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The Secret-keeper

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  115 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
In the village of Maldinga, anyone troubled by a secret knows just where to take it -- by following the winding path through the woods to Kalli's cottage. Tailors and farmers, marriage-makers and bakers -- almost everyone comes to see Kalli, for she is the village secret-keeper, and over the years she has stored hundreds of secrets. But one long winter, Kalli falls ill, an ...more
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published June 1st 2006 by Atheneum Books for Young Readers (first published May 23rd 2006)
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(showing 1-30 of 237)
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Aug 05, 2014 Meg rated it really liked it
I loved this book, though I found the subject oddly adult for a children's book. I felt I wanted to share it with other adults rather than children (though my child did like it quite a bit). In this tale, a young woman serves as her village's Secret Keeper. People come and share their secrets with her; the secrets magically turn into objects (a stone, a tin heart) and she keeps them in special drawers. However, over time the isolation (as people are wary of being friends with someone who knows t ...more
Oct 23, 2011 Dianna rated it it was amazing
Kalli is the secret-keeper for her village. When someone wants to get something off their mind, they tell it to Kalli and the secret turns into a small object, which she keeps in her cottage. But she grows ill from the burden of so many dark secrets. Fortunately the villagers figure out a beautiful way to keep their secret-keeper in good health.

I really liked this book. Great story, beautiful pictures.
The Brothers
Mar 01, 2016 The Brothers rated it really liked it
Shelves: illness, secrets
A young woman who lives deep in the woods outside a village is the official secret-keeper. Everyone comes and unloads their deepest, darkest failings and she turns them into little physical objects that she files away. But one winter, the weight of all these secrets is just too much for her and falls very ill.

The one man who hasn't told her a secret comes to her aid and gets all the townsfolk to tell her their happy secrets. The secret-keeper becomes well again, and the tradition of one day in s
Aug 24, 2014 Camden rated it it was ok
Shelves: picture-books
God it was almost so good. Cool story, terrible illustrations (seriously, so boring and generic Fantasy), worse ending. So much solid worldbuilding in such a small space wasted on an uninspired happily ever after. I'm not opposed to happily ever afters and this story totally demands one! But the execution was so clumsy that I was almost offended by how bland and boring it was.
Heydi Smith
Dec 17, 2015 Heydi Smith rated it really liked it
What a magnificent look at humanity; it's goodness and it's realities. My co-worker, who's an amazing woman herself, recommended this book to me. Wow! Tears of joy by the end of this book, how can you help but fall in love with the story.

As my other co-worker said, it kind of has a "The Giver" (by Louis Lowry) feel to it but a much happier ending.
Kalli is the secret-keeper of her village. People come to her and pay her to keep their secrets. The marriage-maker tells her that she made a bad match. A rich farmer turned away a beggar. A small boy doesn't like his new sister. On and on it goes; day in, day out.

When Kalli fails to emerge from her cottage after winter, a young girl braves the secrets of Kalli's cottage to find her. Kalli is not well. The secrets she is keeping are making her soul hurt. She frets that there are no happy, joyous
Apr 29, 2016 Judy rated it liked it
This book is almost ... almost a folktale, almost a beautiful story, almost fitting illustrations ... but it falls short in too many ways. Granted, I still need to share this with a child before I give a final rating. I wish the faces weren't so distracting. I always appreciate when people aren't all beautiful, but these faces are awkward.
Apr 07, 2009 Cindi rated it really liked it
Shelves: picture-books
This book reminded me of "The Giver." I was a little uncomfortable with the first part of the book where people from the village came and left their dark (not horrible, just dishonesty etc.) secrets with the Secret Keeper. In her hand the secrets would turn into a stone or a tin heart and she would place them in one of the many, many small drawers in her house. After a while she became sick from all of the depressing thoughts she received and people avoided her (as might be expected because she ...more
The Secret-Keeper is a beautiful story with lessons about social isolation and the power of positivity.
Jun 18, 2010 Connie rated it really liked it
This is a sweet story about a woman who magically keeps the secrets for the town nearby, turning them into symbolic objects.

Of course, the people gradually become wary of this woman who knows so much about them, and during the winter do not visit at all while she falls badly ill inside her own cottage.

Touchingly, the cure for her disease is to share with her (and everybody else) good secrets, which turn into butterflies and rainbows.

