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Shakespeare's Secret Paperback – August 21, 2007
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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One thing I struggled with regarding this book was what age range would enjoy it. I borrowed it from the Library, where it was classified as a young adult book. My first instinct was to disagree with this. Shakespeare's Secret is a relatively quick and easy read. It's also quite light as mysteries go (no murder, no physical danger). However, I can see why librarians would classify it as a young adult book. There are references to illegitimate children, and suggestive comments are written in the boy's bathroom (though the exact nature of the comments is not spelled out). Still, I personally think that the book is most suitable for 9 to 12 year olds who like mysteries, rather than for teenagers. I don't think that it holds up as well as a children's book for adults, unless they happen to be Shakespeare buffs. I saw the "twist" coming well in advance. (Of course, I read a lot!)
Overall, I think that this is a great choice for the early middle school reader who likes mysteries. I don't think that the adolescent interactions ring quite as true as those in two other books that I've read recently: Down the Rabbit Hole : An Echo Falls Mystery and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief - Book One.Read more ›
The Shakespearean mystery is unimportant to the discovery of the diamond, making it feel a bit of a separate academic pursuit. Regardless, it was this part of the mystery that I thought was the strongest and most interesting, and it's a fabulous introduction to a few interesting characters from Elizabethan England. My biggest problem with the story was that none of the characters really had anything at stake; if the diamond went unfound, none of their lives would really be all that different.
Still, it's extraordinarily rare that I read a book in one sitting (as I did here), which speaks well of Broach's fluid, easy style and swift, action-filled story. This book is often compared favorably to Chasing Vermeer, and it doesn't hurt that both have fabulous covers by Brett Helquist. Frankly though, I found Shakespeare's Secret to be superior.
Hero discovers a mysterious connection between the diamond, Anne Boleyn and Shakespeare's plays which fires her imagination.
This plot is cleverly drawn with historical details and intrigue. Hero and Danny are searching for more than a diamond and the reader is hoping they find their heart's desire.
I truly enjoyed this novel. The mystery is very satisfying. One can hope it would also excite a reader's interest in Shakespeare.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was recommended to me, a mom, by a 12 year old boy as one of his favorite books of all time. How did this happen? Read morePublished 7 days ago by L. B. Keller
Another awesome book by Elise Broach. Great story line interesting weaving in of history, and nice charachter develpoment, paired with interesting relationships. Read morePublished 4 months ago by Nanelle
My son had this for summer reading. He enjoys the book so much, he actually reads it on his own!Published 6 months ago by Karen Reed
I chose this novel as a way to provide a little backstory to Shakespeare before moving into a Shakespeare unit with my grade 5 students. Read morePublished 9 months ago by Lisa Emma Kilgariff