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Nobody's Secret

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  703 ratings  ·  166 reviews
One day, fifteen-year-old Emily Dickinson meets a mysterious, handsome young man. Surprisingly, he doesn't seem to know who she or her family is. And even more surprisingly, he playfully refuses to divulge his name. Emily enjoys her secret flirtation with Mr. "Nobody" until he turns up dead in her family's pond. She's stricken with guilt. Only Emily can discover who this e ...more
Hardcover, 241 pages
Published April 28th 2013 by Chronicle Books (first published April 16th 2013)
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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Amherst, Massachusetts, 1845

Fifteen-year-old Emily Dickinson is stuck in the house with her overbearing mother, and her sister, Vinny, who’s sympathetic but rather needy, at least from Emily’s perspective. Her dad and her brother Austin are away at the moment, leaving her and Vinny at the mercy of their mother’s irrational worries and need for control.

But on a rare moment away from the house and its problems, Emily meets a young man who wants to disappear as much as she does. They introduce them
Anna Kay
Dec 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Emily Dickinson is always looking for a way out of helping with the numerous chores her Mother creates for her and her younger sister Vinnie. On one such afternoon when Emily is hiding in the meadow, she strikes up an acquaintance with a young man who mysteriously refuses to tell her his name. To each other they are Mr. and Miss Nobody. So when she arranges to meet up with him again soon and show him about town, Emily is excited to have a secret. Then Mr. Nobody is found dead in the Dickinson fa ...more
When I first heard about the idea for this book involving the famous poet becoming a sleuth and solving a murder, I dismissed it as rather silly, but once I opened the book and began reading, I was captivated. With Emily Dickinson's curiosity and sense of fair play, it makes sense that she would want to figure out the reasons for someone's unexpected death. The story revolves around the fifteen-year-old poet's encounter with a stranger while she is trying to lure a bee to set down on her. The tw ...more
Apr 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Short and Sweet:
Nobody's Secret was sweet and wonderful for a murder mystery. I loved the imagination of the author concerning Emily Dickinson and the poetry mixed through out. I felt like I was reading a historical Veronica Mars episode and I want to kiss Michaela MacColl's face for writing this wonderful book. :)

To Elaborate....
The story begins with Emily laying in a field of wildflowers hoping a bee will land on her nose.... just to experience something different. After a few moments she hear
May 16, 2013 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars

I love Michaela MacColl's books - they are refreshing, well written, and always an intriguing look at history. Additionally, Michaela MacColl picks people in history who aren't commonly featuring in historical fiction, which is always absolutely delightful to read about. And Nobody's Secret is her best yet - a historical murder mystery? How much cooler can you get?

I loved Michaela MacColl's portayal of Emily Dickinson. She is almost a Nancy Drew-type figure and is just way too cool. Sh
Andye.Reading Teen
May 20, 2013 rated it really liked it
Nobody's Secret is a novel of historical fiction based on 15 year old Emily Dickinson, the famous poet of the 19th century. Emily becomes entangled in the investigation of the death of an unknown young man. She must keep her sleuthing secret from her disapproving mother and nosy sister. The story takes place in puritanical New England where Emily challenges the accepted rules of behavior for young women of that time. The story is very clearly and simply written. The characters are well-developed ...more
Cindy Hudson
Apr 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
A young Emily Dickinson is daydreaming in the woods near her home when a handsome young man interrupts. She’s never seen him before, yet when she asks his name he tells her he’s nobody. The air of mystery deepens when she sees him in town and he still won’t say who he is or why he’s visiting Amherst, but he hints at family crimes. The next day Mr. Nobody ends up dead in her family’s pond, and Emily suspects foul play. She sets out to discover who Mr. Nobody is and why he died.

Nobody’s Secret by
Emery Rachelle
This was a really nice book. I've always loved Emily Dickinson's poetry and the days before I read a variety of genres were filled with mysteries like these. Every chapter started with some lines by Emily that really fit the tone of that chapter. The emotions were generally very realistic - the laughing flirtation with Mr. Nobody, the mixed dread and odd curiosity of death, the combination of excitement and fear found in investigating a crime. The mystery itself was very well-written, complete w ...more
Kacey Vanderkarr
Jan 01, 2013 rated it really liked it
I won Nobody’s Secret as an ARC on Goodreads.

