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The Secret Tree

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,347 ratings  ·  195 reviews
A sweet story of a tree that's literally filled with secrets.

What is your secret?

Minty's neighborhood is full of mysteries. There's the Witch House, a spooky old farmhouse on the other side of woods from where Minty and her best friend, Paz, live. There's the Man Bat, a seven-foot-tall half man, half bat who is rumored to fly through the woods. And there are the Mean Boys,
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Hardcover, 256 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by Scholastic Press
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Newbery 2013
36th out of 116 books — 1,121 voters
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Best Middle Grade Novels from Summer Reading 2012
42nd out of 66 books — 60 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kelly Hager
Minty (short for Araminta) has a simple life. She loves roller derby, spending time with her best friend Paz and annoying her older sister, Thea. But lately things are getting complicated. Paz is starting to spend more time with these other girls and leaving Minty out. Plus, there are all these weird things happening in the neighborhood---things are disappearing and there's this weird boy taking pictures of people. And then Minty finds the tree.

It's this old tree with a hole in it---you know the
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Mark
"They all have their secrets, I thought. Each person's real life is a mystery.

The fireworks exploded, commemorating a war for independence, while all around me people fought their private battles. Even the Mean Boys. Sister versus brother, friend versus friend, son versus father ... they all had private battles that no one understood except for them.

I wanted to understand. But the more I spied, the more mystery I uncovered. I'd never know the whole story. There was so much I couldn't guess."

It'
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Caren
This book feels very true, very real-to-life. It is a perfect description of all of the little battles of growing up. Araminta (Minty) will be eleven at the end of the summer, and will begin middle school in the fall. In the meantime, however, she has to work through maturing at a different rate than her childhood best friend, making a new trusted friend, trying to solve neighborhood mysteries, and life with an irritable older sister. She becomes a sort of neighborhood spy, using secrets written ...more
Melissa
Sweet story, about the power of friendship, the love and "hate" between siblings and the hope of a secret carried on the wings of the wind ( or found within the hallow trunk of "the secret tree"). The transition between elementary and middle school is a hard one to navigate for a lot of tweens, especially when it comes to trying to figure out how you fit in when everyone around you seems to be changing. This story starts off with a mystery, a flash that appears from the other edge of the woods, ...more
Ms. Yingling
Minty and her friend Paz are wild about the roller derby, and are busy practicing their routine for the local Fourth of July parade. Summer is filled with all sorts of other activities, too-- staying away from the Mean Boys who give them a hard time, getting away from Paz's annoying little sister Lennie, and figuring out the mysteries of the Witch House and the Man-Bat, as well as the mystery of who put a curse on Paz. Minty gets some clues when she finds a tree in the woods where people in the ...more
Cathy
In the book, The Secret Tree by Natalie Standiford it's the summer before sixth grade for Minty and she is curious about all the mysteries in her neighborhood, the Witch House, the Man-Bat, and Crazy Ike's story to name a few. Why is her older sister, Thea, acting crazy, why is her best friend in all the world, Paz, hanging out with new friends, what makes the mean boys so mean, and who is the strange new boy who is hanging around in the woods taking pictures. When Mindy discovers a big, old tre ...more
Emilia Stirling
The Secret Tree, written by Natalie Standiford was a very interesting book. It was about mystery friendship and betrayal.
Minty is an average soon to be 6th grader who lives in Catonsville Maryland. Minty, Thea, Paz, Lennie and Melina all live in the same neighborhood, Paz is Minty’s best friend, she has two sisters, Melina and Lennie. Thea is Minty’s sister who always complains about Minty to Melina.
On Halloween Paz and Minty got dared to ding-dong-ditch a creepy old which house by these two
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Julie Graves
Minty and her best friend Paz are keeping themselves busy during summer vacation. Changes are about to occur. They will be entering middle school when summer is over. But even before that their friendship is tested by change.

Minty has always desired to be in the Roller Derby. She imagines her name to be Minty Fresh with Paz being named Pax A. Punch. But Paz begins hanging out with another group of girls and is no longer interested in Minty's Roller Derby dream.

