put in American camps for 'observation' and reminds her classmates to take seriously the meaning behind the president's wife's exhortation to not allow America to be divided by
...more
Kelsey Hanson
I'm not a huge fan of Mary Pope Osborne's Dear America books I'm afraid. I personally think that she goes through them too quickly, not giving her characters time to develop. I didn't care for Maddie. I thought she was a bit superficial with no real personality. As a kid who grew up being the victim of bullying due to the popular girls, I don't really enjoy stories where the girl tries so hard to be friend with the bratty popular girls who torment her. It's a small detail, but it ruined Maddie f ...more
Jenna Vargas
Life without her hero at home, a little girls dad off at war fighting for their country's safety. This book is about a young girl and her struggles in everyday life worrying about her dad. She goes through her first crush with her neighbor friend Johnny. The young girl waits and waits everyday for her dad to send letters to her talking about how he is doing and how he will be fine and not worry. She works so hard to look out for her mom, and make sure she will be okay. She writes down in his dia ...more
Alex Roth
A diary written by a young girl during World War II and her experience with starting the “Kids Fight for Freedom” act that got kids involved in the war.

What really stuck out to me about this book is that it is written in a diary form. being written in diary form, it becomes more personable between the reader and the author. The reader is then able to put themselves in this persons shoes and feel as if they are hearing these tories from the past first handedly.

This book really shows children th
...more
Violet
October 2009 review:

Madeline Beck’s diary tells of her life with her mother living in a boarding house, and writing letters to her father, who is in Hawaii, “protecting” the South Pacific. She tells how know no one wants to be friends with her at school, and how she doesn’t like the boarding house. Life is looking pretty bleak for her until she meets Johnny Vecchio, a boy who, like herself is interested in all the news of the war. When Pearl Harbor is bombed, Madeline and her mother are fearful
...more
Beverly
A little known fact regarding our entry into WWII, was the aura created by Elenore and FDR. Both were great orators and each appealed to the masses to be involved in the war effort. She challenged women and children to collect scrap metal and old tires, save bacon grease for explosive production, grow victory gardens, and be ever watchful. The masses rallied around him as he appealed to every man, woman, and child to take a part in the war action. This is why so many women worked in airplane pro ...more
Carissa Canto
Dec 17, 2014 Carissa Canto is currently reading it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pam
This was a fun book to read...bit bit of a tear jerker, too. Mary and I enjoyed making the "war" cake at the end of the book.
Alliecockerill
Maddie beck moves with her mom to long island new york. They move to a house on the sea side with another two families and Theo. she meets new people pne of them named johnny, they become really close. While Maddie and her mom are in new york her father is on a navy boat on the coast of san fransico. They all learn new things about each other and go through a lot together.

My opinion of this book...is really good, it is kind of boring since its a diary but otherwise its really good.

I would reco
...more
Sierra
I LOVE this book! It had me hooked from start to finish! I love that it is about World War 2, one of my favorite time periods. I also love that there is a bit of young love in the story. Maddie is just so awesome and I LOVE this book! She writes about things that are important to her and the little things that Johnny does. I love their relationship! I just LOVE THIS BOOK! There was one thing that I didn't like about it and that is that it was historical fiction! I thought that it was real! But I ...more
Kristian
this book is about a girl named madiline beck. her dad is in the amry on a military shit. in hawaii. madiline is walking on the beach one day and she heres people talking in he bushes. two seconds later they jump out and ask her where she is headed. she explains home. then they took a flash light and blinded her with it and told her that she didnt see anything and they where not there. they where two japaneese men looking for her father. she finds out the next day that her father is now at war. ...more
Heather
This is another diary in the Dear America series this time focusing on the home-front effort during World War II. I haven’t read very much set during WWII, but what I have has primarily been set abroad. Not only was it new and interesting to see how the home-front reacted to the war, but also to see it from a child/teenager perspective was novel. We see many of the typical things such as book, blood, scrap and can drives, but I really liked how Madeline founded the “Kids Fight for Freedom” club. ...more
♥Belleza★✰
When I first saw this book I thought it was a real diary from WWII, most people know about The Diary of a Young Girl, less people know about Normandy Diary of Marie-Louise Osmont:, The: 1940-1944. I've read both books, I like reading diaries, a personal look at history.

After downloading, I realized it is historical, young adult fiction. It is based on the account of Nazi saboteurs that came ashore in Long Island, New York.

