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Secrets at Sea Hardcover – October 13, 2011


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$15.29 FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Only 16 left in stock (more on the way). Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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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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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 - 7
  • Lexile Measure: 600L (What's this?)
  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Dial Books; First Edition edition (October 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0803734557
  • ISBN-13: 978-0803734555
  • Product Dimensions: 5.8 x 0.9 x 8.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #389,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

I got this book for my 9 year old daughter and she loved it!
Julie Okada
I think this book would appeal to both boy and girl readers, from elementary to middle school range.
Melissa A. Palmer
The illustrations are beautiful in their detail, and perfectly complement the tale.
J.Prather

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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11 of 12 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.
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25 of 34 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 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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer 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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Format: Hardcover
Helena is the oldest mouse in the family. Ever since her parents died, she has taken responsibility for her younger sisters, Louise and Beatrice, and little brother Lamont. The mice manage to do okay, living in the walls of the Cranston family's house. The Cranstons never catch sight of the rodents, with the exception of their daughter, Camilla. Camilla and Louise are actually friends, and they stay up all hours of the night talking. Helena doesn't quite approve of the friendship; the life of a mouse is dangerous indeed, and interacting with humans is almost as risky as interacting with cats. Helena takes her leadership role very seriously, though unfortunately her siblings don't listen to her very well. Then, in 1897, comes the biggest decision Helena has ever had to make.

The Cranston family has decided to take a trip. The parents are having trouble finding a husband for their eldest daughter in America, so they've booked passage on a ship to sail across the ocean to look for one in Europe. Do the mice dare go with them? After great debate, Helena and her siblings decide to go for it. They hide away in Camilla's suitcase and soon find themselves on a boat setting sail for Europe.

The mice family's small world immediately opens up far grander than any had imagined. They find that over a hundred other mice are traveling with their humans and dine together each evening in luxurious style. Lamont quickly joins up with the other boys in the mouse scouts (which is similar to the boy scouts), and finds he loves life at sea. Louise continues her friendship with Camilla, while Beatrice starts falling in love with Nigel, the mouse cabin steward.
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