Minty catches a strange boy hiding
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Diana
Minty lives in a small town where everyone knows everyone else. At least, they think they do. Then Minty discovers the Secret Tree, a hollow tree where people leave slips of paper with their secrets written on them. Along with a mysterious boy she meets in the woods, she tries to uncover who each of the secrets belong to. And she learns that there is much more to her neighbor's lives than she thought.

Great novel of friendship, summer and growing up. I loved it, and would recommend to students lo
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Tracie
While visiting with her friend Paz one evening, Minty sees a flash in the woods and decides to investigate. Although she doesn't find anyone that night, she does find a secret tree where neighbors write down their secrets and put them inside a hole in the trunk. This is the beginning of an eventful summer for Minty and her neighborhood. They will question old friendships and forge new ones, find love and discover that we all have secrets. Recommended for those that loved the Fox Street books.
Mehsi
In a small neighbourhood are various mysteries, from a Man-bat to a Witch House. And now added to that, is a Secret Tree. What is a Secret Tree? Well a tree where you can put in your secret and it will be eaten by a ghost, well that is the story that is being told.

Minty was a wonderful character, I really liked her, though I also felt sad for her. Growing up is no fun. Her best friend Paz leaves her for another friend (who for most book was a total (sorry for the language) bitch). Luckily Minty
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Ri
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jennifer Orr
This middle grade book was a surprise. Two unexpected friends spy on their close nit neighborhood as they try to figure out who's leaving secrets in the hollow of a tree in the woods. I'm not sure if this was intentional or not, but this book reminded me so much of Hitchcock's Rear Window. The hot summer evenings. The neighborhood backyards that all spill into each other like the courtyard in the movie. There's a touching scene where the friends watch as a lonely neighbor sobs in his kitchen. A ...more
Ryan S.
"The Secret Tree," created by Natalie Standford, is a mysterious, a realistic fictional, and a "fantasy-ish" story in which the main character, Minty discovers the true meaning of friendship. It all began in a small neighborhood with a Man-bat to a Witch House, and now to a Secret Tree -- which is a tree that is said to hold secrets. Later, she discovers that a boy named Raymond were taking pictures of her in order to show people that he has friends. But, as they try to figure out who created th ...more
Donalyn
Although the protagonist in this book is a soon-to-be sixth grader, this book seems written for younger readers. It's a nice middle grade novel about friendship and keeping secrets.
Emily
I really enjoyed this book! The first few chapters were bland, but the rest is really interesting. I would recommend it to any one who likes stories about friendship.
Becca Ford
honestly this is the best book i have ever read and i do not like to read so it is a great book
Nancy Day
My favorite middle grade novel since When You Reach Me.
Becky B
It's summer break, and Minty would like nothing better than to spend the whole summer working on her roller-derby skills with her best friend Paz. But a flash in the woods leads her to an old tree that harbors secrets. The only other one who seems to know about the tree is a strange boy named Raymond who lives in the model house on the other side of the woods. In between trying to figure out what's going on with Paz and others in the neighborhood, Minty and Raymond spend the summer trying to mat ...more
Carol Royce Owen
Minty and her best friend Pax have one dream - to rule the roller derby rink. But dreams can change when you are entering middle school and friendships can undergo changes, and Minty is finding that out the hard way. But she's also finding out there is mystery all around her, and that starts when she spots a flash in the woods near her house and discovers it is from the camera of a boy taking their picture. Chasing the boy she is lead to a mysterious tree in the woods and inside the tree is a se ...more
Emily
Childhood is not always the idyllic existence we adults seem to remember from our romanticized youths. Sometimes it's hard and downright heartbreaking, as Minty Fresh (Araminta's roller derby name) is discovering one eventful summer. She loses and regains her best friend, befriends an "invisible" boy, and learns that everyone - even obnoxious older sisters and mean boys - has secrets. "They all have their secrets, I thought. Each person's real life is a mystery." To her credit, this knowledge ma ...more
Diane
In a small town where everyone knows everyone, secrets are hard to keep - especially when everyone in town shares their secrets with "Crazy Ike" and the secret tree. At the beginning of the summer, all Minty and Paz want are to become roller derby stars. But Minty's life begins to change the moment she sees the strange boy taking pictures of them from the woods. Who is he? Is he the one who has been stealing small items from the neighborhood. And then she sees the first secret that was left in t ...more
Elizabeth K.
This was cute, and I agree with something I read in a review -- this is a classic "kids in the neighborhood during summer vacation" story. Minty (short for Araminta which makes me wonder if Natalie Standiford is a Carol Ryrie Brink fan) is 11 and looking forward to a summer of practicing roller derby moves with her best friend, Paz, and generally hanging out with the kids in the neighborhood. As these things tend to go in books like this, suddenly it seems that she and her friend aren't always o ...more
Marika
Minty (roller girl name Minty Fresh) and her best friend Paz (or Pax A. Punch) plan on spending the summer hanging out on the block and practicing roller derby moves. But the Mean Boys are monopolizing the street, Paz's little sister is concerned about the Bat-Man, there's unfinished business at the witch house on the other side of the woods, and someone has placed a curse on Paz. Minty's problems escalate when Paz starts hanging out with some older girls and ignores Minty. When Minty stumbles u ...more
Brandy
Two stars seems harsh. But the description is "it was ok" and that is exactly how I felt about this book.

