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

(Dear America)

3.98  ·  Rating details ·  3,840 ratings  ·  178 reviews
Fascinating period details provide an authentic backdrop for the diaries of eighth-grader Madeline Beck, as she reveals her unusual experiences living in a Long Island boardinghouse while her father is stationed in the Pacific during wartime America.
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published April 1st 2008 by Live Oak Media (NY) (first published 2000)
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Alayna Potter Well there's the main character
Maddie Beck
Johnny Vecchio (her friend)
Bill Vecchio (Johnny's brother)
Her mother
Her father (at war)
Clara (Older siste…more
Well there's the main character
Maddie Beck
Johnny Vecchio (her friend)
Bill Vecchio (Johnny's brother)
Her mother
Her father (at war)
Clara (Older sister like persona, she's a part of her family unit.)
Theo( Older brother like persona, also in the family unit.)
Mrs. Hawkins
Miss Burke
Mrs. Rosenthal
Clara ( from the star points or popular group.)

That's basically all the "main" characters. :)(less)
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Community Reviews

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Average rating 3.98  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,840 ratings  ·  178 reviews


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Start your review of My Secret War: The World War II Diary of Madeline Beck, Long Island, New York, 1941
Ana Mardoll
Dec 27, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ana-reviewed
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
Diana
While not a favorite in the series, I think it is a good way to show how Pearl Harbor affected those back at home and the fear that many had when we officially went to war. I love these books and even though they're historical fiction I feel they're a great way to introduce younger readers to history. Especially the topics not covered in classes.
Charlotte
May 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved it!
Becky Guldin
Dec 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was my favorite book as a kid, so I wanted to reread it. Did not disappoint.
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
Lindsey
Apr 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my all time favorites as a fourth-grader. Spies, WWII, crushes, and one of the best (most real and strong and just GAH YES) female protagonists in my reading life up to that time.
Sadie
May 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: war
My Secret War was a very good book. It is about a girl named Madeline Beck whos father is fighting in World War 2. She meets a boy named Johnny and they become friends. When something scary and life threatening happens to Madeline she realizes that what she and Johnny decided to do made a big footprint in helping end the war.
Courtney
While I've always been interested in WWII history, I've never been particularly interested in the WWII American Homefront. Perhaps it all started with the inexplicable seething dislike I've had for the American Girl character Molly McIntire since childhood. In any case, I had surprisingly high hopes for this Dear America title. I've seen the cover for years before I read it, the excerpt on the back actually makes the book sound fairly exciting, and I really enjoyed Mary Pope Osborne's other DA b ...more
Megan Salentine
Mar 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It was so good! Loved the story line and the epilogue!!! We are learning about WWII in school, so I really related to this alot! And part of this was in real life!
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
Claire M.
My secret war is about a girl named Madeline and her living through world war 2 while her dad is fighting in war. Madeline goes through many obstacles with her friends Clara and Johnny and all the problems that come with having a dad in the war.

I did not enjoy this book. I felt like there was not much to it. The story line is weak and while I was reading I was waiting for something good to happen but it never came. There were no major problems that she had to over come. When one of the only s
...more
Brenda
Thought this book was well written, thought out & researched. With it being a work of historical fiction of course some of the facts are changed a little for it to fit in with it being from an American girl's perspective of WW2. Even though the book is geared to 3-6 graders I still enjoyed the book since gave the impression that it could have been any girl that grew up in that time. ...more
Pam
Feb 03, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Sharon
Aug 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Naomi and I read My Secret War aloud. Truly, one of my favorite titles in the "Dear America" series.
Margie
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick read but well worth it.
Sarah
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
2.5 for My secret warI rounded up

Thoughts and Plot

Madeline Beck is a 8th grade student living in Long Island New York when Pearl Harbor is bombed and the US enters the 2nd World War. She describes herself as a thick waisted (probably not true), gap toothed (gap between her front teeth), style-less young lady (because her skirt is longer, has no wide belt or penny loafers) who is generally shy and has a hard time making friends. Her dad is off on a carrier ship somewhere in the pacific leavin
...more
Andrea Centeno
Oct 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The book was about a girl names Madeline Beck. She grew up in the time of World War 2 in Long Island, New York. Her father was in the navy and was in the Pacific. She was really worried about her father, so she followed everything about the war. She would read the newspaper and talk to anyone who knew anything. She had a friend named Johnny Vecchio, and she would tell him everything. She wanted to impress him because he was very interested in the topic, and sometimes she would lie or exaggerate ...more
Emelin
This book is a dairy of Madeline Beck. The author uses the first person of this character to hep us understand more on how she is feeling and what is happening. The purpose of the story I think, was to to teach readers about Wold War II. It takes place in 1941 and 1942 on Long Island. Madeline, the main character, is a fourteen year old that kept moving constantly because her father is a military officer and was moving from base to base. Her dad was no longer "on assignment to just 'safeguard' t ...more
Robert
Sep 21, 2020 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-1-10
This is the story of a young girl named Madeline Beck living in America in 1941, shortly before the United States enters World War II. Her father is in the military, and Madeline and her mother recently moved to a new town. She becomes friends with a boy at school (I bet you know where this is going). After the Pearl Harbor bombing she decides to start a club to help the war effort, hoping to make her father happy. Eventually she discovers something that could impact people the world over.

It ha
...more
Fran
Aug 02, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love this book. I accidentally found it a few years ago and it has a special place in my heart for all the things it taught me. Ha, an older person reading this young persons book learned things. LOL. It inspired me to do research on other things, which is a good thing in itself, in my opinion. An easy read yes, but worth it-and I don't like Magic Treehouse books. Luckily this is written differently and caught my attention.
LobsterQuadrille
Nov 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: kids who like history and nostalgic fans of the series
My Secret War is a cute story and an interesting glimpse into American life at the start of World War II. Maddie can be annoying and immature sometimes, but she does improve and mature during the course of the story. The side characters were pleasant, and there's a nice sense of warmth and affection to them. It's not among the greatest kids' books in the world, but the historical detail, cute characters, and solid writing are enough to merit four stars from me!
Kristen
Sep 24, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile
Overall I really enjoyed this book. There were some parts that seemed a little unbelievable, like when Johnny and Maddie find the Nazi stuff buried on the beach. But it was a nice, quick read that would give kids an idea of what life was like on the homefront during World War II.
Truebluedah ♪
May 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
"Sometimes evil people can kill even the beauty in little things."

I really enjoyed this book. It was historical, and yet it wasn't boring (like most historical fiction.)
I found myself not able to put this one down. I truly enjoyed the way it was written like a diary!
Bookwormgirl395
Nov 25, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of my favorite Dear America’s and I’ve read this one probably about 50 times (no joke, I have had this book since 6th grade). I will never get tired of it.

This one introduced me to the series and 6 years later I still haven’t finished it.
Elizabeth
May 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This Book is amazing! If you enjoy historical fiction it is really great! It has a small bit of romance and drama, along with historical fiction and suspense. All in all this book is great and I would highly recomend it.
Heather
Pretty good story, but she seemed older than 13. I enjoyed the other characters a lot. This has been a good series.
HarryPotterEatsPie
Sorta dramatic, but very realistic
Kaitlin Harrington
I really enjoyed this book!!!
Dalaina Renee
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Loved it. Very interesting to learn about this gal. I love the true facts on them in real life! It adds to the story making it ten times better!
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1,694 followers
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.

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