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The Secret School

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  3,378 Ratings  ·  383 Reviews
More than anything, Ida Bidson wants to become a teacher. To do that, she needs to finish eighth grade so she can go on to high school. But when the one-room school in Ida’s remote Colorado town closes unexpectedly, that dream seems unattainable. Her only hope is to keep the school open without anyone finding out. Yet even a secret school needs a teacher. Ida can’t be
Hardcover, 153 pages
Published August 15th 2001 by Harcourt Childrens Books (first published January 1st 2001)
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Marcia I think it sort of slipped out; she was anxious and tired, remember, when she went to their farm; plus, she got nervous at the dad's attitude. Plus,…moreI think it sort of slipped out; she was anxious and tired, remember, when she went to their farm; plus, she got nervous at the dad's attitude. Plus, she was raised not to lie, and answered him honestly.(less)
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Rain Misoa
Oct 24, 2013 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Avi fans and people who are willing to work hard towards their goals!
Recommended to Rain by: Library
Shelves: education, must-own
I went to the library recently and, whilst browsing the shelves, I came across Avi's Nothing But The Truth. I love that book. I read it back in high school and remembered how I fell in love with its unique writing style, engaging story, and annoying, but necessary, characters. So I checked it out of the library along with a few other books by Avi. After all, if I read one of his books and loved it so much, there's a chance I might fall in love with another, right?

I did. I read The Secret School
Aug 12, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Cute little story and a very fast read. I'm trying to get my 10 year old to read it, but she started it and lost interest after the first chapter. I will try her on it again later. This is a historical fiction story about 14 yr old Ida who wants to be a teacher more than anything in the world, yet her schooling is interrupted by the town's teacher leaving and no replacement coming. Ida decides to take the matter into her own hands and with her friend's encouragement, decides to become the new te ...more
Emily Dente
"The Secret School" by Avi is a book that should be read by younger students. I am in 7th grade and I thought that I should be reading a more challenging book. It was a short book that didn't have much going on. I felt throughout the whole book everything was being rushed. It seemed as if in every chapter there was something new going on.
I request this book to 4-6 grade students. It seems too challenging for 3rd graders and below because there are some bigger words that they might not understand
Denise Leshay
Jul 05, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I really loved this book, and I plan on reading it to my students this year. Avi is a wonderful author and he really makes you feel like it is 1925 and you are a student in the classroom of The Secret School. The book was a quick read and it made me think about how lucky we are to be able to attend school and give it our main focus. Imagine having to go to school and work on a farm every other spare minute. I'm hoping this book will make my students think about how lucky they are to have the opp ...more
Sweet book about the power of determination! I love how Ida is so young no so determined and strong.
Maggie Bryngelson
I really liked this books message to the readers. That people could do anything they wanted to do, if they were up for the task, that is. Ida is a young girl who wants to be a teacher, and faces discrimination on women's education, and she just goes to school anyway. I really enjoyed how the setting was somewhat modern, but still took you back to when it really happened.
Apr 11, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Avi is one of the authors that I always expect great things from, and I am never disappointed when I read one of his books. The Secret School is about a fourth grade reading level, but perfect for a class that I teach of struggling readers. This quick read (about 150 pages, but larger print than normal) is about a valley of farmer's children that go to school in a one room schoolhouse. Their teacher is leaving because her mother is ill and the school board has decided to close the school. Then a ...more
Samantha S
Sep 01, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Secret School by Avi is a fun and easy historical fiction book in which a one-room schoolhouse in a poor farming town in the year 1925 is faced with a big problem- they are about to lose their only teacher, with no hope of a replacement. Ida Bidson, a fourteen-year-old eighth-grader who aspires to be a teacher, realizes that when the schoolteacher leaves she won’t be able to take the exit exam and get to high school! She and the other students hatch the plan to reopen the schoolhouse- but se ...more
Reminiscent of a Little House on the Prairie book, the Secret School is set in 1925 Colorado. Fourteen-year-old Ida is looking forward to graduating from the 8th grade and moving on to high school, but her plans are jeopardized when the teacher is called away for a family emergency before the school year ends and the school board doesn't want to replace her. If Ida can't finish the 8th grade, she can't go on to high school.

