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Swallowed by a Secret

4.62  ·  Rating details ·  47 ratings  ·  42 reviews
After twelve-year-old Rocky overhears Mom admit her story about how his dad died is bogus, his trust in his one remaining parent unravels. The For-Sale sign appears on the front lawn right after the funeral, forcing Rocky to leave the house linked to so many memories of his dad.

Consumed by the secret and struggling to adjust to changing schools mid-year, Rocky is startled
Paperback, 198 pages
Published January 21st 2020 by Immortal Works Press
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Average rating 4.62  · 
Rating details
 ·  47 ratings  ·  42 reviews

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Karma Chesnut
Mar 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Risa created such a beautifully written story that immediately drew me in. Because of the age of the main characters, this might be classified as a younger read, but the subject matter is deep and real. I'm not great at reviews and don't want to give anything away, but I will say that, overall, "Swallowed by a Secret" was very well done.
Pete Fanning
Nov 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stuck in a new town, in a new school, and a new position on his soccer team, it’s Rocky’s fierce determination to get to the bottom of a family secret that drew me in to Ms. Nyman’s fantastic debut, Swallowed by a Secret.

Risa does an excellent job of ratcheting up the tension as Rocky pursues answers about his father’s death. While I enjoyed the plot, setting, and most of the fleshed out characters, it was Rocky’s spunky girlfriend, Olive, who stole the show. With her comic relief and sarcasm an
Cary Kreitzer
Feb 08, 2020 rated it really liked it
I instantly connected with Rocky and loved following the clues and trying to uncover the mystery. I couldn’t put it down and read it in one day. The ending had me in tears. Such a beautiful story and important message for our time.
Jun 26, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This book had me in tears at multiple points. From the very beginning, I was absolutely drawn in by the strong middle-grade voice. Everything about Rocky was engaging and heartfelt. His best friend Olive was caring, kind, resourceful, and funny. I would encourage my own kids to find friends like Rocky and Olive. As an adult, I began to see hints of the potential answer to the "secret". Without giving any spoilers, know that this book deals with a somewhat heavy, but relevant topic in a beautiful ...more
Amy Carpenter
Nov 22, 2019 rated it it was amazing
12-year-old Rocky starts hearing his dead dad’s voice and decides to look into his father’s suspicious death.

My favorite character was Rocky’s sidekick Olive. She was quirky and interesting and so clever. The story started off with a strong hook. I loved the big reveal at the end. It was not expected and yet it all made sense. I was able to look back on previous clues and weave it all together. The ending was sweet and pure and I left feeling satisfied that this is a good book with a good purpos
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Well, I wasn't totally prepared for what was inside this book but it still made for a great story. In fact, I was floored might be the right word. I've never read a book quite like this one. Let me say, this story will make you stop and think about it. Just wow! is all I can say.
I don't really want to give anything away but the author has done a fantastic job in bringing her characters to life and gives Rocky the main character a strong voice because this was written from his point of view.
I d
Jun 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Wow! I did not expect this book to move me as much as it did. It is written with a tone that is geared towards a younger crowd but this book consumed me very much still as an adult middle aged woman. I loved how this book was written with such conviction that you could feel the author's feelings flowing from the words as you read. I was completely enthralled in this read and found myself staying up way late into the night to find out how this story would come to a close. I am glad that I did, th ...more
Kerry  carr
Jun 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Wow this is such an emotional story that had me in tears. The characters are so relatable and the relationship between Rocky and Olive is so special. It handles a very sensitive subject in a careful and thoughtful way. And shows that secrets even when kept with good intentions aren't always the right thing to do.

Rocky and his mother move to live with his grandfather after his dad passed away. Rocky's mum told him that his dads heart just stopped but something doesn't ring true to Rocky.

When Rock
Suzie Waltner
Sep 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
While I figured out early on what the secret was, Rocky’s path to get there is worth the journey. And it’s appropriate for the intended age of the middle grade reader. It engaging, clean, and deals with some difficult subjects in a subtle manner.

Risa Nyman creates relatable characters like Rocky and his new friend Olive. She’s good for Rocky because of her directness, her willingness to help him out, and her concern for him when it’s required.

