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Don't Tell the Girls: A Family Memoir
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Don't Tell the Girls: A Family Memoir

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  55 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
In this sometimes funny, sometimes wistful memoir, two-time Newbery Honor Book award-winning author Patricia Reilly Giff discovers surprising information about, as well as unexpected connections to, her Irish ancestors. The result is a poignant book about the enduring gifts, as well as challenges, our ancestors can leave us.
Hardcover, 131 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Holiday House
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May 25, 2009 rated it it was amazing
This is better than I thought it would be. I would have even enjoyed if it was longer. I would have liked to know her Nana--she sounded wonderful. I could really relate with her interest in her ancestors---how she longed to know her other grandmother, but didn't have information about her. I wished that I could go to my family's country of origin and search over there like she did! It was a 'read in an hour' book and all I wish was that there were MORE stories in it!

I could relate to this story
Nov 14, 2014 rated it liked it
Don't Tell the Girls is a charming little story about families and ancestors. Author Patricia Giff had a wonderful relationship with her mother's mother...her Nana. Nana was a storyteller and a loving grandmother. She was the kind of grandmother who made ordinary days magical. Patricia Giff did not get to know her other grandmother, Jennie. In this book, Giff searches records to understand Jennie and her ancestors. Her quest takes her to libraries, record rooms and a wonderful journey to Ireland ...more
Abby H
Oct 08, 2012 rated it it was ok
Don't Tell the Girls
Patricia Giff
144 pages

There is a nana who comes and takes care of little children sometimes it's her family. The book starts at when she was born and how she grows up to be a beautiful lady. The nana also held back little secrets about her when during her interview to get the babysitting gig. Her secrets and other things about her and her family and now reveled with a little help from research. She also takes readers to her childhood and her adult hood. The first ti
Aug 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: biography-memoir
Patricia Reilly Giff's historical fiction novels are often based on her family history. In this memoir, we get to meet some of the strong and independent people who helped shape Giff into the woman, and story teller, she is today. Her central influence is "Nana", her maternal grandmother with whom she was extremely close. She writes about her memories of Nana and how Nana will never leave her, even though she is no longer on this earth. Giff also writes about her other ancestors and her desire t ...more
Dec 05, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: bios-memoirs, pam
Don't Tell the Girls; A Family Memoir, a young adult book, by Patricia Reilly Giff is primarily about the author's maternal grandmother Nana and the search for information on her paternal grandmother Jennie, who she never knew. The family history angle interested me and I hoped to find an interesting story which would give me ideas on how to present the genealogy finds I discover. Unfortunately, while the story did a wonderful job giving the reader a sense of Nana and of the author's love for he ...more
Feb 11, 2016 rated it it was ok
A sweet book full of family memories, this would be a nice book for kids to read in conjunction with a genealogy assignment. Giff had a close relationship with her mother's mother, Nana, but knew very little about her father's mother, Jennie, who died before she was born. This book is part a loving tribute to her Nana, and part a journey to find out more about Jennie. Included are a brief family tree and lots of wonderful family photos from the early 20th century.
a quick look at one woman's search for more details about her family, and finding out more (and less) than expected. i would love to have read more. the photos were a good addition, as was the hard process of searching through mountains of files and names. i loved her nana too! and that she cut her face out of photos!!
Elyssa Gooding
Jan 13, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I throughly enjoyed reading this memoir. It is a blessing to see someone find out about their past; stories of a young girl navigating libraries and vital records. The narrative was accessible for the young audience and gave just a glimpse into what you can find if you dig into your family's story.
Apr 07, 2009 rated it really liked it
Delightful quick read about family history. Of course I loved it because of the Irish ancestor connection, but I think a lot of people could relate to thinking about the things they've learned from their extended family. There was also a family mystery that the author was able to solve with some research on a trip to Ireland. The whole thing was told with humor and personality.
Jessie Johnson
Jan 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
Short, sweet stories of Giff's relationship with her Nana and her search for info on her other grandmother. Would like an adult version of this children's books!
Dec 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya, non-fiction, genealogy
A charming memoir that would be a great way to introduce teens and tweens to a fascinating obsession: family history
May 31, 2013 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade
Interesting for the author's fans but imho Patricia Reilly Giff should stick to writing fabulous novels
Nov 22, 2008 rated it liked it
It was a sort of memoir about the author's family and how she tried to find out about her ancestors. She stuck to just what she knew which wasn't a lot, so it wasn't that exciting...
May 14, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: biography
last half of the book (FINALLY) was pretty good. unfortunately you'd have to read the first half to understand all of it...a nice two-afternoon diversion...
Naudia Patterson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 03, 2016 rated it liked it
I can't really think who the audience is --good for showing young people how one goes about researching genealogy; gives a glimmer into the love of a famous author for her sly storytelling Nana
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PATRICIA REILLY GIFF is the author of many beloved books for children, including the Kids of the Polk Street School books, the Friends and Amigos books, and the Polka Dot Private Eye books. Several of her novels for older readers have been chosen as ALA-ALSC Notable Books and ALA-YALSA Best Books for Young Adults. They include The Gift of the Pirate Queen; All the Way Home; Water Street; Nory Ryan ...more
More about Patricia Reilly Giff