Featuring a strong female lead and providing details of life on a farm as
Feb 04, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
A small one room class of students secretly carry on school led by 14 year old Ida after their teacher is forced to leave before the end of the school year. Set in rural Colorado in 1925. this is an interesting depiction of frontier education as well as a charming story of energy and ambition.
Aaron Wallace
Jul 17, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I liked this book because you can learn a poem or two and you can learn a lot of things like how back then the schools were all in one room.Imagine in one room about 16-20 kids in all grades.poor teacher!My favrite part was when the kids played a joke on the teacher and threw her in the pond.In conclusion, I thought this was a great book.
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
I loved this story about a 14-year-old girl who secretly becomes teacher of a rural school in 1925 Colorado in order to keep studying and to graduate so that she can go on to high school. Now there's dedication to an education!
More juvenile than I usually read, but I figured it was an Avi book, so hey! Naturally I was not disappointed and this was an especially good kid's book.
This is a very boring book!!!! I hated this book!!!! DO NOT READ THIS!!!!!
Aug 09, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Holly Petersen
Oct 18, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Goodreads: Book 4
The Secret School

The book I read was The Secret School. In the beginning of the book you meet some characters, who are Ida, Tom, Felix, The students, Miss.Fletcher, and Mr.Jordan. Miss.Fletcher’s mom was very ill, so she had to leave the school and all of her students behind. But Ida and Tom had to take an exit test still before they could go to highschool. Mr.Jordan had to close the school because there would be no teacher, and all of the kids would have to wait for school to
Nov 23, 2012 rated it really liked it
This would be a good older elementary/middle school read. The main character (Ida) is a fourteen year old girl who wants to be a teacher someday, but near the end of her eighth grade year, her teacher's mother becomes very sick, and her teacher has to leave to go take care of her mother. The school board president decides to cut costs by not getting a replacement with only a few months left. That means that none of the students will get credit for that school year and Ida won't be able to take t ...more
Mar 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
This story reminded me of Laura Ingalls' Little House on the Prairie series in a way. I enjoyed it. School students find themselves suddenly teacherless in a country one-room school house and find their own solution. But it's a secret! There are obstacles and personal challenges along the way. Will they make it? Will their friendships last? Will the protagonist be able to take her exam so she can continue to teacher school?
Oct 13, 2017 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really did not like this book. I understand that the main character really want to take a stand but it had no plot line to it. it was a quick read and aimed towards younger audience. I just it had more plot and character development in this book.
Rebecca Lehew
A cute, short story. A good read aloud option for 2nd-4th graders.
Jun 12, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: historical
To take her 8th grade exam, Ida has to become teacher when Mrs. Fletcher leaves
Katrina Miller
Aug 28, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Found this book at the thrift store and finished it the same day. Fast, easy, read. I've loved Avi since the True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle back in 1993.
It's a very quick fun read.
Serena Saleh
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The Secret School was one of the most enjoyable books by Avi I have ever read. The story takes place in around the 1920's in a small village of Elk Valley. In the village was a small, one-roomed schoolhouse. In the school, there were children from grades 1-8. In their middle of the second semester their teacher, Ms.Fletcher, had to travel because of a tragedy. In the meantime, Mr. Jordan, the head of the school board, had to shut it down because he couldn't find a replacement and wanted to save ...more
La'Ilani Tukuafu
Oct 07, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My second book review is about a book with a fourteen-year-old girl who really wants to be a teacher before she gets her wish a bit earlier than expected. This book is called The Secret School by Avi. I thought that the book’s setting was described and portrayed really well. Many sections are so descriptive that I can really picture what’s happening around the characters and I can easily imagine myself there with all of the characters.
I also liked the sense of tone in the book. When the charact
Jun 07, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book for its combination of old fashionedness along with the newer themes that kids today would have no problem relating. This book kept my interest and was a quick read, as I read it in one sitting. I think this book will intrigue kids today in thinking if they would be able to teach their class the way that Ida did in this story. This book made me think of my grandmother and her schooling. She would have been nine years old the year that this story takes place, and could have b ...more
Kate Audsley
The kids and I actually read this book together by accident. The assigned reading was actually Prairie School by Avi. But I wouldn't say we have completely wasted our time. ❤ Avi
Ashton Schimmelpfennig
I loved this book! Such a great book to read to a class as well. It has the potential to teach young students that perseverance and confidence can get them far in life. I would highly recommend this book to others!
Laurie Mastrolia
Feb 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As always, I enjoyed reading a book by Avi. Sometimes a quick easy read is a good choice.
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Avi is a pen name for Edward Irving Wortis, but he says, "The fact is, Avi is the only name I use." Born in 1937, Avi has created many fictional favorites such as The True Confessions of Charlotte Doyle, Nothing but the Truth, and the Crispin series. His work is popular among readers young and old.
More about Avi...