Nobody’s Secret is a rich step into the past. Following a fictitious version of Emily Dickinson’s life, the reader experiences Amherst in 1845 through young Dickinson’s eyes while she investigates the murder of Mr. Nobody.

The story is as refreshing as Miss Dickinson’s refusal to live by the social norms placed on her by society. She’s feisty, driven, and prefers to spend time exploring nature and writing poetry instead of cooking and doing chores.

Paula Patterson
Jan 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: received
Emily Dickenson is a free spirit with a love of writing. She happens to meet a handsome young man that she refers to as Mr. Nobody. After several unscheduled meetings, Emily becomes friends with Mr. Nobody. But before she can learn his real identity, he is found floating in the Dickenson's pond. Many questions arise from this grisly discovery. Who was he? Why has no one identified him when he told Emily he was in town to handle family business? And why was he dressed in clothes of a farmhand? Em ...more
Melissa (YA Book Shelf)
Thought I knew where this book was going, but boy was I wrong. Great mystery with unexpected twists and turns. I also loved how Michaela MacColl uses Emily Dickinson's poetry to tie together the story, making the reader actually believe that she was involved with solving a crime at one time, even though it was a complete fabrication.

Mrs. Dickinson reminded me of a non-silly version of Mrs. Bennet, in the sense that she was always putting the idea that Emily would be marrying someone someday and
Mar 20, 2018 rated it liked it
More like a 3.5

I liked this book but I didn't love it. There are were so many elements here that I really enjoy in a story and it was well put together but it didn't give me that excited feeling I get when I finish a really good book.

Let me first say that in high school I despised Emily Dickinson's poems. A few titles (her more depressing ones) were required reading and even though reading her poetry was easy, I didn't enjoy it one bit. To be fair, I was going through a major depression at the t
Silver Petticoat
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 20, 2013 rated it liked it
Cover Blurb: Yes or No? I really am not a huge fan of the cover art, and I am not entirely certain why. True, there are two character impersonators, and one of them is staring most disconcertingly at me, but "Emily" is turned around, and "Mr. Nobody" doesn't bother me a great deal, surprisingly. So what is it that I don't like? Sadly, I cannot put my finger on it; I just know that it is not entirely to my liking.

Characters: Young Emily Dickinson makes for a spunky, intelligent, and quick-witted
Dylena Swann
Mar 10, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book was sooo good. Emily would not give up to find Mr. Nobody's killer. Even though that her mother told her to stop her taunting she would not give up. She was very brave to go on all of her adventures. ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it liked it
Originally posted on The Selkie Reads Stories (http://selkiereadsstories.blogspot.com)

Nobody's Secret was a nice light read. The writing was fluid and easy to understand, and I especially liked how the dialogue flows between the characters. The historical setting was quite evident in the way the book was written and in how people acted. I enjoyed hearing Emily's opinions about the people and things around her. She was considered "odd" by most people and was depicted in Nobody's Secret as quite a
Ashley Granger
May 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
I would give this a 3.5, rounded up to a 4.

In “Nobody’s Secret,” Emily Dickinson is a 15-year-old who meets an older boy. Emily is eccentric, and finds that this boy is also strange his own way. She doesn’t know his name, yet he makes a definite impact on her. Before their relationship can progress, he is found dead in the pond outside her house. What starts as a mission to discover his true name becomes a quest to discover not only his name, but who he was, how he’s related to this town, and t
Fifteen-year-old Emily Dickinson is tired of living in Amherst, Massachusetts where everyone knows her family. She wishes sometimes she could be nobody at all. She also wishes for a friend who will understand her thoughts. Then she meets Mr. Nobody, a handsome stranger who gets her love of nature and her unorthodox views on religion. When Mr. Nobody is found dead in the Dickinson's pond and no one can identify his body, Emily is determined to find out his identity. As she pursues the clues, she ...more
This is an ARC won through Goodreads First Reads giveaways.

Emily Dickinson the next great Sherlock Holmes! Ms. MacColl's second novel centers around famed American poet Emily Dickinson. In this novel, Emily is 15 and has found herself compelled to investigate the murder of a gentleman she briefly met and who calls himself 'Mr. Nobody'.

