The Secret Life of Ms. Finkelman

by Ben H. Winters
247 pages, Contemporary
Reviewed by bookRacoon

Story about a teacher with a rockstar past-life; weak morals.


Bethesda Fielding has just discovered the biggest secret Mary Todd Lincoln Middle School's ever had - that their quiet, shy music teacher was really the lead singer of a punk band years ago. Chaos and a friendship ensues.


This book's main characters do not have very many positive qualities about them: Bethesda and her friend Tenny cheat on the biggest history test of the year (and the book doesn't say anything about the consequences); a girl's parents encourage her not to give up her plans on blackmailing someone; Bethesda's prying ruins the privacy of Ms. Finkleman, and the teacher also lives a big lie that is only discovered towards the end of the book.

Spiritual Content

God is not mentioned or respected in this book.



Drug and Alcohol Content


Sexual Content


Crude or Profane Language or Content

Lots of "om my god"s.


This could have been a much better story had the negative actions of the characters been punished. The idea of a quiet teacher having been a legendary rock star is quite fresh - parents encouraging their kid to blackmail and the constant misuse of God's name, on the other hand, are not.

Fun Score: 3.5
Values Score: 2
Written for Age: 11-12

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