Jolie's Reviews > Shakespeare's Secret

Shakespeare's Secret by Elise Broach
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May 25, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: read-alouds-with-kids

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--a missing diamond purported to be hidden on the property. Hero and her new friends, Miriam (an elderly neighbor) and Danny (an eighth grader who may be able to save Hero from being a total outcast at school), are determined to find the diamond. On the way, they may even unravel the mystery of who really wrote Shakespeare's plays...

I enjoyed the historical aspect of this story--the author is an historian--as well as the characters' development. The mystery, while not difficult for an adult to figure out, is fleshed out nicely, and there is a lovely happy ending, which when I was young was the determining factor in liking a book. I think this is a good, intelligent read-aloud or independent read for upper elementary to middle school kids.
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