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Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret Paperback – January 3, 2012


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Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret + Heidi Heckelbeck Casts a Spell + Heidi Heckelbeck and the Cookie Contest
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 5 - 7 years
  • Grade Level: Kindergarten - 2
  • Series: Heidi Heckelbeck (Book 1)
  • Paperback: 128 pages
  • Publisher: Little Simon; 1 edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1442435658
  • ISBN-13: 978-1442435650
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.3 x 7.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #106,748 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret.
Coven, Wanda (Author) , Burris, Priscilla (Illustrator)
Mar 2012. 128 p. Simon & Schuster/Little Simon, hardcover, $14.99. (9781442440876). Simon &
Schuster/Little Simon, paperback, $4.99. (9781442435650).

Heidi has always been taught at home, and she is nervous and grumpy about starting second grade at
Brewster Elementary. And it’s a not-so-promising beginning when mean-queen Melanie puts Heidi on her
radar, taunting her, vandalizing her art project for Mr. Doodlebee, and suggesting she play a tree in the
class production of The Wizard of Oz (while Melanie is Dorothy, of course)—and all on the first day!
Even though Heidi meets a nice girl named Lucy, she feels she doesn’t fit in at school and wishes she
never had to return. But sudden inspiration leads her to conjure up a plan for payback and her secret is
revealed in the teaser ending. Geared towards new readers, this series opener features simple vocabulary,
large and well-spaced text, short chapters, and interspersed black-and-white cartoon-style drawings while
sympathetically depicting Heidi’s challenges, from dealing with bullies to finding friends. Assorted
characters—including Heidi’s supportive mom, soda pop–formula inventor dad, and peppy younger
brother—add lively touches, and the ending hints of more mischief to come.

--Booklist, February 15, 2012

COVEN, Wanda. Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret. Bk. 1. illus. by Priscilla Burris. 118p. (Heidi Heckelbeck Series). CIP. S & S/Little Simon. 2012. Tr $14.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-4087-6; pap. $4.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-3565-0; ebook $5.99. ISBN 978-1-4424-3566-7. LC 2011014304.
Gr 1-3–After being homeschooled, Heidi Heckelbeck is not happy about starting second grade at Brewster Elementary. Her bad attitude shines through hilariously in dialogue and details, such as a math problem she makes up: “Heidi + School = Yuck.” Quickly, mean Melanie and nice new friend Lucy emerge as Heidi makes her way through class, lunch in the cafeteria, and rehearsal for the school play. Much of the plot centers on Melanie’s nasty antics. Don’t worry; Heidi gets even, thanks to the fact that she is a witch and she consults her Book of Spells in the cliff-hanger ending. It’s this secret about her identity, and Heidi’s relatable personality, that will keep readers coming back for more. Large font, an engaging story, and frequent illustrations make this a good choice for new chapter-book readers.
SLJ, June 2012

About the Author

Wanda Coven has always loved magic. When she was little, she used to make secret potions from smooshed shells and acorns. Then she would pretend to transport herself and her friends to enchanted places. Now she visits other worlds through writing. Wanda lives with her husband and son in San Jose, California. They have three cats: Hilda, Agnes, and Claw-dia.

Priscilla Burris has illustrated numerous books and materials for children, parents, and teachers. She enjoys creating art for greeting cards, rubber stamps, murals, cake painting, and more! Priscilla lives with her family in Southern California.

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Customer Reviews

I would definitely recommend this book to kids aged 5-9.
Nickels
She has read every one of these books and we look forward to the next two.
J. E. Cobery
It is easy to read, engaging, and wonderfully illustrated.
Sarah's Mom

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Nickels on January 27, 2012
Format: Paperback
First a quick word about me, skip this if you aren't interested. I am a father of two daughters, currently 7 and 5 years old. My family loves the Junie B Jones books(which we've read multiple times), we are also loving the Magic Treehouse series. I read a ton of other books to them, so I am pretty familiar with what is out there.

