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Secrets at Sea

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  1,683 Ratings  ·  353 Reviews
Helena is big-sister mouse to three younger siblings, living a snug and well-fed life within the ancient walls of the Cranston family home. When the Cranston humans decide to sail away to England to find a husband for one of their daughters, the Cranston mice stow away in the name of family solidarity.
     And so begins the scamper of their lives as Helena, her siblings, a
Published January 10th 2012 by Listening Library (Audio) (first published October 13th 2011)
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Community Reviews

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Mike Puma
May 10, 2011 Mike Puma rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: upper elementary & middle graders
Shelves: 2011, children-s-lit

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

It pains me to give a book by Richard Peck only 2 stars. I think he's a wonderful writer. His Grandma Dowdel books are absolutely hilarious. So 2 stars goes against my genuine admiration for Mr. Peck. But I just have to. It was a struggle to get through it. I just was absolutely not interested in the story or the characters. I wouldn't have cared if the ship's cat ate every last mouse on board and ended the book early. I probably would've cheered him on. Here, kitty, kitty, kitty....
Roxanne Hsu Feldman
Who would have thought? Richard Peck: the 21st Century Austen for the 8 to 10 set? But he IS! This little gem of a book has all the good stuff:

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
Beth Wood
Nov 27, 2011 Beth Wood rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: funny, children
Absolutely delightful. This new book by Richard Peck, which I have read before, is wonderfully written and illustrated. The language is so descriptive and evocative, you can practically see the little mice's ears twitch and whiskers wiggle. The book takes place right before Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee, and the historical details definitely add to the overall story.

The Cranston mice, watched over by big sister Helena, live with the Cranston family. When the family decides they must sail to E
The Library Lady
This is compared in the blurb to one of the most overrated children's books of the last few decades The Tale of Despereaux and it shouldn't be, because it's a lot better. No cloying "dear reader" narration here, but the charming voice of Helena, oldest surviving mouse daughter of the Cranston family.
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
Aug 15, 2011 Brenda rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
The story centers on a family of mice (Three sisters and a brother) who live with their human companions the Cranston's. When the upstairs Cranston's deciede that it is time for one of their daughters to find a suitable husband, mice and humans must take a voyage to England. I found the story very charming. Their is lots of talk about who the Cranston's daughter should marry, titles, Queens and parties ensue. There is a few instances of peril but nothing that is to scary. Overall a fun adventure ...more
Jul 31, 2011 Bryce rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: books-we-own
Sometimes it's not necessarily what's new that's brought to the table, but the manner and skill in which it's presented. This is such a case. Thank you Richard Peck for a few respite "date nights" with my best friend filled with humor, fake British accents, and a great message on family.
Ann Jacobus
May 23, 2011 Ann Jacobus rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
SECRETS AT SEA is Richard Peck’s latest middle-grade novel, with lovely soft-edged illustrations by Kelly Murphy.

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
Feb 17, 2017 Kris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A cute mouse-tale with very nice artwork.
I didn't realize that behind many successful families there could be an army of mice modeling their lives and influencing outcomes--an imaginative premise.
Dec 06, 2011 Dana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile-fiction
The Ghost Belonged to Me by Richard Peck is one of my favorite books from my childhood so I decided to read his latest book for young children and loved it! This is fun historical fiction in which the mice living in aristocratic homes take on the personalities and rank of their "upstairs" families. This story has adventure (crossing the Atlantic bound to England,) romance, and lots of great humor. I highly recommend this one!

3rd grade and up.
Mar 07, 2012 Kathleen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-fiction
Cute, but frothy. Never quite gets going as an adventure, misses a little bit for tone for a comedy. Entertaining probably for younger readers as a read aloud, just didn't charm me like I thought it would. But I would likely recommend as a read aloud for first or second grade, with some explaining of the historical elements necessary, like class and rank. I guess I'm just not sure who this book is meant for. Not up to Mr. Peck's usual standards.
mice move from provincial bourgeois outer nyc life to england, to get the human family's oldest daughter married to some rich brit, if possible, as she is uglly and gauch, but then so is mom and dad. the mice decide to go with them and madcap escapades ensue on board the luxury line a la 1890's. s'ok. nice illustrations by peck's old art hand kelly murphy.
Feb 19, 2013 M rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
one of the best stories i have ever read. When i started to read this i thought it was not going to be good. Then i read more of Secrets at sea and i started to really like it. I recommend this book to anyone who likes a adventure.
Dec 27, 2012 Alice rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This charming story of a family of mice and their adventures is clever and very fun. There are plenty of interesting characters, lots of excitement, and a few plots twists. There is nothing offensive and will appeal to both genders.

