The Secret Olivia Told Me
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The Secret Olivia Told Me

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  137 ratings  ·  74 reviews
Can you keep a secret? Olivia has a BIG secret. It's a secret that she tells only to her very best friend. And her friend promises she won't say a word. But the secret is really BIG and JIUCY. What happens when a trusted friend slips and the secret gets out? Can you keep a secret? In the Secret Olivia Told Me, find out what happens when Olivia's friend can't.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published November 20th 2013 by Just Us Books
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Community Reviews

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529_allie
As a primary teacher, I can not tell you how many times I have heard, so and so told a secret about me. So you can imagine how happy I am to have come across a book that shows the effects of gossip and telling secrets. This story begins with the narrators best friend telling her a secret. Immediately after hearing the secret she feels the need to tell someone else, but she does not want Olivia to stop being her friend. However the pressure proves to much as she accidently slips to her friend Aya...more
Allison
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
(NS) Brea M
N.Joy’s The Secret Olivia Told Me is a simple story about a young girl who learns a secret from her friend Olivia. She tries but cannot resist telling the secret to another classmate Ayanna. From there the secret spreads and even gets bigger as untrue parts are added to it. In the end, Olivia decides that honesty is the best policy and she tells Olivia what she has done. N. Joy offers a story with a lesson for any elementary student. She even includes questions at the end to encourage discussion...more
Mackenzie Cannon
This picture book shows the valuable lesson of honesty and secret keeping in a creative and original way. Olivia tells her friend a secret, who promises Olivia that she will not tell anyone. The friend then proceeds to tell only one person Olivia's secret, who then tells another person, who tells another person, and so on, until Olivia's friend feels so guilty that she confesses to Olivia that she had shared her secret. The illustrations in this book are fabulous, all the people are silhouettes,...more
Adrienna
I picked up a copy from library to read before I received a copy from author for my niece.

Actually not to be funny, I wanted to know the big secret but the premises was sharing a secret with your close friends presuming they'd keep it to themselves. Moral of the story is, tell someone no longer is a secret because most people cannot hold water and spill their guts for real, simply telling the info they heard from the source. but as we know in communication courses, once said, the message becomes...more
Melanie
Beautiful black and white silhouette illustrations help tell the story of a young girl who is trusted with a secret from a friend. She struggles with it and eventually the secret slips. Consequences are swift and a valuable lesson is learned.

In the author's note, the author offers some questions for children about secrets. Do you have secrets? Are there secrets you should tell? and others. I was very pleased with the inclusion of the discussion questions as the ending of the book had me a little...more
Esther
Published in 2007 by Just Us Books, Inc.
Interest Level: 2nd-6th Grade

This picture book cleverly shows the idea of how a secret can be grown through gossiping. The secret is symbolized by a red balloon while everything else is in black and white. As the secret is held and told to others the balloon gets larger and larger until it pops and then the two friends realize that secrets are not secret if told aloud. At the end of the book there are several discussion items about secrets geared towards y...more
Ashleigh Pollard
The Secret Olivia told me was a very catchy read. The words created a pattern and rhythm from start to finish. Since this children's book is a picture book, the illustrator made a point to tell the story through the movements of the characters body. Olivia told a secret to her friend, which she promised not to tell anyone, but unfortunately her friend did. As the story goes on, more and more people find out about Olivia's big juicy secret. To show how large the secret was getting, the illustrato...more
Veronica
May 18, 2013 Veronica added it
Shelves: manners
I'm working on creating a booklist for my local public library. This book was one in consideration for this list.

This book is not going on my list, and I'll ya, I don't like it. The illustrations, the story, the layout of the text. Everything is going for this book, except for the ending.

The moral of this book is don't trust anyone, keep all secrets to yourself, including that your uncle touches you. It doesn't say that verbatim, but it might as well. This book teaches the wrong lesson.

So Olivia...more
Rachel
In rhyme, a girl relates what happens when she lets slip her best friends secret.

This is a lesson for all to learn from, so the author portrays each child as a silhouette that represents "every child". To this simple structure of black on white, is the red of balloons. These balloons symbolize the secret, with its string issuing forth from whispering children. As is spreads from mouth to mouth, it grows from the lies that become mixed in with the truth. Matters go out of control. Rather than fei...more
Yesenia Garcia
I really enjoyed this book. This book can be used in a unit about gossip and/or bullying especially since I teach middle school. It shows how a secret can be spread throughout a school or community. I like how the girls learned a valuable lesson by the end of the book. Letting one secret slip can make it become a bigger, more outrageous secret that everyone knows about.
Madeline Natzke
I had to read this book with a group of peers in class. I went out and bought it afterwards. The pictures really go along with the story. Its all about a secret that Olivia told her friend, and then she let the secret spill out. The secret then got mixed up and told to everyone at their school. In the end the girls make up and are still friends. The moral of the story is once you tell someone a secret, it is no longer a secret. I really like this book because no matter the age, you can relate to...more
Heidi
Picture Book for Young Readers
The question of what happens when a secret is spread is examined in this picture book for grades 1-5, which received the 2007 Coretta Scott King Award for Illustrations. Although the secret is never revealed, the story of what happens to a relationship when a confidence is broken will surely inspire spirited discussion. To facilitate this discussion, a list of questions appears at the end of the story, including “Why do you think it’s hard for people not to tell sec...more
Katy
This is the story of what happens when a friend does not keep a secret. Olivia tells her best friend an important secret, and makes her promise not to tell. Her friend describes how hard it it was to keep the secret, and how she ends up telling. The secret spreads like wildfire throughout the school. She finally confesses to Olivia that she made a huge mistake. She apologizes and asks that she not end the friendship over this. In the end it shows them talking about the lesson they learned.

