Selected Works

A Young Adult Novel, 2014
A Young Adult novel, 2012
Adults and Young Adults
A 2010 Green Earth Book Awards Honor Book
Younger Readers
A new twist to a very old story. Beautifully illustrated by Heather Solomon.
A tall tale from the Upper Peninsula of Michigan. Winner of the 2002 Charlotte Zolotow Award for best writing in a picture book. Available in hardcover and paperback.
Works in Progress
A new YA novel
A collection of essays about Fairy Tales

Quick Links

Transformations in Writing

This is very nice--Alan Caruba's blog of recommended November books mentions FOUR SECRETS

November 8, 2012

Tags: 4 secrets, writing life

"For older young readers, ages 12 through 18, there’s Four Secrets by Margaret Willey ($$17.95 hardcover and $12.95 ebook, Carolrhoda Lab, a division of Lerner Publishing Group) that tells the story of Katy, Nate, and Renata, three teens who decide to rescue Renata from being bullied every day by a group of older boys and, in particular, the school’s biggest bully. Things go awry and they end up in juvenile detention and the question is whether they will keep their secrets and whether a social worker will discover the truth behind their silences. For any young person experiencing bullying or wanting to intercede for a friend, this will prove a very compelling story."

Read all of Alan Caruba's recommendations here

Great article about bullying in Publishers Weekly that mentions FOUR SECRETS!

October 28, 2012

Tags: 4 secrets

Last week Publishers Weekly ran a terrific article on the importance of BOOKS for helping kids understand and survive bullying, and also sites that encourage them to intervene when they see bullying in their schools. The article features new sources and materials on bullying--including picture books, anthologies, websites--and recommends several new novels, including FOUR SECRETS, and includes a quote from me about my daughter's nightmarish experience with a group of stupid older boys--the seed of the novel and the source of its tone of urgency and sorrow.

Here is the quote:

"Similarly, author Margaret Willey recalled her daughter’s ordeal with bullying in high school to write Four Secrets (Carolrhoda Lab, Oct.), about friends who hatch a revenge plot against a bully that goes horribly wrong. “I still remember vividly the day she tearfully told me, ‘Something really bad is happening to me at school,’ Willey said via e-mail. “I knew that once she had recovered from the experience, I would write about that ‘something bad,’ and about her brave and loyal friends, who basically came to her rescue and who are still her friends today. I hope that my novel will be read as a tribute to the courage and stamina of bullied teens everywhere.”


The article is also available on the Be A Star Alliance website here, but the PW version includes lots of book covers and many helpful anti-bullying links (but you need to be a subscriber).

**Starred Review for FOUR SECRETS**

October 1, 2012

Tags: 4 secrets, Writing Life

On the official publication date, Oct. 1, this great news!

"...Willey's story masterfully teases out information until the final pages--and the ultimate revelations are well worth the TORTURE!"
--Booklist, starred review

Something I Realized About Journals

August 24, 2012

Tags: 4 secrets, writing life, writing process

The Bigger Book of Lydia
Today I realized something that brought a smile to my face. The very first novel I ever wrote, way back in the eighties, THE BIGGER BOOK OF LYDIA, had a crucial journal in it, a survival manifesto. Lydia's journal was about not fading away, not disappearing. In FOUR SECRETS, Renata also has a journal and it helps her to survive in Juvie. They are both artists and they both survive the trauma of their situations via their precious journals. It felt like a kind of full circle, an accidental one. I felt happy about this coincidence all day.

And also a little nostalgic for the early days of my chosen profession, before the internet, a time of innocence, a time of confidence.

Lovely Blog Review

August 10, 2012

Tags: 4 secrets, reviews

The setting of FOUR SECRETS
Very happy about this. Especially love this part:

"Each of the four major characters is hiding a secret (hence the title, obviously) and my favorite part is that I didn't guess any of the secrets. That's pretty rare and when a book can completely blindside me, I fall a little bit in love with it. There's a lot to love with this novel, too."

Highly recommended. --Kelly Hager

Read the review here

Kelly Hager's Blog

Illustration by Bill Hauser