Secrets at Sea
Who knew that mice are responsible for their humans? Who knew that noble mice are responsible for their royal humans? On the sea voyage, the downstairs mice bump...more
This is the first children's book of Mr. Peck's I've read, and was curious to see how he'd handle writing something for younger readers, but naturally he pulled it off. There were several archaic words that that my kids needed to have explained, and let's face it, there were se...more
In the backdrop of this, the Cranston human family, parents and two daughters, are planning a trip to England, via ship, in hopes of finding a husband...more
Zeppo: Say fellas, I think I hear someone.
Groucho: Well, if it's the captain, I'm gonna have a few words with him. My hot water's been cold for three days and I haven't got room enough in here to swing a cat.
In fact, I haven't even got a cat.
Chico: My grandfather can swing a cat.
Groucho: He can?
Chico: Hey, that'd make a good job for him.
-- The Marx Brothers in "Monkey Business"
"The Fenimore humans...more
I suppose it bears mentioning that the whole book itself is quite silly. This is definitely a “suspension of disbelief” book. However, I think for the middle grade audience it’s aiming for, this isn’t necessarily a problem....more
Mice mice mice. They are taking over! Richard Peck really can write about so many different things - Grandma Dowdel stories are so fun - I especially enjoyed Season of Gifts. Also On the Wings of Heroes. So when Secrets at Sea showed up, I was excited. That all humans have lives paralleled by mice (or vice versa) is a really interesting idea. He spins the tale with turns of phrases and images. I didn't like that it started so strongly with dialogue. I always have trouble getting into a sto...more
Reviewed from an ARC.
4.5 Stars—4.5 tending towards 5 stars (so, I'll give it a 5)! I know what you’re thinking—I’ve wondered about it myself: What’s this crank doing reading a children’s book—a GENRE-children’s book at that? I can tell you, and I will: when a friend sends you an ARC of a Richard Peck book, and if you’ve made your living working with children’s books, AND did I mention it was a Richard Peck book (?)—well Goodreaders, you stop what you’re doing, pick up the Peck (alliteration is...more
Richard Peck's voice in this story is so engaging that, as I progressed through the book, I shared the action and Peck's phrasing with my husband. I enjoyed reliving each scene through the smiles and laughter of my husband's responses. He insisted I give this a good rating. Of course, I'm in agreement.
One the things that makes this story a delight for adults is the incorpo...more
The Cranston mice, watched over by big sister Helena, live with the Cranston family. When the family decides they must sail to E...more
A cast of talking mice whose actions and living conditions are completely believable and are in tune with children’s fantasy play; a twisting, surprising, and humorous upstairs/downstairs comedy that involves Royalty and seafaring; the perennial favorite plot progression allowing the lower class main characters go up the social ladder due to good luck and...more
—Secrets at Sea, P. 171
Richard Peck not only has good moments as a writer, he's a terrific public speaker, as well. At the same time I was closing in on the end of Secrets at Sea, I was privileged to attend a live bookstore event for the Newbery Medalist, and few authors I've met come across more convincingly or forcefully than Richard Peck, all in an introspe...more
As the oldest mouse in the family Helen is mostly in charge whether she wants to be or not. Mom and two sisters died in a rain barrell and father was killed by a cat. Whe their human family decide that they are venturing to London to marry off their oldest daughter Olive, the Cranston mice must decide too: do they stay and starve or follow and poss...more
I love the quote on the front cover..."if you don't like books by Richard Peck, there is probably something very wrong with you."---Lemony Snicket.
This is a great story that would make a good read aloud for 4th or 5th graders. Richard Peck has created a world where unknown to humans, every family has a mouse family looking after them. So when the human Cranston Family sails to England in 1887 to find a husband for their awkward daughter, the Cranston mice stow away on the voyage, even though t...more
This is a charming historical novel about mice, and that’s a phrase I’ve never written before. It stars mice siblings in fact, and the oldest sister Helena, like every good eldest sister, is in charge and, naturally, the narrator. Most of the story takes place during a trans-Atlantic crossing aboard a great ocean liner due to reach England in time for Queen Victoria’s diamond jubilee...more
Instead, compare this to Margery Sharp's immortal "Miss Bianca" who was served so badly by Disney's crappy film of The Rescuers. Here too is humor,wit and adventure. Not as pithy as Sharp, but well d...more
That was before I read “Secrets at Sea;” now I KNOW that mice most certainly live within our house, have probably taken our surname as well, also efficiently using what they can of ours to serve th...more
I think this will read aloud quite well.
Helena. Beatrice, Louise and Lamont are orphaned mice- cat and rain barrel. Mice really must watch out! Helena is the oldest and the narrator of the struggle she undertakes to keep her family together, safe and prosperous. Her little family is the last in the line of the venerable Cranston family- Above, the human Cranstons and below the stairs the mice. Their fates are entangled and when the human Cranstons decide to tra...more
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 a...more
While the Cranstons (Father, Mother and their two daughters, Olive and Camilla) prepare for an ocean-...more
Richard Peck was born in 1934 in Decatur, Illinois, a town he describes as quiet and safe. His mother, Virginia, was a dietitian and his father, Wayne, was a merchant who often rode his Harley Davidson to work.