Sunday, October 5, 2008

Shakespeare's Secret

Shakespeare's Secret is an example of me picking up a book to read completely because of its cover.  Publishers, take note: if you're having a tough time getting a book sold, have Brett Helquist illustrate the cover.  It worked on me.  Again.

Sixth-grader Hero Netherfield is used to being picked on for her name; it's happened everywhere she's lived.  Although her sister, Beatrice, also has a name inspired by Shakespeare, Hero is the one who always has a difficult time fitting in with others.  However, despite a daunting first day at her new school, Hero begins to like her new home after befriending her eccentric next-door neighbor, Mrs. Roth, who tells her of a mysterious diamond that may be hidden somewhere in her house.  When Hero teams up with Mrs. Roth and Danny, a laid-back eighth grader, she gets completely caught up in the town's biggest mystery.

I thought this book was completely fun from beginning to end!  I liked all the ties to Shakespeare and the Elizabethan era and how the book didn't venture too far into melodrama territory (as it certainly could have).  Hero was very likable; actually, all the characters, from popular Beatrice to Shakespeare-phile Mr. Netherfield were very likable.  The mystery was great and yet it was the little vignettes that I enjoyed the most: cinnamon toast at Mrs. Roth's house, the discussion of Anne Boleyn's seal, the skateboard/bicycle trip into downtown, etc.  And I, of course, loved the happily-ever-after end.  

I am looking forward to reading Elise Broach's newest release!  This book is highly recommended.


Ms. Yingling said...

This is a particularly good mystery. I'm glad to find out that there will be a new book by this author!

Fourstorymistake said...

Ms. Yingling- I haven't gotten a chance to read it yet but I've only heard great things about it! It's called Masterpiece and it was just released in September.