This is about a girl named "Minty" who finds a tree in the woods near her house. In it is a large hole and she finds secrets that people write on papers and put in there for the ghost to eat.

What ensues is an adventure with her and a new friend that takes them through the neighborhood trying to figure out who the secrets belong to.

Although I could see this premise having potential, I really f
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Title: The Secret Tree
Author: Natalie Standiford
Release Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic
Age Group: 9-12 years
Hardcover: 256 Pages
Source: Publisher
Buy This Book: B&N

Book Synopsis: A sweet story of a tree that's literally filled with secrets.


About the Author: Natalie Standiford is the author of How to Say Goodbye in Robot and Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters. She is originally from Maryland, but now lives in New York City and plays in the all-YA-author band Tiger Beat.

Cover Art: This
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Tasha
The neighborhood that Minty lived in had some very interesting stories. There was the Man-Bat, a huge combination of man and bat that lived in the woods. On the other side of the woods was the Witch’s House, where Minty’s best friend Paz was brave enough to knock but then lost her little sister’s favorite stuffed animal when the witch emerged and grabbed her. When Minty saw a flash in the woods one day, she headed off to see what it was. That’s how she met Raymond, a boy who lived alone in the n ...more
Karen Ball
"Otis said when you disturb a spirit's grave, the ghost floats out of the ground and goes to live in a tree. Especially a tree with holes in it. And it eats secrets. So if you find a tree with a hole in it, you can put your secret there and the spirit makes it go away"...
"How does Otis know so much about spirits?" I asked. "He's from Louisiana," Raymond told me. "He knows voodoo."

Minty (Araminta Mortimer) lives in a town full of secrets, and her summer revolves around discovering the stories beh
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Rachel
Minty and her best friend Paz are roller derby fans. They plan to be in the same roller derby team together but one day Paz starts hanging out with older girls and ignoring Minty. That's when she finds The Secret Tree, a tree that has a ghost in it and if you put your secret in it the ghost will make it dissapear. She also meets Raymond, a boy who also knows about the secret tree and soon they become friends as Minty's world changes.

I picked this book up because it looked interesting and I wante
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Brittany

Minty loves the roller derby and so does her best friend Paz. Or, at least she used to love it too. Now Paz has started hanging out with some of the older more popular girls and Minty isn't sure what to do. Strange things start happening though, like Paz getting weird ailments and someone snooping through people's things. When Minty catches the snooper she chases him through the words, here she stumbles upon a The Secret Tree. People place their secrets in the tree and the ghost inside eats them
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Natalie Standiford, author of "How to Say Goodbye in Robot," "Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters," and the popular "Space Dog" and "Dating Game" series, has written picture books, nonfiction, chapter books, teen novels, and even horror novels for young adults. Standiford also plays bass in the rock band Tiger Beat, with fellow YA authors Libba Bray, Daniel Ehrenhaft, and Barnabas Miller.
Find out
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More about Natalie Standiford...
How to Say Goodbye in Robot Bravest Dog Ever: Story of Balto Countdown (The 39 Clues: Unstoppable, #3) Confessions of the Sullivan Sisters The Dating Game (Dating Game, #1)

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“You're a big sister?' I was shocked. She seemed so good-natured and compassionate.” 10 likes
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