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The Year Of Secret Assignments (Booklist Editor's Choice. Books for Youth (Awards))
by Jaclyn Moriarty
Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books
List Price: $16.95
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Reading Level: Young Adult
Edition: Hardcover
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Customers who bought this also bought:
1. Confessions of a Not it Girl by Melissa Kantor
2. Feeling Sorry for Celia : A Novel by Jaclyn Moriarty
3. Girls in Pants: The Third Summer of the Sisterhood (Sisterhood of Traveling Pants) by Ann Brashares
4. The Truth about Forever by Sarah Dessen
5. How My Private, Personal Journal Became a Bestseller by Julia Devillers
Editorial Reviews:
Popular Aussie writer Jaclyn Moriarty, author of the smash debut, Feeling Sorry for Celia avoids the notorious sophomore slump with this bouncy epistolary follow-up that is brimming with self-confidence and charm. In The Year of Secret Assignments, a tenth grade English teacher attempts to unite feuding schools by launching a pen-pal project. Best friends Cassie, Emily and Lydia initiate the correspondence, and are answered by Matthew, Charlie and Seb. Emily and Lydia are more than pleased with their matches, but quiet Cassie has a frightening experience with Matthew. When Lydia and Emily discover that Matthew has threatened their fragile friend, the Ashbury girls close ranks, declaring an all-out war on the Brookfield boys. Soon, the couples are caught up in everything from car-jacking and lock-picking, to undercover spying and identity theft.

Moriarty’s captivating comedy of manners reads like a breezy 21st century version of Jane Austen--with no end of ridiculous misunderstandings, angst-ridden speeches, and heartfelt make-ups. Female teen fans of Ann Brasheres' The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and Megan McCafferty's Sloppy Firsts will waste no time swapping copies of The Year of Secret Assignments, with all their best buds. (Ages 12 and up) --Jennifer Hubert

Book Description

The Ashbury-Brookfield pen pal program was designed to bring together the "lowlife Brooker kids" (as they're known to the Ashburyites) and the "rich Ashbury snobs" (as they're called by the Brookfielders) in a spirit of harmony and the Joy of the Envelope. But things don't go quite as planned. Lydia and Sebastian trade challenges, like setting off the fire alarm at Brookfield. Emily tutors Charlie in How to Go On a Date with a Girl. But it's Cassie and Matthew who both reveal and conceal the most about themselves -- and it's their secrets and lies that set off a war between the two schools.

Product Details
  • Hardcover: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Arthur A. Levine Books; edition (Feb 1, 2023)
  • ISBN: 0439498813
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 Based on 60 reviews.
  • Sales Rank: 34043

Customer Reviews

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

5I Laughed Out Loud, Aug 27, 2023
This was a book I picked out the shelf because of an interest to find out what the cover meant. (Sadly, I'm addicted to picking books to read because of an interesting cover.) Well, this cover was worth it.

The polt revolves around three best friends, who attend a private school called Ashbury Academy: (In order of appearance) Lydia "Lyd" Jaackson-Oberman, a rebel who used to smoke, whose mother was a movie star and now sits around drinking and insisting that Lydia get a nose stud, whose father is a judge who's constantly working (and who Lydia jokes she never even spoke too, aside from telling her father she wasn't a dog), and who really really wants to be a writer. Cassie "Cass" Aganovic is a golden girl who's described by her friends as "an angel in disguise". She's incredibly shy, due to her father passing away and her lawyer of a mother who she's not close to anymore, Cassie delights in making cakes, skipping school, and singing. Emily "Em" Thompson is a hardcore shopper who's main loves are chocolate, bourbon, and making crazy recipes while she's with her friends. Her parents are both lawyers and are partners in a firm, so she's emotionally seperated from them, because she never sees them and they go away to conventions every weekend. This results in a "Wine Incident" and Lydia and Cassie staying over every weekend.

The three friends' also have a secret: They perform Secret Assignments, assignments that can range from going to movies every Tuesday while they're supposed to be in school, to making a cake for their teacher, to passing themselves off as twenty-five, even extending to writing down thoughts for the future that they'll read in ten years.

Their English teacher, this year, decides to have a Pen-Pal program with Ashbury Academy's number one rival: public school Brookfield High. Lydia, Emily, and Cassie all write letters to their pen pals: Lydia's Sebastian Mortanga, another rebel who seems to be a real player but likes the idea of Secret Assignments; Emily's Charlie Taylor, a boy who's girl shy and gets Emily to teach him How To Date; and a Matthew Dunlop, Cassie's bad-boy trumpet player who's not who he seems.

Over the course of a year, in the form of essays, journals, diaries, notices, and letters, you read funny forms from everything to pranks to dating to therapy session to Secret Assignments (of course!), even to a courthouse and trial. Trust me, this book's worth a read.

1 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

2Blah Blah Blah, Aug 18, 2023
That's how I felt throughout this whole book. Blah blah blah. Sure there's a story there, but it takes so long to get to it!! There's way too much other junk going on that doesn't really matter...and when you finally do get to the story it's sort of depressing and mean. I don't really agree with the people who thot there was too much profanity and sex for the audience it's aimed at. I just thought it was pretty boring. I'm really glad I got it from the library. Don't waste your $$.

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful:

5Great Book, Aug 14, 2023
Although I thought it might have been a little too "old" for me, it was really good and interesting. I loved it and would reccomend it to anyone who has the same book tastes as me

4 of 4 people found the following review helpful:

3good, but can't recommend for middle schoolers, Aug 2, 2023
I definitely enjoyed the clever writing and 3-dimensional characters, but, as a middle school teacher looking for new books to recommend, I have to pass on this one, due to too much profanity and sexual references. The kids will probably find it on their own, through word of mouth references, since it is quite a delightful work (a la the traveling pants books)--- but I can't put it on my recommended list for this age. High school teachers should take a look, though. I enjoyed the story.

0 of 0 people found the following review helpful:

5The Year of the Secret Assignments, Jul 27, 2023
I haven't read Moriarty's first book, "Feeling Sorry for Celia," but I plan to after reading this. Most of the book is written in letters, like in Dangizer/Martin's book- PS Longer Letter Later.
Three girls at a private school, Emily, Cassie, and Lydia, exchange letters through a pen pal project with three boys at a public school, Brookfield High, with a bad reputation. The characters are original and well-crafted, and the occasional misspellings and wrong use of words in Emily's letters are funny. I'd recommend this book to readers age 12-up.


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