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Blood Secret

3.4 of 5 stars 3.40  ·  rating details  ·  234 ratings  ·  39 reviews
The minute she had opened the trunk, she knew there wasn't anything like hope in it. Just awful musty things, but each one with a kind of terrible dark halo around it. She picked up that piece of old lace. She saw that stain -- pale, brownish in color. She knew it was blood. Somebody's blood. There was violence in that trunk, and dark secrets, and she did not want to know ...more
Hardcover, 256 pages
Published August 1st 2004 by HarperCollins Publishers (first published July 27th 2004)
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Little House on the Prairie by Laura Ingalls WilderAnne of Green Gables by L.M. MontgomeryLittle Women by Louisa May AlcottThe Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson BurnettThe Witch of Blackbird Pond by Elizabeth George Speare
Best Children's Historical Fiction
234th out of 540 books — 612 voters
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YA Spiritual & Religious Novels
87th out of 189 books — 104 voters

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Community Reviews

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I really enjoyed this book. The beginning was kind of hard to get into because I felt like it was going to be another Great Gilly Hopkins but then it took a historical turn and I was enthralled. Strong, woman oriented book full of history about the Spanish Inquisition and generations of Jews persecuted for their faith. The book ended abruptly and skipped several generations that could have had stories too. I wanted Jerry to have a deeper secret and an explanation to her being able to see her anc ...more
Oct 31, 2010 Nix rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young adults
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The story didn't fit my expectations after reading the blurb on the back cover.

The book is about the Spanish Inquisition, the Auto-da-fes, and the persecution of Jews for 500 years.

I was expecting the story to be about the main character's journey from abandonment by her mother to the recovery of her voice and the solving of the mystery of where her mother disappeared to and why.

This mystery was never answered. In fact, it was almost incidental to the historical aspects of the story. Having fini
"When Jerry Moon is sent to live with her great–great–aunt, she discovers a trunk in the basement that reveals dark mysteries about her family's ancestry. Newbery Honor author Kathryn Lasky brings a dramatic and rarely–portrayed period of history to life in this powerful coming–of–age tale that weaves together the Spanish Inquisition, Jewish belief, and a girl learning to understand her past."

The idea behind this book is extremely interesting to me; however I found the "present" parts annoying a
I loved this book. It started out a little weird and I almost put it down, but I'm really glad I didn't. I learned a lot about the Spanish Inquisition while getting caught up in a myriad of characters' lives. The book fluctuates between current day New Mexico and the period of the Spanish Inquisition (which spanned hundreds of years...) and is a real page turner.
A well-written historical fiction book for young adults. It details the Spanish Inquisition and the Inquisition in South America. The ending felt a little rushed to me. I need to put this on a list to recommend to kids for historical fiction.
Madison Griffith
This book is about a girl whose mother disappeared at a very young age. She is sent to an orphanage, but ever since that night she hasn’t spoken a word. They tried everything to get her to speak, but everything failed. They finally sent her to her aunt’s house in hope of progress. While she is there she finds a chest in the basement. In order to discover her history, and hopefully her mother’s disappearance, she must unlock the secrets of the chest.
I liked the fact that the setting contributed
Jerry hasn't spoken since her mother left her so long ago. It's not that she can't she just chooses not to. Why should she? The nuns tell her that the priests are praying for her mother, but she doubts that she will ever see her mother again. Her mom was just that type of woman, the wandering type. Jerry has to go somewhere though, so she goes to her great aunt Costanza's house. Here, Jerry works to find her voice, her identity, and her past and she finds in the most interesting of places.