Swallowed by a Secret is about family, friendships,
Jun 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing
12-year-old Rocky is a grief-stricken kid who overhears his mom saying his dad isn’t dead but this sets the kid off to discover the truth as his childhood home is up for sale and that’s the last thing keeping his dad’s memory alive for the kid. Along with losing his dad, Rocky is also adjusting to a new school but his friend, Olive, is along to help him discover the truth about his dad.
The reader goes on a fun ride trying to discover the truth but I enjoyed where this story brought me and what
Jenni Bishop
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
Swallowed by a Secret by Risa Nyman is her debut book and the story of a young boy who has lost his father but all may not be as it seems. The story is engaging and deals with sensitive issues which Risa has done well. This tale evoked emotions from laughter to tears as we struggle along the way and go on this adventure with Rocky and his friend as they look into the mystery of his father’s disappearance. Even though the story is aimed at a younger audience I still found myself invested in the o ...more
Sep 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Thank you to both Risa and to Prism Book Tours for the complimentary e-copy of this book.
🍁My Review🍁
What would you do if you realised the death of your father wasn't what you knew it to be?

Moving homes and schools straight after the funeral is already seemingly suspicious and puts the reader into detective mode.
Rocky overhears a conversation with his mother that immediately hints that the death of his father was not as it seemed.

He begins to hear his father and decides to uncover the truth. A
Kerry Baker
Jun 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Swallowed by a Secret by Risa Nyman is an intriguing story that really draws you in.
Rocky is such a loveable character. I found myself completely captivated by him. I really wanted him to find all the answers he was looking for.
This is the first book that I have read by this author and I loved the way she commanded the story. You are so easily taken on the journey with this character. The book is well paced, developed at all the right times. This was a very good book and I am glad I discovered
Heather Lovelace
Jun 12, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Extremely well written. This tale of a teen on a hunt for answers around his father’s death will waken everyone’s inner Nancy Drew or Hardy Boy. Even though I am not the target demographic I was immediately pulled in to the story and connected to the characters. This page turned was great. I look forward to reading more from this author.
May 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This was a very engaging and quick moving story that had me laughing out loud in places and wiping tears at the end. The characters are full of life and have lots of great one liners. The theme is timely and relevant to today’s middle grade students and was handled in a sensitive way. Highly recommend!
Bobbi Wagner
Jun 03, 2020 rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this book. This is my first book by this author and I can’t wait to read more from her. This is a well written story that would be great for any young adult or a middle aged child. I had no issues connecting with the characters. They made the story engaging and kept me turning pages. This is a story about Rocky who overhears his mom tell the truth about what happened to his dad. When she moves him to another city, he finds that the real truth lies in the city he just came from. He meet ...more
Jun 06, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This is by first book by Risa Nyman. Max has lost his Dad and has moved to another town. Now he's hearing whisper from the dead. I enjoy Olives and Max connection. This is a beautiful read. I did not expect the ending it was so sweet and endearing.
Jun 15, 2020 rated it really liked it
4 Stars

Swallowed by a Secret by Risa Nyman was such a surprising read- in a great way. It is a highly emotive story aimed at tweenage children (9 – 13), but can also be enjoyed by older readers, like me, too.
Rocky’s life is turned upside down by the death of his father. He and his mother have to move house, and he has a new school to adjust to. But on top of all that, there’s quite a big secret surrounding the death of his father, and that everything he though he knew, may not be true. He is de
Madilynn Dale
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2020ir, 2020-rr
Swallowed by a Secret by Risa Nyman


Swallowed by a Secret by Risa Nyman was a fast-paced novel that easily pulled me in. I did not expect to get wrapped up in this book like I did. I could not put it down. Rocky was a realistic and likeable kid. He suffered a traumatic event when he lost his dad and that broke my heart. When his dad started talking to him out of nowhere it shook him up. I loved his reaction and felt he did a good job in handling his freak out. Olive, his new friend, was am
J.D. Spero
Apr 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
A great story covering a difficult but important topic. I found myself cheering for Rocky and his friend, Olive. This book will undoubtedly help many young readers who encounter mental illness--personally, or with friends and family. Surprisingly effective voice of a young boy from this author. Well done!
K Grant
Feb 13, 2020 rated it really liked it
I was immediately drawn in by realistic characters, believable mystery and relatable struggles of being the new kid. Nearing the end, the story changed and i felt like an agenda was played out. The story was now a vehicle to teach me and i felt robbed. The main characters traits changed, mom was now completely open, grandpa became a totally involved loving guy and the main kid now fully educated. It WAS a good message and I believe the author has the ability to convey the message better, with IN ...more
Jun 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Swallowed by a Secret by Risa Nyman

