Stevecrandell's Reviews > Secrets at Hidden Valley

Secrets at Hidden Valley by Willo Davis Roberts
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Apr 07, 12

bookshelves: grades-5-8, mystery, middle-school-girls
Read in April, 2010

This is a good story, without much in the way of suspense. 11-year-old Steffi Thomas hops a bus across country and sets up a new home in an isolated rundown trailer park, with her very cranky grandfather. Steffi does what she can to make the best of her circumstance – she works hard, and looks for signs of acceptance.

There’s a believable and satisfying progression to her successes and setbacks. This makes up for the less satisfying element of mystery. Roberts repeats her indicators of the suspicious mood more than necessary. And the solutions don’t justify the buildup. The secrets at Hidden Valley are a bit of a jumble – it’s what’s out in the open that counts.
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