A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this book.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that More Than We Can Tell is a standalone book set within the universe of author Brigid Klemmerer's 2017 novel, Letters to the Lost. Told from the perspectives of Rev Fletcher and Emma Blue, this emotional coming-of-age story deals with heavy topics including child abuse, sexual abuse, and cyberbullying. Strong language includes variations of "s--t," "f--k," and "c--t." Although there are several scenes that might be difficult for sensitive readers to handle, there are positive messages for teens about communication and digital citizenship.
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What's the story?
In MORE THAN WE CAN TELL, Rev Fletcher and Emma Blue bottle up their feelings and have trouble letting others know when they need help. For Rev, a letter from his abusive father brings back all the horrific memories of his childhood and makes him wonder if he should tell his adoptive parents. For Emma, a computer game she built from scratch as an escape from her parents' fighting is ruined by an online troll's increasingly cruel comments. When the two teens meet, a deep connection is formed as they slowly uncover the truth behind each other's secrets and realize that they don't need to fight their battles alone.
Is it any good?
Teens won't be able to resist the well-developed characters, swoon-worthy romance, and dramatic plot twists of Brigid Kemmerer's emotional coming-of-age novel. Although it can be difficult at times to read Rev and Emma's heartbreaking stories, Kemmerer realistically portrays the pain and suffering that's involved in child abuse and cyberbullying. As their friendship blossoms into a deep connection, Rev and Emma's thoughtful discussions provide important lessons about communication and internet safety. Sometimes our problems appear to be More Than We Can Tell because we don't think anyone will understand, but readers, especially those who find themselves in difficult situations, will see that asking for help isn't a sign of weakness.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the heavy theme of More Than We Can Tell. Is it important for kids -- even those who have never had to deal with an abusive home life -- to read Rev and Emma's story? Why or why not? How does the book deal with sex, cyberbullying, and violence? How do these issues affect the characters?
How do you cope with issues? Who can you turn to? What help is out there?
Can you think of any other books or movies that deal with sexual abuse? How might a novel like this be helpful? Check out our list of Books to Help Teens Understand the Importance of Consent.
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