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Shakespeare's Secret

3.87  ·  Rating Details ·  7,216 Ratings  ·  683 Reviews
Named after a character in a Shakespeare play, misfit sixth-grader Hero becomes interested in exploring this unusual connection because of a valuable diamond supposedly hidden in her new house, an intriguing neighbor, and the unexpected attention of the most popular boy in school.
Paperback, 258 pages
Published 2007 by St Martin (first published May 1st 2005)
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Caitlyn Cusack I would not recommend this book because of the horrible ending.
Georgia Hogan
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Jan 19, 2008 Nova rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shakespeare’s Secret’s main character is Hero Netherfield, a 6th grade girl who is trying to adjust to a new school. She is an outcast that contrasts greatly to her outgoing, pretty sister Beatrice. Both girls get their names from the Shakespearian play Much Ado About Nothing, which is a favorite of their Shakespearian scholar father. Hero is miserable because of the teasing of classmates, but the friendship of an elderly neighbor and a neighborhood boy who confides the details of a famous missi ...more
Oct 19, 2013 Audrey rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

I actually bought this book, and have read it cover to cover so, so many times. So, you can figure out that after I moved into my new house, I would want to reread this book again, right? Well, you are correct. But, always remember this. Moving does some things to your stuff. Bad things.

There was a freaking DEAD SPIDER flattened on one of the pages in the book! Dead! With its... stuff in its body all splattered out! Can you imagine my horror? My freaking horror? It scared the HECK
May 25, 2008 Jolie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was a fun and quick read that I was previewing as a possibility for Sarah to read. I think I've decided to let it wait another year or so--mostly because I just think she'll enjoy it more then. She's going into third grade next year, and the main characters are in sixth and eighth grades, so the context is just a little bit older for her.

Anyway, this is the story of Hero (named after the character in Much Ado about Nothing) and her family who move into a new town and a house with a mystery
There was so many different aspects of this book that appeal to different people. If you like mysteries then there's that aspect of the book. If you like history, then there's the Shakespeare angle. If you like realistic fiction about middle school angst, then there's that angle too. My only criticism of the book is that sometime Broach used her description to excess and she also made it appear as if the mystery that was solved at the end of the story was historically accurate. Of course, that p ...more
Sep 21, 2007 Caroline rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: listened-to
I listened to this book while doing my tri-state pre-Christmas driving tour. That is to say, I listened to the whole thing while driving from Williamsburg to Leesburg, then to College Park, MD, then to Alexandria, then back to Richmond where I shuttled between my parents' house and Judson's parents' house. Lots of driving, lots of time to follow along with the mystery.

I liked the main character - something that rarely happens - and I liked the premise. This is a story about a lonely, slightly g
This book has such a great plot that it deserves 6 stars. Thanks Les for recommending it.
Jan 04, 2009 Drebbles rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Named after a character in William Shakespeare’s “Much Ado About Nothing”, Hero has been teased about her name her whole life and expects more of the same when she starts sixth grade at a new school in a new city. She does indeed get teased, but things aren’t quite as bad as she expected as she starts to make friends both young and old. Not only that but she finds herself in the middle of a mystery – there may be a diamond hidden somewhere in her house – a diamond that may hold the key to Shakes ...more
Abby Johnson
May 31, 2007 Abby Johnson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hero dreads starting at a new school again. She's never been popular like her sister Beatrice and she knows that the first day will be the worst. This first day is the worst she's ever had. When introduced to her new class, a girl in the class blurts out that her dog's name is Hero. Henceforth, Hero is known as the girl named after a dog. With no friends at school, Hero begins spending time with her neighbor Mrs. Roth who is telling her about the mystery of the large diamond that is suspected to ...more
Hero's family has moved. Again. That means another new school where older sister Beatrice will fit right in while Hero will be, at best, ignored. It's bad enough that Hero has a funny name, thanks to her parents' interest in Shakespeare, but Hero doesn't have the personality to quickly make friends either. Things are different in this town though - Hero makes friends with her elderly next door neighbor (good), gets teased for having a dog's name (bad), catches the attention of the cutest boy in ...more
Hero Netherfield, a sixth grader, has enrolled in yet another new school. At this school, just as other schools, all the kids tease her about her unusual name. Everyone, that is except Danny Cordova, the coolest boy in the eighth grade. Hero is also befriended by her next door neighbor, Mrs. Roth. Danny and Mrs. Roth are already great friends. Danny and Mrs. Roth tell Hero about the beautiful Murphy diamond, a 13 carat treasure that is supposedly hidden in Hero’s new house. The diamond may have ...more
Joanna.  (:
Feb 25, 2009 Joanna. (: rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: ages 10-14, boys +girls.
Recommended to Joanna. (: by: MsThomas
This book is quite intresting. So far, this girls called Hero has moved house, yet again, and is setteling into a new school, but with a name like Hero - she was named after a person out of one of shakespear's plays because her dad has some job that involves Shakespears's plays - and a sister who is perfect in every single way, starting a new school isnt the easiest thing to do. She has just found out from an old lady that lives ner them that the house she lives in once was very famous because t ...more
Sep 03, 2007 Barb rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Shakespeare fans, mystery lovers
Shakespeare’s Secret
By Elise Broach
2007-2008 Mark Twain Award Nominee
September 3, 2007

Wow! I am not a Shakespeare fan, but thought I would try this book because others told me it was good. It is historical fiction. The facts about the famous people in the story are (as far as we can tell) true facts. Hmm, now I may need to read some Shakespeare.
Hero is a new girl in town, and has some tension about the first day of school. Hmm, it probably could have been worse, but not much. The story continu
Jun 23, 2008 Erica rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a fun read about Hero Netherfield, a young girl saddled with an improbable name because her father is a Shakespeare scholar.
When Hero moves to a new town, she dreads starting a new school, and the constant ribbing she'll get about her name. Her worst fears are confirmed when a fellow student blurts out that she has a dog named Hero, and the torment at school begins.

