Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure” as Want to Read:
I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

I Can't Keep My Own Secrets: Six-Word Memoirs by Teens Famous & Obscure (Six-Word Memoirs)

4.0 of 5 stars 4.00  ·  rating details  ·  894 ratings  ·  196 reviews
One life. Six words. What's yours?

True tales of love, loss, good friends, and bad hair days filled Not Quite What I Was Planning, the New York Times bestselling first book in the Six-Word Memoir series—and an international phenomenon. Some of the most compelling were by teens, so now SMITH Magazine has compiled a book written entirely by these bold, brash truth-tellers. Fr
Paperback, 182 pages
Published September 1st 2009 by HarperTeen (first published August 18th 2009)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about I Can't Keep My Own Secrets, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about I Can't Keep My Own Secrets

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,241)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
The title captures what the book is about, but it doesn't prepare you for the loss, humor, passion, and longing expressed by teens-- six words at a time.

One favorite, "I never got my Hogwarts letter."

*sigh* Me, neither.
Jackie "the Librarian"
I was not a happy teenager. I was miserable, starting seventh grade at a new school, not knowing anyone, with acne. Life has only gotten better since then. If you had to write a memoir of your life in six words, what would you say? How much of yourself would you reveal? Written by teens, these six-word memoirs open a little window into the lives of these teenagers, ranging from the banality of high school life to really dark stuff. Reading this makes me SO glad not to be a teenager anymore. Not ...more
Could you write a memoir using six words? I'm not sure I could. What would I say about myself in six words? At first it seems simple and it could be it - I can say a lot about myself in six words depending on the day and my mood. But to say something meaningful or important, that takes time and thought - every word needs to count. That is what this book is about. 600 six word memoirs written by teens ages 13 to 19. Some memoirs are simple and fun. I laughed when I read this one "I seriously love ...more
I guess six-word memoirs are all the rage right now. Most of these ones by teenagers are pretty much what you'd expect--melodramatic, confessional, self-important. They're about school, love, sex, parents, expectations, not fitting in. There is a hilarious index in the back of the book: my favorite entry is "namecalling." I don't know why I was so amused by that; I guess because it's kind of an antiquated term.

Several were rather lovely and mysterious ("I'm deaf, but she can't hear"; "I can't lo
Great, it is 6 word memoirs from teens. Excellent for book talking to all agees of teens! Here are jsut a few.

Five elementary schools and two obituaries.

Hung myself.
Sister found me.

I wish "sir" was "dad" instead.

Homecoming King with a septum ring.

Read "lord of the Flies". Threw up.

Defined by numbers:

Am a ballerina, still totally clumsy.

I miss all my imaginary friends.

Praying that "adulthood" does not mean "amnesia"

This book is a collection of humor, sass, and anguish. We start off with a 6 word memoir by none other than Ernest Hemingway “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”. It was a perfect starting point and a challenge to every other teen to mimic Hemmingway’s short story. How much of the truth can you hide in just 6 words? A lot it seems.

Contemplated joining the circus. Foolishly chose college—Sally C.

My dad has more MySpace friends—Darlye J.

These are just two 6-word memoirs that popped out for me. This
Pub Date: September 2009

Summary: I lost more than my innocence.

Life’s full of “awkward turtle” moments.

Note to all boys: I quit.

God has him. I miss him.

Always helping others. Never helping myself.

Fake Smile. Hidden Tears. Real Laughter.

Skinny girl in a fat body.

You chose pot, I chose poetry.

Freshman: first love. Sophomore: first heartbreak

I won’t need photographs to remember.

Broken. Loved anyway. I’m so thankful.

Rating: 4 Stars

Review: Open to any random page in I Can’t Keep My Own Secrets and yo
I've adored SMITH Mag's six-word memoirs for a while, and last fall they launched to collect material for a new book written entirely by teenagers. In one year, more than 65,000 memoirs have been posted. The site is worth visiting daily for intense, from-the-heart writing. Founding Editor Larry Smith calls the teens who've submitted memoirs "honest and brave and funny and intense and awesome."

That's pretty much how we feel about the book that has come out of these submissions, I C
Ms. Wood
These six-word memoirs are sometimes hilarious, sometimes tragic, but always powerful. Here are some favorites from amongst the 800 in the collection:

"Met online; love before first sight."
"Hair's pink to piss you off."
"I fulfilled my awkwardness quota today."
"I'm seventeen, engaged, and not pregnant."
"My mom had my boyfriend deported."
"Late for school every single day."
"According to Facebook, we broke up."

