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Secrets at Sea Hardcover – October 13, 2011


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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dial; First Edition edition (October 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803734557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803734555
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #314,808 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

“Rife with snappy asides and clever but never heavy-handed.”
(The New York Times)

* “Readers will revel in the detailed descriptions of mouse-sized joys, woes, and love connections.”
(Publishers Weekly, starred review)

* “Is there anything Newbery Medalist Peck cannot do? Apparently not…Whimsical language, sure characterization, unflagging adventure, even romance.”
(Kirkus, starred review)

* “The rodent world meets Upstairs, Downstairs in this rollicking comedy of manners that begs to be read aloud.”
(Horn Book, starred review)

“By turns poignant and playful, engaging and exciting, and with a touch of romance, the story will have great appeal for the audience.”
(Booklist)

“The fast-paced story is peppered with the author’s characteristic sly wit and is pure fun.”
(School Library Journal)

“Readers who like their animals cute, their history entertaining, and their endings happy will find full satisfaction here.”
(Bulletin of the Center for Children���s Books)

“Mr. Peck, a master at blending memorable characters, humor, history, and page-turning stories, is in top form here.”
(Pittsburgh Post-Gazette)

“Peck’s eye for family dynamics is excellent.”
(Chicago Tribune)

Essential Books for Kids & Teens
(Common Sense Media)

About the Author

Richard Peck has written more than thirty novels, and in the process has become one of the country’s most highly respected writers for children. In fact The Washington Post called him “America’s best living author for young adults.” A versatile writer, he is beloved by middle-graders as well as young adults for his historical and contemporary comedies and coming-of-age novels. He lives in New York City, and spends a great deal of time traveling around the country to speaking engagements at conferences, schools, and libraries.

Mr. Peck is the first children’s book author to have received a National Humanities Medal. He is a Newbery Medal winner (for A Year Down Yonder), a Newbery Honor winner (for A Long Way from Chicago), a two-time National Book Award finalist, and a two-time Edgar Award winner. In addition, he has won a number of major honors for the body of his work, including the Margaret A. Edwards Award, the ALAN Award, and the Medallion from the University of Southern Mississippi.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


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Customer Reviews

The voice is just awesome.
Anita - New Hope
The illustrations are beautiful in their detail, and perfectly complement the tale.
J.Prather
My children also enjoyed the book's illustrations and we hated for it to end!
Renee Mann

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

13 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Portianay VINE VOICE on October 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I am delighted with this book, as I am with every Richard Peck creation. I find it astonishing that he is so able, no matter what genre or age group he chooses for his audience.
Parent, pick up this book for your middle-to-upper-elementary aged daughter. She will be enchanted by this mouse family and their seafaring adventures. It may even pique her interest in things Victorian!
You are one of those rare authors whom I consider a gift to readers, teachers, and librarians, Richard Peck.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J.Prather TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 21, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I picked this up because of the author, and also because of the cover. I took one look at those mice clinging to the ropes on the high seas and thought maybe we would be dealing with mice pirates! Images of Redwall-like buccaneers went through my head as I settled down for a good read. If I had been paying closer attention, I would have noticed that three of those mice were wearing quite stylish dresses. I would then have been better prepared for a story that leans more towards Jane Austen than Pirates of the Caribbean.

Secrets at Sea tells the story of three sisters who up to the events of this novel have lived a rather conservative life with the human Cranston family. Helena is the oldest, then Louise, then Beatrice. It seems that life as a mouse is indeed hard, as their father, mother and three sisters have all passed away. They are left with little brother Lamont, and the Cranston humans who have decided to pick up and sail to London to find a husband for Olive. When the mice decide to accompany their human family, they set off on an adventure that will bring them in contact with a Duchess, a Princess, a Countess or two and a one- eyed ship cat. Some will find romance (both humans and mice), and some will find their destiny, but only if they can avoid getting plopped in the sea.

This is a great read, written in a way that peers right into the heart of every young girl who ever wanted to be a princess, or thought that the Borrowers might in fact live at their house. It seems that humans would be nothing without their mice, and the author has taken great care to create characters that are memorable and distinctive.
Read more ›
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24 of 33 people found the following review helpful By Ann Fisher on November 30, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I ordered this after reading a great review in the New York Times and looked forward to reading it before passing it on to my grandchildren. I ended up disappointed, though perhaps the review created expectations that were just too high.

The settings--an old house in the U.S., an ocean liner, Buckingham Palace--are superb. The details of mouse life in the Victorian era are wonderfully imagined. The writing bounces along merrily. But ultimately the story left me disappointed. It's one thing that all the humans (and this is really entirely a book about girls and women) are focused on nothing but getting their girls married off to the right men, but why do those fabulous, clever, brave mice have to follow suit?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By jess leigh on April 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
This review is from my 11 year old daughter.
" This book is an adventure book. The book takes place mostly on a boat and the characters are frightened mice. I liked the book just a little bit because I didn't understand a lot of what the book meant. It had some funny parts that I did like. I liked the part where the prince wacked the cat with the nutcracker while Helena hiding in the toy wagon. I also like the part where the nanny got in trouble with the prince's mom."
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Ironside on January 7, 2012
Format: Hardcover
According to Lemony Snicket, "If you don't like books by Richard Peck, there is probably something very wrong with you." After reading "Secrets at Sea", I tend to agree.

This Victorian-era mouse adventure (aimed at girls ages 8 and up) is an "Upstairs, Downstairs" for children. The human family live "upstairs" in the Cranston Estate, and the mice family lives "downstairs" within its walls, led by the eldest mouse sibling, Helena.

When the "Upstairs Cranstons" journey on an ocean liner to find their eldest daughter a husband in Europe, the "Downstairs Cranstons" take their fates into their own paws and stow away in the luggage. When the future happiness of the Cranston daughters is put in jeopardy, can the mice help them find love and still find their own happy endings?

Children who enjoyed "Tale of Desperaux" by Kate DiCamillo will also enjoy this book. It is part adventure, part romance and part fairytale. The story contains a lesson for adults too, who may identify with Helena's inability to let go of her siblings (i.e. your own children).

The only criticism I have is that the happy endings involve budding romances or marriage proposals (except for Helena's brother who gets an exciting job offer). But overall, I give this book four mice tails out of five.
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Format: Paperback
I repeatedly found myself choking on the sexism prevalent in the story as I read this to my young daughters. With an almost entirely female cast, Richard Peck finds it necessary to imbue the ladies with shallow thoughts and actions time after time, finding the male family member good enough to send to school and strike out on a career. The story is not particularly clever, and the old-fashioned stereotypes made it unbearable.
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