A classic who dunnit, the story flows quickly. The author intertweaves between Emily's 'career' as sleuth and her dutiful 'career' as a young lady of the 1800's. M
Apr 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
I absolutely adore the poetry of Emily Dickinson, and am fascinated by her life. So, when I read that this book was a fictional account of Emily as a teenager, I knew I had to read it. This book did not disappoint. It's a fun little mystery, and even though I pretty much had it figured it out, I still enjoyed reading to see how Emily sleuthed out who the murderer was and what she would do about it.
The author uses Emily's real family, real town, and her own life and hobbies. The only fictionaliz
Tara Renee
Feb 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads
I received this book as an Advance Reader's Copy to review. I love reading fan fictions so I was delighted to find this in the mail. Truthfully I loved it. I was only disappointed that there was not more interaction between Mr. Nobody and Miss Dickinson. I would have like to seen a little bit more blossom between them. However the author did such a good job of drawing you in from the moment the two meet. I enjoyed how fearless Emily was. The sisters personalities played off each other very well. ...more
Apr 19, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, mystery
Quite charming! The prose is a little uneven, but the author turns many a swell phrase and does a nice job imagining Emily D. as a fifteen-year-old budding-poet-turned-amateur-detective. I also thought the relationship between Emily and her younger, more proper sister Lavinia was rather nicely done. Other supporting characters are drawn with varying degrees of success, but this was an enjoyable afternoon's read. Having lived in Amherst for a year in college, I also quite enjoyed the setting. ...more
Ms. B
Feb 05, 2013 rated it really liked it
Received an advance copy from the publisher through Goodreads. What a pleasant surprise! Even readers who don't usually enjoy historical fiction could find themselves easily falling into this mystery featuring a young Emily Dickinson and an enigmatic, charming young man. It includes plenty of references to her poetry, but nothing that's alienating for those unfamiliar with her work or life. I would recommend for a middle school library. ...more
3.5 stars rounded up to 4 because, even though it is a simple story, seemingly silly in topic and definitely a very light read, Nobody's Secret is nicely written and handles the mystery, Dickinson's poetry and the re-imagining of the poet herself with love, care and intelligence. ...more
Feb 02, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade
Fun mystery concerning Emily Dickinson and a foxy young gentleman who turns up dead in her family's pond. ...more
Oct 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Not as emotional as it could have been, but a good mystery regardless.
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Nobody's Secret is an historical fiction in which 15 year-old Emily Dickinson meets a young man who is later killed. Emily becomes embroiled in the investigation of the death of the unknown man, but she must keep her involvement a secret from her mother and her sister. The story takes place in New England at a time when Emily challenges all of the puritanical accepted rules of behavior for young women.

The characters are very well developed, and the story is plainly and straightforwardly written
Jane ☾
Jun 22, 2017 rated it liked it
(3.5/5 stars)
It wasn't until the last page that I realized that this book was inspired by a poem I studied for class!! That very much so excited me.
This book was very interesting but not great ~mystery~ wise. The ending was quite boring and they basically told you who killed in the first like 50 pages. But that's not really that big of a deal.
I found that this book wasn't really strung together very nicely (much like this review). It was a little all over the place and I think just needed to
Feb 13, 2022 rated it liked it
Young Emily Dickinson shares a brief flirtation with a handsome stranger visiting Amherst. The two only meet a couple of times and Emily doesn't even know his name, but when the stranger turns up dead in the pond near the Dickinson house she is determined to find out who he was and how he ended up there. Despite her mother's protests, she begins gathering clues that suggest Mr. Nobody (as she knows him) was murdered. But will the investigation put Emily in danger herself? A good read for fans of ...more
I loved Emily Dickinson poems while in school and thought I would give this a shot. I went in not knowing what to expect and was pleasantly surprised how much I ended up liking this. I liked the little poems that were at the beginning of each chapter. I liked that it was fictional but using real people. I liked how the book portrayed her and how she got her inspiration for her writings. I like the mystery of Mr. Nobody and how Emily was determined to figure things out.

I found this to be easy to
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The Young Adult H...: Nobody's Secret - November's Read 5 11 Dec 03, 2015 04:50PM  

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Prisoners in the Palace is my debut novel. I like to create historical fiction that has a modern appeal to teens and adults.

Regency romance blends enjoyably with historical fiction, with a plucky heroine for each mode. (Kirkus)

This novel is full of historical detail, vivid settings, and richly drawn characters, and themes of friendship and romance give the story teen appeal. (Booklist)

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