Parents' Guide to

The Poetry of Secrets

By Joly Herman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Jewish persecution in medieval Spain dominates teen romance.

The Poetry of Secrets Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 13+

Based on 1 parent review

age 13+

Full of passion for art, poetry, and indepedence

A beautiful and personal way to learn about the Spanish Inquisition, a period that is often glossed over in history lessons. Isabel Perez's passion for education and poetry and art and...Diego...clashes with her love for her family and her desire to protect them, as still-practicing Jews during a time when it was it was forbidden. A budding romance with details tame enough for young teens, keeps readers turning the page, while well-researched details of the era make the world feel tangible. Highly recommended for both teens and adults.

This title has:

Educational value
Great messages
Great role models

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: (1):
Kids say: Not yet rated

Rich in historical and romantic detail, this story has pacing issues that keep it from being sublime. The Poetry of Secrets gives so much in historical accuracy, but it ends without the big fireworks that a romantic novel should provide. The focus on history feels distracting at times, if only because the romantic partners start out so lushly detailed. Their chance meeting tingles with possibility, and their journey is full of obstacles and twists. Their story is the heart of this story.

But there's more emphasis on the details of life in 15th century Spain and less in the weaving of the love story. Teens might feel a little let down by these priorities. But from a historical point of view, The Poetry of Secrets provides lovingly rendered cultural alleyways to follow. Jewish life in Medieval Spain is illuminated, complete with the conflicts, the toil, and the secrets.

Book Details

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