I held out a lot of hope for the Secret Keeper Girl series but unfortunately, my expectations were too high.
Dannah Gresh has done some great books for girls but these ones are not among those.
In fact, I cannot really recommend these as good reading options for our daughters.
Here is why.
Just call me Kate
In this book, Kate, one of the four friends who create the Secret Keeper Club, has a crush on her older brother’s friend. To announce her love for him she draws his name on a bathroom wall.
Although she gets in trouble for it, the fact she thought it was a good idea or that she could get away with it makes Kate a bad role model.
Moreover, she goes bra shopping with her mom and notes that the sales lady looks like a bird. So, she calls her bird lady. Albeit in her mind. So much for guarding what we think.
In addition, God is not even mentioned until Chapter 6. Even then he is not a major focus of the story but rather Kate’s focus on boys is the central issue.
I will concede that the book has merit as Kate discovers she has little in common with her crush. Her infatuation with him subsides as she draws her attention to his character.
“I was so caught up in how he looked and how nice he is to me that I didn’t even know we don’t like the same things,” Kate wrote in her diary.
The last few pages of the book hold some questions for the young reader that does introduce bible verses and focuses more on God’s word.
Yuzi’s False Alarm
While this storyline was the most interesting I was still disappointed with the overall book.
Yuzi is one of the four Secret Keeper Club founders. She has just moved to the area and is having a tough time adjusting. This comes across as disrespectful behavior to one of her teachers.
Near the beginning, Yuzi is falsely accused of pulling the school fire alarm and the focus of the rest of the story is her journey to find the real culprit.
However, much like the other books, there is no mention of God throughout the story.
Yet the theme is forgiveness as Yuzi ends up forgiving the person she is searching for once she figures out who it is.
There are pages at the back of the book to bring God’s word to the reader’s attention. Though, I think it might have been more effective if it was intertwined with the story.
Danika’s Totally Terrible Toss
This was the most disappointing book in the series.
It was full of commercialized ploys to get the reader to visit the Secret Keeper Girl website to buy merchandise and attend events.
In addition, I found the character, who is a child of wealthy and influential parents, part of the popular crowd and vying to be a pageant princess, unrelatable for most girls.
There was also a lot of late night cell phone use in this story, which I feel is a bad example to young readers.
T is for Antonia
Again this is not a story I would recommend for your daughters if you are looking for good Christian reading material.
Antonia, the main character, disobeys her parents who have told her she cannot try out for the school football team. Instead of seeing how they are trying to protect her from the risk of being the only girl on a boys’ team, she disrespects them.
In addition, she attempts to deceive others when she steals a uniform and dresses as a boy to try out for the team.
My biggest concern with this series was the lack of the character’s attention to their faith.
None of these girls really seemed to pray or search the bible for answers to their dilemmas. Instead, they turned to each other or a favorite young teacher.
Without God and his word being the central focus of our lives, we can get lost easily.
I don’t think any of these stories are worthy of teaching our girls how to be Godly young women. I can’t recommend them.