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The Peddler's Road

(The Secrets of the Pied Piper #1)

3.85  ·  Rating details ·  226 ratings  ·  52 reviews
It is said that in the thirteenth century, in a village called Hamelin, a piper lured all of the children away with his magical flute, and none of them were ever seen again.

Today tough, pink-haired Max and her little brother, Carter, are stuck in modern-day Hamelin with their father . . . until they are also led away by the Piper to a place called the Summer Isle. There
Hardcover, 368 pages
Published October 27th 2015 by Knopf Books for Young Readers
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Average rating 3.85  · 
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 ·  226 ratings  ·  52 reviews

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Start your review of The Peddler's Road (The Secrets of the Pied Piper, #1)
Aug 27, 2015 rated it really liked it
Recommended to Shadowdenizen by: NetGalley
Full Disclosure 1: I received this ARC book thru NetGalley for an honest review.

Full Disclosure 2: As those who read my reviews know, I tend to be partial to and look favorably upon fairy-tales of all-sorts. But, to this day, none of them have ever captured my imagnination quite as much the "PIed Piper of Hamelin". I've read countless variations of the classic tale, and read a number of reimaginings/re-telling/continuations that have shed new light to the Pied PIper mythos.

The original story is
Oct 27, 2015 rated it it was ok
I thought the concept for this book sounded intriguing. Which it was but what sounds good on and what really is the truth are two different things. I can remember reading the story about the Pied Piper.

The Start of this book was good. It started with the story of the Pied Piper and then flashed forward to the present day with Max and Carter. I felt bad for Carter, which is a good thing. It formed a connection with him. Than there is Max. She may be the big sister and have her moments of being a
Ms. Yingling
Aug 15, 2015 rated it liked it
E ARC from

I had high hopes for this one. I had to deaccession What Happened in Hamelin by Gloria Skurzynski (Random House, 1993) because it was never read and smelled pretty funky, but I had to wait to weed it because there was a language arts teacher who adored it. This left me short of Pied Piper tales, and fairy tale adaptations do okay, especially with aforementioned LA teachers.

This one had its moments, and I was fairly engrossed for about half the book. I liked that the
Addy S.
Mar 08, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Wow. Just wow. This book was INCREDIBLE. Overall: 4.5/5

Here are the stats:
-Romance: little to none in this area.. definitely a brother/sister bond between Max (Maxine) and her brother Carter. No kissing or anything like that. There is a mention of a female character liking a male character/talk of boyfriends, but nothing more!
-Language: a few ugly words, but nothing bad.
-Violence: definitely some of this! Mentions of ghosts, scary monsters, etc. Im not easily terrified when reading a book with
Faith M:)
Mar 20, 2018 rated it really liked it
This book was really good!!! I give it 4 stars only because I found it to be slow in some parts and I skimmed paragraphs that had a ton of detail- but nothing to keep it from being a great read!!!

I love all the characters (minus the Piper and rats😂) I love Carter and Max and Lukas and Mrs. Amsel (her identity is soo cool!!!) and Emilee (I love her character so much)!!!

My favorite parts are the prologue and ending!!! The way the book was ended was so striking and wonderful!!!! I NEED TO READ
Stephanie (Reading is Better With Cupcakes)
A retelling! For a story I don't normally run into a retelling for! So of course I had to give it a shot.

And boy am I glad I did!

This particular retelling, if you cannot tell from the title is of the Pied Piper story. You know the one? The one where the pied piper comes and plays his music and removes all the rats from the town.

Well in this one, once upon a time, he did do that...and then the village didn't pay the price that he asked, so he came and took all the children. Minus one - that kid
Meg McGregor
Jul 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
The story of the Pied Piper of Hamelin has always held such a mysterious hold over me. I was so excited to find a series that will explore the depth of this fairy tale, and deliver insights into the reasons why the Pied Piper abducted, the children of Hamelin.

And this story certainly doesn't disappoint! True it is a little slow in the beginning as the setup of the two main characters takes quite a while.