Ms. Osborne relies on news reports of the times and her own feelings as
...more
Audrey
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Caitlin Schwatka
I read this book cover-to-cover as a young girl. I absolutely loved it! I have always found WWII books fascinating, but I love the way Dear America books are written as journal enteries, because it feels as if you are a part of the experience. This was a great introduction for me as to what was going on in our country when the U.S. first became involded in World War II.
While Madelin Beck is a fictional character, the book is accurate because she lived the way many Americans lived during that tim
...more
Woojae
This book is very girly, it talks about the love between a guy and this girl - well not all, but anyways quite a lot. This book is set during the World War 2 when USA just declared war against the Axis. Madeline isn't really interested in the war until she meets the boy she likes (I forgot the name :P). The boy is very interested in the war making Madeline interested in the war too. Madeline makes a club to support the US Army by sending them foods, clothes, etc. After Madeline became a very clo ...more
04madelines
The main issue is that Madeline's Dad is at war during world war two. She has to help him when he gets hurt over seas. Also when she gets caught by the German soilders she has to tell the FBI without them knowing about it. The setting is 1941 in New York. Where she is right next to the ocean. I like the book that shows how a girl from 1941 shows how she feels about life then in 1941 also that she tells about how it is with her Dad out at sea. The main girl Madeline is in 8th grade. She has black ...more
Rebecca
After her father goes to fight on an aircraft carrier in the Pacific in the fall of 1941, thirteen-year-old Madeline Beck and her mother move to a boardinghouse in Long Island. At first Madeline is lonely because the popular kids snub her. But Johnny, a boy in her class, befriends her - and eventually becomes more than just a friend. The two of them start a club for kids who want to help the war effort, but Madeline quits when she learns her father was wounded in battle - she's just to depressed ...more
Aaijsha
I liked this book,because i learned about who it would be to be a child of someone in the war. My great grandpa was in the war so know after reading this book i know how it must have felt to be my grandma, not being about to see that parent in till the war was over. The saddest part of this book for me was when she found out that her dad got hurt.
Victoria
I love history. They are like the only books I'm the library that have action and a good plot. In the story there is suspense and romance between Madeline beck and someone I forgot. (Sorry it's been some time since I have read it). This is the first book in the dear America series I have read.
Tonibelle04
I loved my secret diary.

I liked how exciting it was, and how the characters seemed to come to life, Especially Clara.
I loved how the author made history fun.
I was very surprised to find out that Madeline Beck was a real person.

In my opinion, it is a very good book.
caitysreadviews
Courtesy of Caity's Readviews:

Maddie Beck and her mother live in a boarding house on Long Island, New York, while her father, a naval officer, is stationed overseas in the Pacific. Out of devotion to her father, Maddie makes friends in her new town and, with her new beau Johnny, starts a group for young people to help with the war effort. Everything seems to be going grand, and Maddie is flat-out enjoying the busyness and romanticism of the war, until near-tragedy strikes her own family. Maddie
...more
Sofia
Maddie Beck is the funniest character! Her completely random but interesting entries made this book a great read.
Katlyn
Absolutely love the Dear America books and the other 2 series!
Maria Chiara
This is one of my favorite Dear America books!
Peach
This is one of my unforgettable books. A girl named Madeline,thirteen-year old, she is active and brave. Her father joined on an air craft carrier in the Warld War 2, and he was badly wounded. This book said to us the War had horrible and a lot of sad stories. It was second book since I started extensive reading. I learned of rule of not using dictionary even though I didn't understand any words or sentences. It really encoureged me because I can read all of them without dictionary . To my surpr ...more
Anthony
This book has American history written all over it. All events in the books actually happened. And the character development was amazing. The way Madie and Johnny talk to each other is not only realistic, but actually makes you care for them. So at the end of the book when the author stated that all of the characters were fictional was a REAL slap in the face to me. I even read it believing it was a non-fiction book! The only complaint here is that it was a bit short, but other than that, it def ...more
Kristina Dixon
Great book! I just love the Dear America series, and this is one of my favorites!
Molly
This entire series is a wonderful way to learn history or teach it to adolescents. I find today's generations seem to recall more when they learn through other people (pop songs, celebrity gossip, etc.), so what better way to teach history than through someone else's perspective? Yes, "authentic" diaries would be "better", but would the language really hold the modern student's attention? Did the diary writer know what WOULD be important in the context of history? Probably not.
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Mary Pope Osborne has channeled a lifelong love of exploration and travel into one of the most popular children’s book series of the past two decades. With her fantastic Magic Tree House series, Mary Pope Osborne keeps the good times rolling for kids all over the world.
More about Mary Pope Osborne...

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Dear America (1 - 10 of 43 books)
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“I have to keep facing the darkness. If I stand tall and face the thing I fear, I have a chance to conquer it. If I just keep dodging and hiding it will conquer me.” 12 likes
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