Listen to the editor explain the book and read a few six-word memoirs at http://www.teachi
Mrs. Schatz
Jan 21, 2010 Mrs. Schatz rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Everyone!!!!
Wow!! What an amazing book and I'm soooo envious that people can sum up their feelings/life in 6 words. I wonder how long it took some of them. Some of the memoirs are funny, silly, poignant, gut-wrenching, and weary. A must read!!! I think our students should do this and I compile it into a notebook of some kind.
I LOVE this book, hilarious and heartbreaking, I want to write my own six word memoir now. I will definitely take this on outreaches and have teens write their own six word memoirs, maybe I could even turn it into a program at the library or do it for a teen tuesday activity. I can't believe six words can say so much...
Bonnie Chen
This was one of the best books I ever read. This book kept my mind thinking and analyzing each six word memoirs.This book is composed of many six word memoirs, written by all different authors. Each memoir has its own story-happy,miserable,heartbreaking and so forth. Although the stories are not clear, the 6 word memoirs allowed me to creatively come up with a possible scenario that fits the 6 word memoir.On the other hand, some memoirs are really clear to me and I can relate to them. For exampl ...more
This book is a fast read, and you might be tempted to think of it as "fluff" that has no meaning-- until you actually pick it up and delve into it. Smith magazine invited readers to sum up their lives in six words--no more, no less-- and the results are a glimpse into the hearts and minds of teen from every walk of life. If you care about even one teenager, you'll want to read this book.
Major Characters:
With 600 different authors, there are no characters that stand apart except the unspecified
A newspaper asked teens to write their life's story, but using only six words. Those stories were all published in this book. 'I Can't Keep my own Secrets' is the inspiring stories of over 300 people. It proves that you don't need a whole book to tell a powerful story. This book is filled with tales of hardship, secrets, and teenage drama. I enjoyed this book because I found it interesting to read about more than just one person. It's interesting to sort of get to know a person, when you've onl ...more
The Dreamer Reader
It's a firework show of awesome!

The Good: This is my first anthology and it totally sky rocketed through my expectations.

Some made me want to track down these people and just give them a huge hug. Some made my day a whole lot brighter and better. Some really hit the nail on the head, made me think, "Damn straight!", and give them a huge round of applause. Some just made me snort milk out my nose because they were hilarious!

But, what all of them did was make me feel less alone.

The Bad: It may be
rachel keeler
This book is fantastic. I love the thoughtfulness/challenge of six-words.
As far as reading other people's six-words, it's interesting to me on the same level that Postsecret is. It's like peeking at someone's most intimate thoughts/feelings.

Some of these teen ones are so well done, and so poignant. I was stopped in my reading, thinking about the girl/boy who had written them.

Also, I'm mildly obsessed with the six-word thing now. I keep trying it out on my own life. For example, today's memoir
This book is filled by six word quotes about 600 different teens.

This was a fast and fun little book. At times making you laugh and other times making your eyes well up. Who knew that 6 words could say so much.

Some of my favorites:

"Laughed at all the wrong moments." -Kierra B.

"I never got my Hogwarts letter." -Deanna H.

"The Beatles really said it all." -Mary Kate C.

"Holden caught me in the rye." -Brittany F.

"I lost more than my innocence." -Angela G.

I don't know if I would recommend you buying i
This collection of six word memoirs written by teens touches on subjects of love, loss, friendship, identity, beauty, and everything in between.
The mood of the memoirs range anywhere from deeply sad or contemplative to comical and quirky. They are written in a variety of fonts and styles and some include artwork created by the teens. It is surprising how much power can be packed into six words and these teens know how to wield it. It is indexed and can be a good source for interesting quotes fr
I was a bit weary of teen memoirs, afraid they were going to be too angsty for my 30+ self, but some were quite fun and/or insightful.

My favorites:
Aspiration: colonize Mars. You're not invited.
Not enough room in the margins.
I'm just a simple human. Being.
Note to all boys: I quit.
The fireworks were gone by then.
Life's full of "awkward turtle" moments.
I want to launch a filibuster.
I'm an Etch A Sketch, shaking.

And ditto Becky's favorites:
I never got my Hogwarts letter.
The exits were ent
More six-word memoirs, this time entirely by authors ages 13-19. I read bits of the introduction to booktalk this, then some selections. My personal favorites (and BTW, the "famous" teens wrote really bad ones):

I just want to feel infinite.
I will be that cat lady.
I never got my Hogwarts letter.
My status messages are about you.
The exits were entrances in disguise.
Take me back to swings, fireflies.
Childhood fantasy: Living in a library.
He only knew one word: meh.
I am in a love pentagon.
I was born
Ashley Hackenmiller
My thoughts: When I received this I had heard nothing but honestly I was intrigued. It was so unique and insightful! These teens were able to grasp so many aspects in teen lives these days within 6 words. Some made me smile while others made me sad. A couple even brought tears to my eyes. Go buy yourself a copy when it comes out. I LOVED IT!