But once the children are taken to New Hamlin the story takes off. It turns out to be a
Sharon Tyler
Oct 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
The Peddlers Road is a middle grade novel by Matthew Cody. This will be the first book in his new Secrets of the Pied Piper series, and is scheduled for release on October 27 2015. It is said that in the thirteenth century, in a village called Hamelin, a piper lured all but one of the towns children away with his magical flute. Today tough, pink-haired Max and her little brother, Carter, are stuck in modern-day Hamelin with their father until they are also led away by the Piper to a place called ...more
**An ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review**

2.5 stars. Review to come closer to publication.

For now, I'll say that I enjoyed this one - to a point. I didn't ever get sucked into the story and I thought the pacing wasn't very good, but I loved the sibling dynamic and reading a retelling of the Pied Piper, however confusing that aspect of the story was to me, especially for the first half.

Jun 30, 2015 rated it really liked it
What a delightful book! I love the combination of a pied piper retelling with other fairytales sprinkled in. I especially love seeing a hero with a disability and his experiences addressed but not "fixed". I can't wait for book two!
Mar 26, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: middle-grade
2.5. The execution here just fell a little flat.
Anne Bradley
May 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016
When I started taking book recs from my nephew...

Part fantasy and's like lit-lit for kids. Based on the fairy tale of the Pied Piper.
Pop Bop
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
"We Gotta Get Out of This Place...", (The Animals 1964)

Putting aside the magical apprentice, prophesied-one, and object quest fantasies, tales built around being taken away and having to get back home may be among the most durable of all story arcs. From The Odyssey to Wizard of Oz, people just want to go home.

The Pied Piper tale may resonate because it's one of the few tales with no traditional resolution. The children of Hamelin are taken away - but to where and to what ultimate purpose? This
Mrs. Notton Class
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing
The book, The Peddlers Road, by Matthew Cody, is about the pink-haired girl named Max and her little brother Carter. They are living with their father in a small home in modern-day Hamelin, where a strange myth has been passing around that an assumed Piper takes children away in the night to another place, the old Hamelin. They do not believe this at first, but they start getting slightly more suspicious as they see a play dedicated to the baffling myth.

Their thoughts are totally turned around
Oct 09, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In all honesty, I requested this book on Netgalley right after seeing the cover. Im a sucker for covers really and this one just screamed READ ME!!. Well, to me at least. I didnt know much about the story in advance, apart from it being a retelling of the Pied Piper of Hamelin. Ive always been fond of that story, because its a tat bit darker and more mysterious than the other stories I used to read as a child. It might be the main themes of revenge and greed, but it also might have something to ...more
Jan 01, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I first fell in love with Matthew Cody's storytelling when I read Will in Scarlet several years ago. I hate that it took me so long to get to another one of his books but then again, books have a way of finding us at just the right time.

That being said, I've already got The Magician's Key (the 2nd book in The Secrets of the Pied Piper trilogy) on order and cant wait to see how this epic fantasy adventure continues!

The Peddler's Road captivated me. Just like the children who couldn't resist the
May 27, 2017 rated it it was ok
I'm of two minds about this book. On the one hand, I liked it for several reasons. First, there aren't many stories about the Pied Piper, so it was original, as was his motivation for being what he was. Second, the children on Summer Isle were, in my view, well portrayed as being from the early 1200's. Their language, behavior and mannerisms were well drawn. On the flip side, this was a very malevolent story, dark, creepy (unnecessarily so in my view) and, at times, very cruel. It seemed as if ...more
Jan 06, 2019 rated it really liked it
Once upon a long time ago, a piper piped music to remove the influx of rats from a German town called Hamelin. When the town fathers refused to pay the agreed upon fee, the piper played again and removed the children too, all except a lame boy who couldn't keep up.