Recommended for: Ages 9 - 12
Nov 02, 2011 Peggy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kids-books
Deeeelightful animal fantasy with Peck's signature warmth, and mix of subtle humor and all out farce. Grades 4 and up or a great read-a-loud for younger ones. For those who like Poppy, Cricket in Times Square, Tumtum and Nutmeg, The Littles, and other miniature worlds.
Aug 06, 2011 Taylor rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 4th-grade-level
A truly delightful read. Humor, heart-warming moments, adventure, and great life-insights from the one and only Richard Peck.
Mar 25, 2012 Lei rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Lei by: Librarian
I loved this book because it was an entertaining, light-hearted read.
Alisa Kester
Aug 29, 2016 Alisa Kester rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Perfectly charming!
Jack Carl
Mar 22, 2017 Jack Carl rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Richie Partington
23 June 2011 SECRETS AT SEA by Richard Peck, Dial, October 2011, 256p., ISBN: 978-0-8037-3455-5

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
Karen Machin
Mar 20, 2017 Karen Machin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Audiobook: Jayne Entwhistle brilliance switching accents and characters! Fun story
Oct 01, 2013 Josiah rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
"How at ease I was with a human! I wouldn't have dreamed it. I suppose it is better to start with their children, who have open minds."

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
Joanna Glaze
Maybe closer to 2.5. I read this after my 8 year old completed it on her own. Not my favorite Richard Peck book but my daughter liked it and we were able discuss that's a worth a whole star :)
Sep 29, 2016 Hazel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Cover Blurb: It’s cute and charming, which is exactly in keeping with the story. I love the title’s font and the colors; very vibrant and fun. What I don’t quite like is the title itself. It doesn’t really capture much of what the story is about.

What I Liked: Helena is a plucky mouse heroine who takes the job of looking after her siblings very seriously. Even so, her fussing and worrying doesn’t get annoying because the behavior of her siblings really does warrant it. Helena treats Louise far be
Maggie Loll
Apr 16, 2016 Maggie Loll rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
As posted on Outside of a Dog:

2011 was a big year for mice. The eponymous Babymouse had two new adventures, including the delightfully wacky A Babymouse Christmas, Geronimo Stilton introduced a new friend, Creepella Von Cacklefur, in some spooky new adventures, Lois Lowery gave us a band of church mice in Bless This Mouse and Pip and friends helped Skilley the cat in The Cheshire Cheese Cat. And then there was Helena, Louise, Beatrice and Lamont, stars of Richard Peck’s Secrets at Sea, and their
Roselyn - bookmarkedpages

This book brought back memories of childhood. I went through this phase where I’d only (or at least mainly) read books about animals and I guess there’s a part of me that always will love stories of this nature. I would have adored this book even more as kid and I almost wish it had been around ten or so years ago. The truth is we never really know what animals think or do when we’re not looking and I’m always interested in stories that play on this concept.

Don’t be fooled by the fact that th
Jan 16, 2012 Barbara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Secrets at Sea is a sweet tell of the Cranston mice whom live in the Cranston family home. Of the Cranston mice family, four sibling remain. The father has previously been killed by a cat, and the mother and two older siblings drowned. Helena, the oldest Cranston mouse, is trying to hold the remaining family together (Louise, Beatrice, and Lamont).

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
Jan 31, 2015 Starry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: juvenile, fiction
This book is CHARMING, CHARMING, CHARMING. First, I adore Richard Peck. His comic timing is understated and spot-on. Here he applies it to Victorian mice on a sea voyage. Think The Borrowers through the eyes of author Henry James. The dialog is funny, the situations are funny.

But will kids like it as much as Jane-Austen-fans-tolerant-of-mice-as-main-characters? Maybe not. I wish I knew the story (there must be a story) behind the dedication to Sally Lloyd-Jones, another writer I love.

Plot: Old
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Richard Peck is an American novelist known for his prolific contributions to modern young adult literature. He was awarded the Newbery Medal in 2001 for his novel A Year Down Yonder.

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.

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“This is how you hold onto your family. You hold them with open hands so they are free to find futures of their own. It's just that simple.” 20 likes
“Fame is a funny thing, like a secret, both are hard to keep.” 3 likes
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