Recommendation: Anyone who wants a refreshing quick book with a real insight into teen minds.

Listening to: Fearless (Taylor Swift) Mad (NeYo)
I think everyone should read this book; it is a quick read, but gives one a glimpse into the reality of hundreds of teens' lives. Inspired by the story that Ernest Hemingway was asked to write a six-word story (which ended up being “For sale: baby shoes, never worn”) this is a collection of six-word memoirs written by teenagers. Poignant, funny, thought-provoking. Apparently there are other similar six-word memoir books out there, which I plan to investigate.
Six-word memoirs. Some are poignant, some funny, many made me envious that these teenage authors are so much more insightful and eloquent than I was at their age. I don't think many writers can read this book and not immediately begin composing their own six-word memoirs. Definitely using some of the more age-appropriate ones with my kids' writing workshops.
This dandy little book has 6-word quotes gathered from the Smithteens website. I visited the website and I actually prefer the book format to read these little nuggets of inspiration and deeper meaning. Some of the quotes will make you smile and some will make you sad. Some seem to have layers of different meanings. Good stuff.
This was so awesome! I am amazed at the way the teens touched my heart in just six words. This book made me think about my own life and what six words I would use for my memoir. All of the memoirs in this book were creative. Some made me smile and other made me want to cry. What six words would you use for your life?
Dec 17, 2011 Cheney rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: teenagers
This is a pretty cool little memoir book comprised of six-word sentences that portray a teenagers life, thoughts, ambitions, loss, hope, etc. My favorite six-word memoir was "Allergic to reality; compelled by fiction." This could be used as a great writing lesson I could do with my students...
This was a lovely little capsule of teen reality. There are six word memoirs in here that made my eyes fill with tears as well as those that made me snort with laughter. It's amazing what a person can pack into six words. I think that this should be in every middle and high school library.
Wendy Lu
I keep a notebook of all the words I come across I don't know, and all the quotes I find in books that I like. When I got to this book, I had a problem...


Amazing. Simply amazing, and now I'm thinking in six word sentences.

I would use this book as a starter for a poetry program with tweens/teens. I just wish that the project had the authors submit both a positive and a negative six word life statement....because (as you can imagine with teens) the amount of melodrama in this book becomes a bit grating.
This book contains six word memoirs written by teens. Some are somber and other are haunting. Some of my favorites are: "Hair's pink to piss you off." "The exits were entrances in disguise". "In the nest, twigs are sharp." "A boy wizard saved my life."
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 74 75 next »
  • Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure
  • The Good, the Bad, and the Barbie: A Doll's History and Her Impact on Us
  • Sex: A Book for Teens: An Uncensored Guide to Your Body, Sex, and Safety
  • P.S. I Hate it Here: Kids' Letters from Camp
  • The Great and Only Barnum: The Tremendous, Stupendous Life of Showman P. T. Barnum
  • Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers
  • Marching for Freedom: Walk Together Children and Don't You Grow Weary
  • Spies of Mississippi: The True Story of the Spy Network that Tried to Destroy the Civil Rights Movement
  • The Frog Scientist
  • The Dark Game: True Spy Stories from Invisible Ink to CIA Moles
  • All the Wrong People Have Self-Esteem: An Inappropriate Book for Young Ladies*
  • Claudette Colvin: Twice Toward Justice
  • No Choirboy: Murder, Violence, and Teenagers on Death Row
  • We've Got a Job: The 1963 Birmingham Children's March
  • Cleopatra Rules!: The Amazing Life of the Original Teen Queen
  • Lost Boy, Lost Girl: Escaping Civil War in Sudan
  • Dear Old Love: Anonymous Notes to Former Crushes, Sweethearts, Husbands, Wives, &  Ones That Got Away
  • Truce: The Day the Soldiers Stopped Fighting

Other Books in the Series

Six-Word Memoirs (8 books)
  • Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure
  • Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure
  • It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure
  • One life. 6 words, what's yours? : six-word memoirs from Smith magazine
  • Oy! Only Six? Why Not More? Six-Word Memoirs on Jewish Life
  • Things Don't Have To Be Complicated: Illustrated Six-Word Memoirs by Students Making Sense of the World (TED Books)
  • Six Words About Work
One life. 6 words, what's yours? : six-word memoirs from Smith magazine Not Quite What I Was Planning: Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous and Obscure It All Changed in an Instant: More Six-Word Memoirs by Writers Famous & Obscure I Can't Keep My Own Secrets Six-Word Memoirs on Love and Heartbreak: by Writers Famous and Obscure

Share This Book

“I never got my Hogwarts letter. - Deanna H.” 4 likes
“I live bigger than your labels.
-Samantha N.”
More quotes…