That is where this story picks up - what did happen to the rats, the children, and the Piper? Did the rats drown in the river as some versions suggest, and if they did, what about the children? Where did the Piper come from and why did
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is the fabulous first in the trilogy. If you loved Cody's writing in Powerless and that series, or in any of his other wonderful books, you'll love this one. It's filled with magic, family, and courage. It's about being selfless and struggling to overcome handicaps. It's really beautiful. Read the full review at: The Peddler's Road
Oct 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Always pay your debts....The villagers of Hamelin tried to stiff the rat catcher so he used his magic flute to steal away their children 700 years ago. Now, history may be repeating itselef. Creepy, imaginative, and oh, so fun!
Jill Cd
I would give this a 3.5. If you like fantasy and fractured fairytales with a splash of adventure, this is the book for you.
Cindy Mitchell *Kiss the Book*
Cody, Matthew The Peddlers Road (Secrets of the Pied Piper 1), 355 pgs. Alfred A. Knopf, 2015. $17.99. Language G; Mature Content G; Violence G.

Carter, and his older sister, Max, are staying in the legendary village of Hamelin, Germany, where the pied piper was said to have taken all the village children hundreds of years ago. When rats mysteriously appear, the children are transported to the Summer Isle, where they meet up with those lost children. In an effort to get home, they set off on the
Engel Dreizehn
Mar 12, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Fantastic take and retelling on the Pied Piper story and liken the fact....the piper seems to a complex character. he may be the villain but he seems to acting out of some kind of honor system which may or may not been good or not. In addition the beautiful yet dangerous magical world is depicted very well.
Donn Swaby
Mar 08, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved it! Matthew Cody is one of my favorite children's book writers!
Jan 06, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: middle-grade-ya
I am a dad of my own now, but back when I was a kid, my early exposure to literature and music included nursery rhymes, fairy tales and Christmas songs. So any trivia game that involves these, I will likely know the answer. Since there are a lot of fairy tale retellings nowadays, I am enjoying my responsibility to pre-screen books that I pass on to my pre-teens by reading them first. Some I disapprove of (like children's stories made excessively dark and gruesome) and some I am delighted with. I ...more
Mark Buxton
Jul 12, 2016 rated it really liked it
My name is Carter, and I've been kidnapped. Actually, remember the story of the Pied Piper? It's true! My sister Max and I woke up in New Hamelin where the kids from the fairy tale haven't aged in 700 years. Lukas tells us about a prophecy saying I'm the one who will help them all escape their timeless existence and return to the Human world. However, I will first need to free the Piper from his prison. But how could the Piper have kidnapped me if he's still imprisoned in the Black Castle? The ...more
Stacey Raymond
Apr 19, 2016 rated it it was ok
The beginning was very slow and tedious. Once they were whisked away to another reality it was more interesting. but really the world building was weak. The sister babying the brother was annoying and the relationship didn't seem quite right. The sister overall seemed poorly developed or at least off on her motives. It might have been this sister that caused the brother sister relationship to feel wrong.

The set up for the next book was interesting, but I won't continue this story most likely.
Aug 08, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fairytale
I never viewed the Piped Piper story as creepy, probably because I was exposed to the somewhat light-hearted 1950s musical film at a young age. So when I heard Matthew Cody was writing a twist on the tale, I had to read it to learn more about it (and the fact that I am a fantasy fanatic).

First off, I never knew there was an actual plaque in Germany about 130 children being taken from Hamelin! That intrigued me right away and researched it, but sadly there was not a lot of reading on it.

Aug 22, 2015 rated it liked it
A great retelling of "The Pied Piper," in the fractured fairytale tradition, The Peddler's Road is an imaginative and increasingly dark re-imagining of a much-loved story. (Mini-disclaimer: I did a very different comedic short story take on the Pied Piper of Hamelin for KidTime Magazine about a decade ago.)

After a bit of a slow start, the story really gets rolling. A pet peeve for me, are novels that don't resolve the primary story by the end. It's okay if the story is part of a trilogy arc,
Shirley Holler
Feb 13, 2017 rated it really liked it
Can't wait for book two, left me hanging :)
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Originally from the Midwest, Matthew Cody now lives in New York City with his wife and son. When not writing books or goofing off with his family, he teaches creative writing to kids of all ages.

Other books in the series

The Secrets of the Pied Piper (3 books)
  • The Magician's Key (The Secrets of the Pied Piper, #2)
  • The Piper's Apprentice (The Secrets of the Pied Piper, #3)

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