Summary: This is the story about a secret. but it also contains a secret story. When adventurous detectives, Cass, an ever-vigilant survivalist, and Max-Ernest, a boy driven by logic, discover the Symphony of Smells, a box filled with smelly vials of colorful ingredients, they accidentally stumble upon a mystery surrounding a dead magician's diary and the hunt for immortality. Filled with word games, anagrams, and featuring a mysterious narrator, this is a book that won't stay secret for long. -- Little Brown
This month, we read THE NAME OF THIS BOOK IS SECRET by Pseudonymous Bosch. All of the girls seemed to love it, and many of the moms enjoyed it too. I'm wasn't sure how much there would be to discuss, but our hostesses did manage to come up with some fun discussion questions. I also found this Educator's Guide which has a lot of questions and suggested activities.
This book wasn't really like any other book that we've read -- the narrator interjected himself into the story, and there were also footnotes on many of the pages. There were also clues and puzzles that the girls could figure out along the way. I liked that the main characters were a little different (and almost social outcasts) because it allowed us to talk about why they acted the way they did.
Most of the girls agreed that they would be reading more of the books in this series, and a few of the girls have already done so. Overall, it was a great meeting!
Next month, we will be reading the Newbery Award winning novel WHEN YOU REACH ME by Rebecca Stead. I am very excited about this selection because I loved this book when I read it last summer (my review.) I hesitate to get too excited though. Often times, I find that the books I love don't resonate with Booking Daughter. In fact, I'm a little afraid to hear what she thinks about this one!
I think our discussion should be excellent because this is truly a very special book. I can't wait!
Summary: Four mysterious letters change Miranda’s world forever.
By sixth grade, Miranda and her best friend, Sal, know how to navigate their New York City neighborhood. They know where it’s safe to go, like the local grocery store, and they know whom to avoid, like the crazy guy on the corner. But things start to unravel. Sal gets punched by a new kid for what seems like no reason, and he shuts Miranda out of his life. The apartment key that Miranda’s mom keeps hidden for emergencies is stolen. And then Miranda finds a mysterious note scrawled on a tiny slip of paper:
I am coming to save your friend’s life, and my own.
I must ask two favors. First, you must write me a letter.
The notes keep coming, and Miranda slowly realizes that whoever is leaving them knows all about her, including things that have not even happened yet. Each message brings her closer to believing that only she can prevent a tragic death. Until the final note makes her think she’s too late. -- Wendy Lamb Books