- Age Range: 8 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 3 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 580 (What's this?)
- Series: Secret Box (Book 1)
- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books; Reprint edition (February 24, 2015)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062216155
- ISBN-13: 978-0062216151
- Product Dimensions: 5.1 x 0.6 x 7.6 inches
- Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 16 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #813,593 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Secret Box Paperback – February 24, 2015
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“This mystery unfolds before your eyes in a series of cliffhangers that build up to a blow-your-mind ending. Wanting to know the secret kept me turning the pages.” (Dan Gutman, New York Times bestselling author of the Genius Files series)
“Never mind the mystery, suspense, and humor—what I loved most about The Secret Box was getting into the heads of its two unique and delightfully quirky narrators.” (Christopher Healy, author of The Hero's Guide to Saving Your Kingdom)
“Fresh voices make this story a winner. Readers will relish this sparkling adventure, which offers plenty of action, humor, age-appropriate danger and mental calisthenics.” (Kirkus Reviews)
“This is a great read for reluctant readers or for anyone who loves adventure, mystery, or a touch of magic.” (School Library Journal)
“This is a promising launch to a planned trilogy. Mixing Greek mythology and mystery with gamer lingo and poignant coming-of-age moments, Ringwald delivers a smart balance of comedy, endearing characters, and high-stakes escapades.” (Publishers Weekly)
“The first-person narrative alternates among the protagonists: frizzy-haired Jax, the impulsive leader; introverted Ethan, always her sidekick; and his obnoxious video game-making older brother, Tyler. The action is fast-paced and the suspense is real.” (Booklist)
From the Back Cover
It looked like an ordinary package.
On her twelfth birthday, Jax Malone receives a surprise gift from her estranged Great-Aunt Juniper: a mysterious box that will only open in one location. If Jax's mom hadn't freaked out and tried to return it, Jax wouldn't have paid much attention.
Instead, Jax decides she must open the box—whatever it takes. So she recruits her reluctant cousin Ethan and together they trick Ethan's obnoxious, computer-genius older brother Tyler into helping them find the site where the box will open.
But what starts as a fun adventure quickly turns crazy, even dangerous, when Jax, Ethan, and Tyler realize that whatever secret the box contains could change their lives and the world—forever.
The Secret Box is a hilarious caper with a twist of magical mythology and a story that will delight you to the very last page.
Top customer reviews
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Aiding and abetting her is her cousin Ethan who has long since taken on the role of sidekick despite Jax saying he is her partner. Ethan is a year older but, if he were a superhero, his name would be Caution Man. Jax is shy, introverted, and prone to nosebleeds when he is stressed. He also has a great knowledge of all sorts of facts and is a very practical kid.
The two of them begin to solve the puzzle but have to recruit Ethan's older brother Tyler to assist. He is old enough to drive a car. He treats the two of them like major annoyances and is constantly working on developing a video game with his friends. He is also obsessed with winning and has quite a collection of trophies.
When Jax and Ethan decided that they need to go to Washington, DC, to solve their riddle, they convince Tyler to take them using a geochaching contest as a lure. But their quest to open the mystery box takes on more significance when they are followed by strangers who want to buy the box and then steal the box when they leave it in the car briefly.
The kids need to find the great-aunt who sent the box to Jax to find out what is going on. Their quest takes them from New Jersey to Washington DC and has them confronting villains and a mystical object from the past.
The story was fast-paced and very entertaining. I especially liked the chapters from Ethan's point of view. It was great for him to find his inner hero. All the kids changed and grew through the course of this story.
I recommend it for middle grade adventure lovers.
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