A Summer Secret is the first book of the Mysteries of Middlefield series.
Mary Beth Mullet is an Amish teenage girl living with her parents and brothers, struggling with having a little privacy during her last summer of freedom, before she will have to get a job. She spends hours in an abandoned barn that is near her home, against the wishes of her parents, to reflect on life, and write in her journal. But when Mary Beth's secret place is discovered by her brother Johnny, an mystery unfolds. Someone has been staying in the barn. Who is he, why is he there, and what will happen now?
This is a young adult fiction book, and although written for a juvenile audience, the book was extremely well written, and captivated me. The beginning of the book contains a glossary of Amish terms, which I found extremely helpful, as this vocabulary is used throughout the book. Kathleen Fuller created very relatable characters in the book, and even though these were Amish children, for the most part they seem quite like typical English or Yankee children. The fact that they are Amish does serve to establish a message of faith, hope, and willingness to help ones neighbor which I found very refreshing.
The plot contained just the right amount of action and mystery. While this was an easy book for me to read, it was one that I did not want to put down until it was finished. I think that Mary Beth's character is one that many young girls will connect with, and they will enjoy seeing her story unfold in this book. As an adult reading this book, I found the story charming, uplifting, and entertaining. I would certainly recommend this book to any parent looking for good quality reading for their young adult children. I also think that this book would be fantastic for a young adult book club discussion, as many plot points and themes could open up discussions about faith, obedience, safety, respect for others' property, and respect for siblings.
Overall, a truly excellent book, and I look forward to the other books in the series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Thomas Nelson Publishers as part of their BookSneeze.com