Fortunately for Hero, she has a kindly next door neighbor who alerts her to a mystery she must solve -- a mystery involving
Aug 12, 2007 Bonnie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of ya mysteries and Shakespeare authorship stories
This was an okay book.
It's about a girl named Hero, named after a character from Much Ado About Nothing, who has moved to a new town again, and has to go through the ordeal of starting at a new school. Because of her name, she finds it hard to make friends and fit in. Sure enough, the same thing happens again, but this time she doesn't mind as much, because the old lady who lives next door tells her about a diamond that might be hidden in the house Hero is living in. Suddenly there is more adven
Eleven year old Hero Netherfield (named after a character in "Much Ado about Nothing") just moved into a house whose previous owner was involved in a possible insurance scam concerning a missing diamond with links to Anne Boleyn, Queen Elizabeth 1st, and William Shakespeare. Interesting twist on one of the mysteries of history. I really liked this book and would recommend it to anyone who likes Elizabethan fiction, Shakespeare, or mysteries. Some good guidelines for group discussions are include ...more
Eileen W
I read this book with my 10 year old son, taking turns. That, in and of itself, always makes the book more enjoyable for me. This book had an element of mystery, and the Shakespeare theme was a great one! We both learned something new about Shakespeare - always a plus. There was the hint of infidelity in the book, but my son didn't seem to pick up on it. Given that, I would suggest middle school or even older for this book.
Mar 02, 2012 Quinn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book!!! The mixture of history and the present day makes an interesting thing to read! Discovering who Shakespeare really is! With mysteries from not just the past but in present day!!!! There is mysteries all over!! It is a cool way of historical fiction!
Oct 28, 2013 Nehap rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Best book ever!!!! I have to say, that this is my favorite book. Thank you Mrs. Black!! I am so glad I read this book. It is suspenseful, full of surprises too! Oh, and the surprises are great! Read for more!
Apr 25, 2012 Reagan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
i am absolutely loving this book. if you are intrigued by amazing mysteries, shocking Hero's, and brilliant twists thru out a book, you will love Shakespeare's Secret.
Emuary W
This book is literally one of my best books yet. It really surrised me at the end. You guys should read it.
May 28, 2009 Kayla rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
it was awesome! i read it to my little brother and sister!
Oct 19, 2013 Kripa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I loved this book. It was full of suspense and fun. I would recommend this to mystery-lovers.
Jun 26, 2008 Alyssa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book is a wonderful mistery!
Oct 30, 2016 Sabrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a good book, although I assumed from the title that it would be a little more interesting than it was for someone my age. I recommend this book to someone around the age of eight because it is a little bit of a childish book although, if you like suspense, and you don't mind a childish plot, it is a good book to read.
Vivian O'Brion
Dec 13, 2016 Vivian O'Brion rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Young Adult Mystery Lovers
Crap! I almost forgot about this book!!! Well, I read it in fifth grade, and it really got me hooked on the entire young mystery genre, which I still love to this day. I love the characters personas and the storytelling is really interesting. Not my favoite, but still a downright amazing book.
Tessa Gray
Nov 02, 2016 Tessa Gray rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An amazing book that I read when I was younger. I have always remembered this story but could never remember the title. I'm glad I found it on goodread since it is worth a re-read. This story tells an amazing abbout a young, witty girl who solves a great mystery!
Anna K
Jan 09, 2017 Anna K rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I always enjoy a historical fiction text. This one was recommended by my little sister. I enjoyed how the author wove the historical facts with the fictional plot. While previous Shakespearean or Tudor/Elizabethan background knowledge may not be necessary to read this book, it certainly helps to gain a better connection with the story.
Dec 19, 2016 Kristin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a great little mystery with a bunch of history about the controversial identity of Shakespeare and who he might have really been.
Jan 13, 2017 Khadiyya rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A really good book about a girl who suddenly has a mystery of the Murphy Diamond on her hands.
Oct 16, 2016 Julie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-in-2015
(Importing reviews from my blog here.)

I feel like the cover makes this book look more serious than it is. I enjoyed the Shakespeare history and themes because I enjoy those things, but I wonder if kids will find them as interesting. I didn’t find it particularly suspenseful; there was no sense of any serious consequences. The story was very simple and was wrapped up too neatly. Middle schoolers might enjoy this, though I think it’s better aimed at younger readers.
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Did you like this? 6 31 Apr 13, 2015 02:43PM  
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Elise Broach is the New York Times bestselling author of children's books including Masterpiece, Shakespeare's Secret, Desert Crossing, Missing on Superstition Mountain (the first book in the Superstition Mountain Trilogy) as well as several picture books. Her books have been selected as ALA notable books, Junior Library Guild selections, a Publishers Weekly Best Children's Book, a New York Public ...more
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