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Ravenmaster's Secret

3.82  ·  Rating Details ·  1,700 Ratings  ·  158 Reviews
-year-old Forrest lives at the Tower of London prison, where his father tends the Tower ravens and guards inmates. Forrest's only friends are his pet raven, his father's prisoners (who all end up dead), and Ned, the young rat catcher. Soon Forrest's father gets a new prisoner: Maddie, the beautiful daughter of a Scottish spy. Immediately Forrest and Maddie become friends. ...more
Audio CD, 0 pages
Published March 1st 2005 by Blackstone Audiobooks (first published 2003)
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(showing 1-30)
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Sep 06, 2013 Susan rated it it was amazing
Shelves: audio, juvenile, 2013
Excellent story about the raven master and his family residing in the Tower. Imaginative telling and a lesson to be learned - without hitting the listener over the head - made for an engrossing read. There was also some historical blurbs at the end of the tale about the Tower, its history and different customs during that time period.

Ok, I enjoyed this story. It had heart, it had a message, it had the ability to stir my emotions. I also like my kid lit to end the way the stories should end (for me, that usually means don't kill off any characters I like, and generally give me happily ever after--I cannot abide sad stories, especially in kid lit), and this book does give me the ending I wanted.

I do sort of have questions in my mind about this book, though. It appealed to me, but I'm an adult. I found the imaginings of the mai
Pamela Bronson
Mar 30, 2016 Pamela Bronson rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This may be a good read and educational, but I can't make myself read it because of one HUGE blunder: it mixes Gaelic with the totally different Lowland Scots language (basically an dialect of English) and calls them both Gaelic. That is so wrong. Here's the beginning of the Lord's Prayer in Lowland Scots (aka "Lallans") "Our Father, wha art in heaven, hallowet be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be dune in yirth as it is in heaven." - you can more or less understand it, if you speak English ...more
This book is so hard to rate. The first third of the book was terrible. We actually asked our mom to stop reading it aloud to us, it was that bad. The Ravenmaster's Secret was written for 8-12 year old children, but it had aspects that we did NOT appreciate for younger readers. (view spoiler) ...more
An inspirational story about doing what's right even if it against the law. Forrest lives near the Tower of London which holds prisoners waiting to be executed. He is the Ravenmaster's son and will be the Raven master one day.

When a young, beautiful Scottish girl is impristoned, slated for executation for committing treason along with her father and uncle, Forrest befriends the girl and realizes she is just an innocent part of the plan. He hears her story, decides to help her, and fears that he
Oct 17, 2011 Nora rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
In the story there is a boy named Forrest. He lives within the towers walls. His fathers job is to take care of the ravens and Forrest has to help his father with taking care of the birds but also with other things. One of the jobs is to bring food to the prisoners.

Forrest doesn't like the way he lives. One day Forrest gets a new prisoner that he is to bring food to every day. The prisoner is a Scottish girl. One night Forrest goes outside and finds out that his friend Ned has been sold to a ch
Chris Holliman
Jul 31, 2012 Chris Holliman rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Synopsis: The year is 1735 and the place is the Tower of London. Forrest Harper is an 11 year old boy who is the son of the prison’s Ravenmaster. His days are spent tending to the birds, playing with his rat catching friend Ned, and providing meals to some of the prisoners. Forrest longs for adventure and receives some when a group of Scottish prisoners are sent to the tower. Amongst them is a girl named Maddy who soon fills Forrest’s ear up with tales of her home in Scotland.

As the day of Maddi
Jun 29, 2012 Heather rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: battle-books, 2012
I was looking for books for Colin that he hasn't read and the librarian recommended this one. She said it has often been a battle book and was one of her favorites. While Colin wouldn't read it (he was not interested after a couple of chapters), I decided to give it a whirl since it was one of the librarian's favorite books.

I can see why Colin put it down. For a children's book, it's a little bloody. Not in a grotesque way, but it is a softened version of life in the Tower of London in the 1700'
Amy M
I really enjoyed this one! The characters were well-rooted in their historical setting (which was clearly well-researched) and it never came across as dull or as a summary of events. The characters were true to their roles, but in a way that fit their own histories rather than being pawns on a chess board. I always appreciate the balance between character and plot and don't really like when one dominates the other.

I found myself rooting for Forrest and his friends, and the villains were appropr
Dylan Mack
Jan 21, 2016 Dylan Mack rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Ravenmaster's Secret is about a 11 year old boy named Forrest Harper. This story takes place in 1735 at the tower of London. Forrest is the son of the Ravenmaster Hugh Harper who has been a warder at the tower for over 25 years. Three new prisoners comes to the tower of London two were big and muscular Scottish rebels the third was a 11 year old girl. Forrest makes a deal with her to let her out. Will she escape or will she stay as a prisoner that is up to Forrest.

I would definitely recommen
Set in the Tower of London, the ravenmaster's son is assigned care of a girl imprisoned for being a Jacobite rebel. During the course of the book he deals with bullies, friendship, and is faced with difficult choices about loyalty and fairness. Although it is a bit simplistic, I can see why teachers and others recommend the book. The character faces conflict and emerges a stronger and wiser person. If you have gone or are going to the Tower of London this book does a great job making the history ...more
Mar 01, 2016 Mira rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My son is reading this at school, so thought I would join him. It goes by quickly, and is a good historical fiction adventure. The story itself wraps neatly--maybe too neatly for my personal taste--but it addresses some interesting moral issues for the boy hero, relatable for kids figuring out who they are, and beginning to think about their own independence. Also introduces the conundrum of what is right or fair vs what is lawful, and what it might mean when they aren't necessarily the same thi ...more
Amy B
Oct 28, 2014 Amy B rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Really 2.5 stars, but I didn't think it fair to give a solid children's book 2 stars just because I'm not a kid. :) Not a bad story, just a little slow for me. I feel like it would have been made better had the book been written from the perspective of all three children, instead of just Forrest. It would have helped me like Maddie more, and Ned's side of the story would have made the adventure a little more fast-paced. :)
Finnegan Forsyth
what was your favorite part?