The p...more
Jodi
Loved the artwork and the symbolism of the red balloon as a rumor getting bigger & bigger. I just disagree with the idea that a secret should never be told. There are discussion questions in the back which would be good to use in the classroom.
Jesse Lasarte
One of the things I enjoyed about this book was its message. Not much can devastate a friendship more than gossiping. However, I also thought the illustrations in this book were high quality. The illustrations do a great job of extending or developing the plot. The secret gets told over and over again, while the red balloon in the illustration gets bigger and bigger. Also, I thought the illustrations were very artful. The illustrations are mostly monochromatic, except the bright red balloon and...more
Cassie
I needed a book to read aloud to two assemblies - one of K-3rd graders and another 4th-5th graders - for March is Reading Month. This was recommended to me by another librarian and I have to say, it was a total hit. The kids, all ages, as well as the teachers and administrators, all enjoyed the book. While I was reading I could hear murmers of agreement and gasps of "oh no". On top of the simply stated story of a traveling secret, the illustrations are bold and eye-catching. By using black silho...more
Brandi
This book is great for teaching lessons on keeping secrets and/or gossip to students. The discussion questions included at the end are a nice bonus. As other reviewers have mentioned it's important to stress to students after reading the books that there are secrets we shouldn't keep. The discussion questions address this, but the story itself does not. When I use this book in class I pair it with a game of "telephone" and the kids love it. The illustrations are beautiful. I love the use of the...more
Raquel Bernal
The Secret Olivia Told Me, is a book about a girl who shares a secret with her friend. She is told not tell anyone but of course she has to tell. The moral of the story is once you tell someone a secret, it is no longer a secret. This book clearly shows the effects of gossip and telling secrets.The book won Coretta Scott King prize for the illustrations.I really liked the book I think is a good lesson for children to learn the importance of not telling anyone a secret. The last page has a quote...more
Sarah Ragan
The silhouettes in this book really set the mood of the book and was very artsy.
Marilea Blair
This book was very good and had great Illustrations. I think that this would be a good book to introduce to students as a read aloud if you notice that there is an issue with rumors being spread throughout the classroom. Although the book is placed at a first to second grade reading level, I think that it will make a good book to introduce to older students as a type of poetry. This book would also be helpful if introducing an art lesson about silhouettes; it has amazing illustrations that actua...more
Camille Peterson
I did not give this a high rating because it is a little uncomfortable for me. At the end of the book, the lesson that they state they learn at the end of the book hardly seems to be a good lesson. They say they learn not to tell anyone any secrets... this seems like a rather strong statement to make! I believe at least they could have said something to the effect to be careful what you tell and who you tell it to, or if someone tells you a secret, do what you would want them to do and keep it a...more
Lara Vickers
I love this book for young readers. It is perfect for grades K through 2. It's simple poem-like rhyming text makes this a perfect read-aloud and leads to real-life discusstions about a topic important to young children. The main characters learns valuable lessons about the good and the bad of secrets and more globally, friendship. The striking black and white illustrations accompanied by a red balloon, representing the secret that gets bigger as the story goes on, really drive the message home v...more
Shira
Just looking at the cover of this book makes one wonder "What is the secret?". This book is an excellent choice to use with young in trying to teach them a very important social skill lesson about secrets. This book informs its reader of how a secret is no longer a secret once it has been told to another person. After reading this book I would play the "telephone game" with my students to show them just how secrets begin and how they can become way more than what they originally were.
Little Miss and the Legomeister
The rhyming text is atrocious. And it's one of those books that teach a lesson. Have I mentioned that I hate books with obvious moralizing? Not that I think that morals in a story are bad, I just think they should be subtle.

However, I love the silhouette artwork. I love how it highlights the edges. That bumps its two stars up to at least a three.


Little Miss's take... "I loved it and I loved it. Because it was so awesome. Because every single kid knowed the secret."
Asha Smith
This is a short and yet interesting book. It has rhyming words on every page. Olivia tells her friend a secret, but it gets out and now everyone knows "the secret". It is a cliffhanger book because you never find out "the secret". But I used this book to start teaching predictions based on the cover and the title. The pictures are all in black and white except for a little red, but the students get so involved in what "the secret" is, they dont even notice.
Winta
This book is about one girl telling a big secret to another. The girl accidently spills it out of her mouth and it spreads. In the end, she decides to tell her friend that she had told. The moral of the story is that a secret is no longer a secret once you tell another; "Don't tell a SINGLE person a secret. Or it won't be a secret ANYMORE!" I felt convicted after reading this book. Everyone can learn a lesson through guided discussion.
Katie
This book is about two friends and Olivia tells her a secret that she has to promise to tell no one, there friendship relied on it. But like most little girls did, she told one of her playmates and like all rumors that friend, told a friend, that told a friend, and so on. At the end Olivia gets mad at her but she appologizes and everything ends up ok. Whatch the rumor spread from page to page through shadows for pictures.
Whitney Rachel
The illustrations really add to the already fantastic text. Everything about this book is just so simple, while still managing to grab your attention. I particularly enjoyed the symbolism behind the red balloon. It's great a image to have for those who might not be as quick to grasp the concept of secrets.
NS- Sarah
Nov 15, 2009 NS- Sarah marked it as to-read
A book that talks about honesty and trust! I have never seen this book but I would like to read it and see if it would be appropriate for primary elementary students. Would you recommend it for young children or does it address the needs of older students? I am a sucker for great illustrations and it looks like this one has some great ones. I noticed you gave this book 5 stars. You must have really enjoyed it!
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