Blog Tour: The Summer of Broken Things by Margaret Peterson Haddix | Giveaway

Welcome to Day #9 of The Summer of Broken Things Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Summer of Broken Things on April 10th, blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Margaret Peterson Haddix and 10 chances to win a copy of the book!


Before my first book was published, I worked as a newspaper reporter—for a while I was even an investigative reporter, where my job was specifically to dig out secrets that officials wanted to keep hidden.

This was long enough ago that several of my co-workers had been around during the Watergate era, and some of them were fond of quoting a journalistic lesson of that event: “It’s not the crime; it’s the coverup.”  In other words, what gets people into the worst trouble often isn’t their original mistake or bad behavior; it’s the other crimes and lies they’re driven to commit and tell as they try to hide what they’ve done.

I think this can be just as true with private family secrets as with public ones: Sometimes secrets fester.

And that can be true even when the original secret is perfectly innocent.

My newest book, THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS, revolves around two teenaged girls whose families have kept a rather large secret their entire lives. When Avery and Kayla accidentally find out the secret during a summer in Spain, both of them are forced to re-evaluate what they know about their parents—and themselves.

The saddest thing about the secret in Avery’s and Kayla’s families is that only one of their four parents actually wanted to keep the girls from knowing it. Avery’s mother is ashamed—though she shouldn’t be—and all the other adults involved keep the secret because of her. What could it hurt?

But secrets have a way of showing themselves even when they aren’t completely revealed. Avery and Kayla both see mysteries in their childhoods that make no sense until they know the family secrets. It’s a little like trying to make sense of the unequal status of women and people of color in twenty-first century America without knowing anything about the suffrage movement, the civil rights era, slavery, the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, who was or wasn’t considered a citizen when the country was founded, etc.

Or, for Kayla and Avery, like trying to understand Spain without knowing anything of its history except the connection to Christopher Columbus.

Typically when I am writing a book, I talk very little about what I am working on; I prefer to put all my energy and excitement into the writing itself. But with THE SUMMER OF BROKEN THINGS, in the interest of research, I talked to a few friends and family members about how much of the family history they would tell Avery or Kayla if it were their family.

I was a little surprised to sometimes hear the response, “Why would you tell a kid that? I can totally see why parents would keep that secret.”

I also talked to psychologists who deal with families and kids in similar situations to Avery’s family (and to a lesser degree, Kayla’s) and they told me about the betrayal kids can feel when they find out a family secret like that—when they find out that some basic assumption they’ve always had about their family and themselves is totally wrong. The, psychologists told me about how kids could begin equating the secrecy with shame—and not just shame about the secret, but shame about the kids.
It’s ironic: Parents keep secrets thinking they’re protecting the kids, but sometimes it’s the secrecy itself that can be most damaging.

In another context, I once had a conversation with a group of kids about secrets, and about what ages kids should be when they find out certain scary facts about the world—when they learn about “adult” topics. I talked about how pretty much everyone would agree that, say, five-year-olds should be protected from certain information. But what, I asked, should kids their age be allowed to know?

One of the girls in the group had an instant answer: “Everything.”

That did not surprise me.


Blog Tour Schedule:

April 16th — BookhoundsYA
April 17th — The Book Rat
April 18th — Book Briefs
April 19thParajunkee
April 20th — A Dream Within a Dream

April 23rd — Crossroad Reviews
April 24th — I Am a Reader
April 25th — Page Turners
April 26th — Once Upon a Twilight
April 27th — Tales of the Ravenous Reader
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From New York Times bestselling author Margaret Peterson Haddix comes a haunting novel about friendship and what it really means to be a family in the face of lies and betrayal.
Fourteen-year-old Avery Armisted is athletic, rich, and pretty. Sixteen-year-old Kayla Butts is known as “butt-girl” at school. The two girls were friends as little kids, but that’s ancient history now. So it’s a huge surprise when Avery’s father offers to bring Kayla along on a summer trip to Spain. Avery is horrified that her father thinks he can choose her friends—and make her miss soccer camp. Kayla struggles just to imagine leaving the confines of her small town.

But in Spain, the two uncover a secret their families had hidden from both of them their entire lives. Maybe the girls can put aside their differences and work through it together. Or maybe the lies and betrayal will only push them—and their families—farther apart.

Margaret Peterson Haddix weaves together two completely separate lives in this engaging novel that explores what it really means to be a family—and what to do when it’s all falling apart.

About the Author: Margaret Peterson Haddix is the author of many critically and popularlyChildren of Exile series, The Missing series, the Under Their Skin series, and the Shadow Children series. A graduate of Miami University (of Ohio), she worked for several years as a reporter for The Indianapolis News. She also taught at the Danville (Illinois) Area Community College. She lives with her family in Columbus, Ohio.
acclaimed YA and middle grade novels, including the


  • One (1) winner will receive a finished copy of The Summer of Broken Things
  • US only


  1. This summer I am looking forward to warm weather, going swimming, and leaving the windows open all night.

  2. "What are you looking towards this Summer?" Staying indoors, away from this thing called "summer"!

  3. Replies
    1. Oh how wonderful! I was married in the Summer too! Early Congrats!

  4. I am looking forward to warm weather and going on vacation.

  5. I’m looking forward to days spent at the lake!!!


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