This story is, apparently, on a 4th grade reading level, so it
Jan 14, 2010 Ronda rated it it was amazing
What a lovely, wonderful story!!! Finding this story was serendipity. I wondered what to share with my students around Valentine's Day and, this afternoon, this book was waiting for me on the floor of the E Section of the library. I plan to use this story much as I did with using the Bottle House story for Earth Day, reading it then asking the students to brainstorm why I chose this story for this holiday. I'll be very curious to see their answers,
Feb 05, 2009 Challis rated it it was amazing
This was a wonderful story with lovely illustrations. It tells of a girl chosen or volunteering or somehow assigned to be the village secret-keeper. The people are so grateful for her, as a depository to unload their burdened hearts, but avoid her as the symbol of their guilty doings. the ending is delightful and a great reminder of how our secrets should be good ones, not deep & dark.
Dec 03, 2009 Kelley rated it really liked it
This fantasy story focuses on a woman who keeps the secrets for residents of a nearby village. The negative secrets become a burden and the townsfolk must figure out a solution to lighten the load for the troubled secret-keeper. Subtleties of the theme may be best understood by developmentally-advanced young readers, but the plot offers messages on several levels.
Laura Salas
Jul 26, 2012 Laura Salas rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful fairy tale about Kalli, who keeps the secrets of all the villagers. When the weight of all those confessions makes Kalli ill, the villagers come together to help her--and she learns that not all secrets are bad. Some are joyful--and shouldn't be kept secret at all! A lovely love story with wonderful poetic language.
May 02, 2007 Rachel rated it really liked it
I've recently begun tearing through a lot of children's picture books, and this one caught my eye. I really liked the central idea, namely that a woman could physically keep the secrets of a village, and the resolution to the inevitable problem. It was an interesting concept, and the pictures were different and gorgeous.
Emma Rasband
Sep 06, 2013 Emma Rasband rated it it was amazing
this is such a good book. Callie is an amazing character. especially in this book. and keeping secrets, the fact that she got sick because everyone's secrets were not good secrets surprised me. but sence I went over it in my class I understood it more. the end of the book was very surprising, but it was good.
Aug 04, 2008 Anita rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Anyone
Shelves: childrens
This is a beautiful story about how we can't let the negative things in life weigh us down. We also have to focus on the good and beautiful, too, to keep our spirits and bodies healthy and happy. It also shows that we need help from others sometimes, too. This is one of my new favorite children books.
Jul 13, 2015 Kayli rated it really liked it
Not amazing pictures, but the story was wonderful and made me cry. I also thought what someone else said, that this book is really probably more for adults than children, but they do like it too.
Dec 07, 2008 Rafe rated it it was amazing
I like this book because it's fiction and I really like the title and it's nice the Secret Keeper catches secrets in her hand and she turns them in to something else.
Dec 02, 2008 Tpiac rated it it was ok
It reminded me of Kahlan from Legend of the Seeker (based on Terry Goodkind's 'Sword of Truth' series), but it's more depressing and moral than I'd hoped.
Jan 25, 2013 Miri rated it it was amazing
Beautiful. I cried. It was only one little tear, but then again, I was at work. Who knows what would've happened if I'd been at home.
Feb 02, 2010 Erin added it
Pretty one I found while working on changing spine labels. Maybe I'll read it to lunch table reading group today.
May 14, 2008 Cami rated it it was amazing
This is a beautiful book in content as well as visually. A tender story and one of my favorite children's books.
Lovely story with equally lovely illustrations about a secret keeper in a village.. nice little romance too!
Apr 01, 2008 Beth rated it really liked it
An interesting story accompanied by beautiful painted images. This is a great picture book.
Jun 14, 2010 Kami rated it it was amazing
The pictures weren't very good, but the story was sweet. Loved it!
Apr 30, 2010 Bryan457 rated it liked it
A sweet story targeted for early elementary school age.
Mar 27, 2008 Jen rated it it was amazing
This is one of my new favorite children's books.
Yaz *The Reading Girl*
Best picture book ever. Beautiful and I loved it.
BookDB marked it as to-read
Sep 20, 2016
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I was born in Spokane, Washington, but I spent most of my childhood in Camarillo, California, which is about an hour's drive north of Los Angeles. Whenever possible as a child, I read books—books, books, and more books. The rest of the time I rode my bike with my sister, Loni, or looked after my little brother and sister. Sometimes we went to the movies at an old theater we called "The Sticky Thea ...more
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