It is when Maddy escapes.

what did you like about that part?

Since, I'm a Scot.

who was your favorite character?



because he never dies, and since he's just a nice guy.

would you recommend this book to your friends?



Since I want to play it.

would you read it again?

Natalie Shook
Oct 24, 2016 Natalie Shook rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book! I couldn't put it down, so I finished it in a day. A thrilling adventure of daring and friendship. Great plot line, with strong characters and unexpected events. I definite favorite! I'm telling you to read this book!
Neel Panchal
Jun 20, 2010 Neel Panchal rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Nice book about the middle ages in Europe
Recommend to people who like to read about history and other types of fiction

This was the first book that i acutually liked which was historic fiction
Jun 11, 2009 Veena rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
in the beginning it was boring but whaen you got deeper and deeper in to the book it is a very good book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Jan 22, 2017 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I picked this book up because of the setting (a recent trip to London would have made any book set in the Tower of London during it's heyday as a prison interesting ;) ), and was pleasantly surprised. It's a quick read, definitely appropriate for children (despite the potentially gruesome setting), and though I felt the main character develops a little *too* quickly to be wholly realistic, his growth didn't feel stilted or forced within the story. His take on life and his view on the world fit p ...more
Misti Konsavage
I have such mixed feelings about this book. After I read the first 1/3 of the book to my kids....I wanted to quit and they asked me to just stop reading. I stuck with it a bit longer. Glad I did. The last half was SO MUCH better than the first, and the author tied up the ending perfectly to make it the perfect ending!!! Overall, we didn't care for the dark mood/theme of the whole book. Lots of darkness, gloom, hanging, execution, ghosts and just unclean feelings. The end, thankfully was wonderfu ...more
Jan 31, 2017 Erica rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book was a fascinating story of a young boy who has some amazing friends. Forest lives at the tower of London, his father is the Ravenmaster and a guard at the Tower of London- the Bloody Tower to be exact. What will happen when a girl about his age is imprisoned there and she is innocent? Will he be able to help her?
Candy Glade
Feb 03, 2017 Candy Glade rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The young characters were so endearing and willing to risk all for love and friendship. Family ties were an important motivator for the main character. Suspenseful and sweet!
may get for Ethan
Victoria M
3.5. read aloud. Rated by my kids.
Mar 21, 2017 Christine rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good children's story about a boy that helps to take care of the ravens in the Tower of London.
Adoria Kelley
This story is about a boy who is the son of a raven master who often helps take care of prisoners in the Tower of London. One day he meets a girl that shakes his whole world. I would use this book as an read aloud and have them write a paper on one time they decided that breaking the rules was worth it. (For instance, to save someone's life)
Apr 27, 2015 Samantha rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Part of the 2015 Reading Challenge: A book set in a different country

I wanted something easy and fun to read after the last book I read, and this book fulfilled those two requirements while also investing me way more into the plot and characters than I had originally expected.

I'll be honest and say I wasn't too impressed with the book after reading the first two pages. The fourth paragraph of the book switches into second person, while the rest of the book is told in third. I was still trying to
Oct 28, 2015 J.D.Staton rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A very insightful book about the history and rituals surrounding the Towers of London, in the middle ages. The intriguing mystery and story line involving the three primary child protagonists is beautifully and carefully revealed to teach not only what the routines of the Tower involved but what life working and living within that environment involved. Though I've known for many years that public displays of "justice events" (beheadings, hangings, standing in stocks, chopping off body parts or b ...more
Tom Mcguire
Aug 09, 2015 Tom Mcguire rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book made me think--about what it means to be loyal, how you demonstrate friendship, and about what it would have been like to live at the Tower of London. Anything that gets my brain going that much qualifies as a good read.

Forrest, the main character and son of the Tower's Ravenmaster, feels trapped by his life inside the prison walls. He, unlike the inmates, is at least free to leave his room, but he wants more expansive freedom--the kind that would allow him to have adventures, like fig
Forrest is the son of a guard and raven keeper at the Tower of London in 1735, and he's rarely ventured out into the city. His friends are a raven named Tuck, and a boy nicknamed Rat, so named because he is a rat catcher due to his small size. Forrest does not feel that he is very brave, since older boys tease him and call him names.

Suddenly a new prisoner comes, a Scottish girl his age, wanted for treason, but Forrest can't believe that she is as evil as everyone is saying.

Things take a turn fo
Daina Jaeger Mundt
An easy read, but a great story that is partially based on facts surrounding the Tower of London back in the 1700's and is therefore, a story that essentially could have happened. The strength of friendship and family ties runs deep in this story, as does the importance of following your heart and what you believe to be right and good.
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Well-known for her popular children’s stories, author Elvira Woodruff had a long route to becoming a writer. In fact, one of her first jobs after leaving college was driving an ice cream truck. She has also worked as a receptionist, a janitor, a window dresser, a gardener, a shop owner, an assistant librarian, a waitress, and a storyteller. After working for several years in the children’s room of ...more
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