I rea
This book was somewhat interesting, from an adult standpoint, but I don't think many young people will get in to the story. It is a story of the Inquisition, beginning in Spain, and actually coming to the new world. But, it is also a time-travel story, because the main character, a young girl named Jerry, is able to go back in time to witness her family's persecution.
I learned something new, though, that Jewish people from Spain were early settlers in the southwest. I never knew that.
Xana Hewitt
It was amazing and one of the books I will always have with me to read.
Jamie Brooks
This was, surprisingly an interesting book. There wasn't a bunch of facts that made it read like a history book, which is what I thought it would be like. There was a lot of fiction and feelings and storytelling mixed in with the facts and the harsh realities of the Spanish Inquisition. Jerry is a very interesting character and it's portrayed as a dumb fourteen year old which is what a lot of young adult books do. It shows her as smart, strong and interested in her families past. Very easy read. ...more
This is such a mesmerizing story told from a present-day character who discovers that her Jewish ancestors had to reinvent themselves to avoid persecution. The book flashes back to show the story of the various generations that escaped Spain and travelled to the New World. This is a perfect book to tie into studies concerning the Spanish Inquisition because it highlights a time in history that is not covered too deeply in a middle school textbook.
Kind of boring. Jerry goes to live with her old aunt, Constanza. She discovers an old trunk in the basement containing family artifacts. Jerry goes into some kind of mind trance / back in time kind of thing where the artifacts show her family's past and she discovers that her ancestors were actually Jewish, not Catholic.
The story sounds more interesting than the actual book.
more of a 3.5 but I decided to round it up instead of down. The story wasn't exactly a roller coaster, the highlight was more of historical backtracking. It really stuck to me though, after finishing the book, my internet passwords at that time were all related to it. It's not the best, it's not an event-y and excite-ful read, but it's a good read.
A quick read only because it's for younger readers, but it's on an incredibly heavy topic-the Inquisition. I found the story brilliant and fascinating and wanted to keep reading and reading. The last book I read that spanned centuries of a Jewish family like this was "The Books of Rachel" and it wasn't anywhere near as spellbinding.
interesting. not what i was hoping for in a book right now, but i learned more about hte world history of jewish travels and travails. i never thought that there was a jewish community in New Mexico, and certainly never thought people would harass them that far! geez, get a tolerance, already!
I'd give this book a 2.5

I had no idea that the book would be switching up between the present and the past. While it was interesting the first time.. The next few "flashbacks" made this book hard to read. It was sort of interesting and hey, I did learn a few things so there's a plus.
This book was certainly not what I expected, but it was marvelous! Seriously, I would definitely recommend this book to anyone who knows how to respect flashbacks into the past as well as a couple rather confusing times in which it's a little hard to decipher the time frame.
Jan 22, 2009 Greta rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: ya
It was brilliantly written. I was impressed with how the author covered the history, the passage of time through the generations of this family, bringing everything to the present, as the last living descendant discovers the truth about the "blood secret."
Lacey Duckett
I loved the idea of this book- the plot was great. However, the way it's written is hard to follow. Characters jump around a lot, and I found a hard time keeping up. That aside, I loved the book and would recommend it to anyone who loves fiction history :)
my daughter recommended this to me because she new of my interest in the crypto-jews. Lasky does her usual job of making both the characters and the situation understandable and believable for modern readers. I enjoyed this
Awesome. A mixed series of horrific stories appear to a young girl to believe at any time her mother again may reappear. It is warm and shameful. This diabolical story is certainly a surprise for any avid reader with a journey.
Really an interesting read...since YA fiction about the Spanish Inquisition is not exactly common. I liked the scope of the narrative and how it followed the descendants of one family from Spain to the new world.

Jessica J
This book follows a family through centuries of persecution against Jewish Europeans and Mexicans. As this Mexican-European discovers her family's history, she comes to see how important the past is.
The historical information about the Spanish Inquisition and the Jews who practiced their religion in secret was very interesting. It was the mechanism used to tell the story that I didn't really enjoy.
The first chapter of this book isn't great, but after that, WOW! I now understand where certain superstitions come from. I understand mitochondrial DNA. What a great, magic, haunting story.
This book had an interesting premise, but it didn't turn out that interesting. Sure, I learned a lot about the Spanish Inquisition, which was informative... but that was pretty much it.
Anneke enjoyed the owl series by this author so I thought it may be good to read this one. Teen read. About a girl who hsa chosen not to speak for a long time.
I loved this book the flashbacks were so cool and I loved the plot, it shows standing up for what you believing, and the crueness of some people.
I don't know how I feel about this book... # 36 completed.

There was little character development but I liked the premise.
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Kathryn Lasky is the American author of many critically acclaimed books, including several Dear America books, several Royal Diaries books, 1984 Newbery Honor winning Sugaring Time, The Night Journey, and the Guardians of Ga'Hoole series. She lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts. Her latest book, Guardians of Ga'Hoole Book 15: The War of the Ember, was released on November 1, 2008. Guardians of Gahoo ...more
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