!!!NOTE w/Spoiler!!! DO NOT tell the kids beforehand that this book is about a witch! I read the synopsis and told my kids we are about to read a new series about a witch girl. Big mistake in hindsight, as it is pretty much the major surprise that doesn't occur until the very end of this book. I wish I had known that, as we were waiting for her to be a witch the whole time and it doesn't get mentioned until the last chapter. It would have made a nice surprise.

Also, Junie B books are all self-contained stories, as are the Magic Tree House books. You can read any book or start anywhere and they are wrapped up by the end. Not with Heidi Heckelbeck so far. The book is pretty much an introduction to the main characters, but the major plot is not resolved. So, this first book is only a partial story which continues into the next book, which we haven't read yet.

The main character is Heidi, a young girl who was home schooled up until now. She is starting second grade and now has to go to school to learn. Of course one of the first girls she meets is a meanie named Melanie (at least her name isn't May). She also meets another girl, Lucy, who is friendly with her, so she makes a friend and an enemy on day one. At the end of the day Heidi finds out she has to be in a Wizard of Oz play thanks to Melanie. Melanie is the lead role, and Heidi is stuck being an apple tree in the play that she'd rather NOT be in at all. What happens next...
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By moonlight mimi on December 6, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I love this series for second grade girls who are capable readers but don't want to be overwhelmed by too little of font or the absence of pictures. The story lines in the Heckelbeck series are pretty good as far as second grade reading goes. It is nice to have a book without a lot of whining!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jessica Munoz Segui on October 11, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
My little girl has had to keep a reading log for her Language Arts class since the first grade, but this year has been especially difficult since the requirement involves chapter books. We've been through "Stink", "Judy Moody", "Magic Tree House", etc... and none of them were able to capture her interest either by having way too long chapters or not enough illustrations for my early reader, so I ended up having to finish the reading of most of them to her, which beats the purpose of the log. Found this series through the amazon reviews and I can honestly say that not only they were right, but my little girl reads on her own, can't hardly wait for the next chapter, finishes the book on her own and demands for the next one... Thanks to all the responsible reviewers and to the amazing author, that wrote such a great transition series!!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Shanna Riding on December 25, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My daughter hated to put Heidi down until it was finished!I would buy this as a gift for any child who loves to read chapter books and loves to be entertained.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By mcG3ABQ on November 22, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
My 2nd grader loved this book. Was so excited she read it in one night. Great for building confidants in a young reader.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Nancy M West on November 21, 2012
Format: Paperback
I didn't know much about this book before reading it except that it is the first in what is currently a series of 6 (this is the first in the serieswith books scheduled to be published throughout the year, with number 6 due to be released in December). This book was such a nice surprise. It's targeted for readers ages 5-7. While my 6 year old daughter could definitely read this book on her own I really wanted to read the story too, so we ended up reading it together. Often, I'd bring it out in the morning while we were waiting for the bus and read her a chapter or two. The print in this book is large and there are illustrations on almost every page. In this story, 8 year-old Heidi Heckelbeck, the main character starts school for the first time. There are story lines that kids can relate to - being new at school, making new friends, mean kids, etc. We don't find out Heidi's secret until the last chapter and it the story leaves you off wanting to read the next one in the series. We will definitely be checking the series out. It even has me interested in finding out what's going to happen!
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I purchased this book for my daughter who is 7. We like to read a few chapters from books each night at bed time. We've been reading the Amelia Bedelia series (which we love!), but I was looking to change things up a bit.

After purchasing it, I read it on my own. I wanted to see what it was like before reading it to my daughter. I'm glad I did. This isn't something she'd enjoy.

First, the writing is very basic. I know it is intended for newer readers, but the storyline itself is almost too simple. Basically Heidi gets up, goes to school, comes home and decides to cast a spell on a mean girl. That's it.

This brings me to my next point: where is the ending? It ends with her looking at her spell book and plotting to cast a spell. That's it. She doesn't actually cast the spell. We don't find out what happens. I feel like this was a rotten ploy to try and force readers to buy the second book in the series.

Finally, the book seemed to be all about revenge. That's not what I care to teach my daughter.
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