5 +++++++ Stars

I got very little sleep last night because of this book. I just wanted to start it so that when I got up this morning I could jump in having already begun. NOPE, I literally read the whole thing, I could not put it down. This is my first ever read by this author, and I think my first middle grade book ever, I'd have to double check that but I am telling you right now..Trust me on this, I don't care how old you are this was an outstanding book. T
Laura Furuta
Jun 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Swallowed by a Secret
By Risa Nyman
5 out of 5 stars

The story Swallowed by a Secret by Risa Nyman is a book that I enjoyed reading. I found myself quickly drawn into the storyline and didn’t want to put it down until I had finished the final page. It is the story of 12-year-old Rocky whose father has died. He finds himself changing homes and schools which both take time to adjust to. He doesn’t believe that his mother has told him all about how his father passed away. He becomes determined to find
Jun 18, 2020 rated it really liked it
“One dead father. One lying mother”. Twelve year old Rocky overheard his Mum admit that the story she had told him of his fathers death was a lie. Rocky does not know how he can trust her following that revelation. Then soon after his fathers funeral a ‘For-Sale’ sign appears in front of their house, a house full of memories of his dad.  Having moved house and having to start at a new school, Rocky suddenly hears the voice of his father, who is insisting that he return to his old town for answer ...more
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Swallowed by a Secret is the first book I've read by Risa Nyman. I really enjoyed it, and while it's listed as a childrens book, I would say preteen. The book has a bit of mystery, that is not revealed until the very end. You can speculate all you want, but most people won't guess the answer. The characters in the book are well written and the friendships developed are strong. The feelings of the book are realistic and would be good for any child experiencing a loss. It helps them make sense of ...more
Melissa Agena
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
What a great story! Swallowed By A Secret by Risa Nyman is a great emotional story for preteens! In this story we meet Rocky. Rocky is a 12-year old boy who just lost his father. However, there is a twist to his father’s death that is a huge secret. Rocky is bound and determined to find out what that secret is. In the midst of everything, he has to move mid-year of school. The good news is he does befriend Olive who decides that she is going to help him find out what exactly happened to his dad. ...more
Felicia  Bates
Jun 17, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Swallowed by a Secret
Risa Nyman
5 stars

I have this really annoying habit of underestimating or even by passing books aimed toward a younger audience when in reality they have been some of the best books I've read. Swallowed by a Secret is certainly a 5 star book that falls into this category. 
This book has everything, including the ability to make me cry, harder than I would like to admit. The characters, though young, (I mean the main character is thirteen) were really fantastic. 
I struggle to f
Erica Fish
Jun 16, 2020 rated it really liked it
This book was enjoyable from the first page to the last page. Young adult books are becoming a genre for everyone. I tend to read the books before I let my daughters read them. In this book, there are tender moments, trouble times, and emotional roller coaster rides.The characters are easy to relate to and believable. This story is about Rocky. Rocky’s father has just passed away. He thought he knew his father, until he overheard his mother talk about his father. Rocky is now in a new neighborho ...more
Jun 17, 2020 rated it really liked it
Swallowed by a Secret
By Risa Nyman
4 stars

Swallowed by a Secret was a really intriguing and interesting read. I’ve not read anything by this author before so I was looking forward to finding and reading a new author and I was really impressed. The story whilst about a young boy was really rich and deep – I found myself easily absorbed into what I was reading. I was really surprised actually how emotionally involved I became with the story and with Rocky! I enjoyed reading his journey and the aut
Sep 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Children deserve to see themselves in the books they read. In Swallowed by a Secret Risa Nyman tackles the difficult topic of suicide of a parent. The surviving parent is left with the decision of just how much to tell the children. Sometimes those parents don’t necessarily make the best decision even though they truly have the child’s best interest in mind.
I did find it disturbing at first that Rocky’s dead father talked to him in his head. Then I realized that it was really just hearing his fa
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Born in Boston with the accent to prove it, Risa lived within ten miles of the city for decades until a recent move to the neighboring Ocean State.

For many years, Risa worked in a nonpartisan, not-for-profit organization dedicated to promoting active participation in our democracy, with a special focus on voting and elections.

Risa’s deep dive into creative writing started with a strange event tha

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