A reference to a story about a monk who cut off his own eyelids. Some people may have been killed in a fire. Parents need to know that there is little to be concerned about here: one mild expletive, some indirectly referenced violence, and children sneaking out on adventures. Add your rating See all 11 parent reviews. Add your rating See all 58 kid reviews. Cass carries around a backpack with survival gear, supposedly because her father was killed by lightning, except he wasn't, so it's not really an excuse.
Max-Ernest is an incessant chatterbox, which lands him in therapy and social pariah-hood. They team up to look into a mysterious coded message left in the belongings of an elderly magician who apparently died in a fire. What they find is a group of mysterious immortals who kidnap children with synesthesia, for reasons that never become completely clear, but are apparently connected to their method of prolonging life.
When a boy from their school is kidnapped, they decide to try to rescue him. The fun part is the mystery: Children with a taste for this kind of thing will enjoy the clues and codes, and will wish for more of them.
Some will be immediately obvious to many kids, while others are more clever, but this part of the story is a fairly humorous romp. The dreary part is the author's voice: Apparently trying to take a leaf from Lemony Snicket 's books, he gives incessant warnings about how dangerous it is to read the book; this, combined with the utter lack of anything that justifies the build-up, comes across as lame at best and annoying at worst. The sum of these parts, along with some plot holes and lapses in logic, make for a book that is modestly entertaining at times and irritating at others.
But given the dearth of books in this particular genre of lighthearted mysteries involving codes and a touch of the supernatural, kids who loved Lemony Snicket's or Blue Balliett 's books will want to read this too. Families can talk about the various types of secret codes used in the book, including keyword codes and anagrams -- and maybe play around with some secret codes for a little family fun.
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Which types of secret code appeal to you most? Can you make up a secret code? Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners. See how we rate. Common Sense Media, a nonprofit organization, earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes when you use our links to make a purchase.
The Name of this Book is Secret: The Secret Series (Book 1)
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Want personalized picks that fit your family? Set preferences to see our top age-appropriate picks for your kids. Mild mystery tries too hard to be Lemony Snicket. Pseudonymous Bosch Mystery Rate book. Read or buy. Popular with kids Parents recommend. Based on 11 reviews. Based on 58 reviews. Get it now Searching for streaming and purchasing options Common Sense is a nonprofit organization.
Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free. The Los Angeles Times Festival of Books began in with a simple goal: to bring together the people who create books with the people who love to read them Pseudonymous Bosch. You're getting a free audiobook. Click to Try Audible Free. Cancel anytime. Best Sellers. Add to Cart failed.
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Pseudonymous Bosch , Mr. Gordon Korman , Mr. Neal Shusterman Length: 53 mins Release date: See all titles by Pseudonymous Bosch. Looking for more? Browse other popular children's authors. Listeners also enjoy. Liesl Shurtliff.