If you are looking for a fun middle-grade novel filled with adventure, danger, and sly humor, you should take a look at Secrets of the Book by Erin Fry. I thought the authorâ€™s choice of lead characters was interesting. Typically, you give the hero a flaw, like Superman and his sensitivity to Krypton. Which I never really understood because isnâ€™t that where heâ€™s from? Never mind. In this story, Spencer Lemon (pronounced leh-MOHN) suffers from retinitis pigmentosa, which means he is slowly going blind. His best friend Gregor is on the spectrum and, as a result, occasionally has episodes when things disrupt his routine and become overwhelming, which essentially defines the entire book, so you can imagine. In lesser hands, these guys would have been relegated to the role of sidekick. But not today.
Now, add a cute, smart girl named Mel and a sketchy old man who goes by â€œEd,â€ and you have the makings for some real excitement. Oh, I almost forgotâ€”thereâ€™s this book, and you really shouldnâ€™t mess with it unless you know what youâ€™re doing, which of course, no one does. I mean, the thing has the name Pandora in it. Kind of says it all, donâ€™t you think?
I had a great time reading Secrets of the Book. Fans of KidLit and history should check it out. Iâ€™m confident it will have you hooked after the first couple of pages.
You can find this review at Goodreads.
You donâ€™t choose the bookâ€”the book chooses you.
Sixth grader Spencer Lemon has a degenerative eye diseaseâ€”and heâ€™s rapidly losing his eyesight. So he has no idea why he was chosen to guard Pandoraâ€™s Book. When Ed, the old guy at the nursing home, hands over the book, he doesnâ€™t get a chance to explain any of the rules to Spencer. Spencer only knows that the book contains famous dead peopleâ€”people who can be brought back to life. Spencer and his autistic best friend, Gregor, soon figure out how to get people out of the book, but not how to get them back in. Then Ed disappears, and a strange man shows up on Spencerâ€™s doorstepâ€”and he seems to know a lot about Spencer and about Pandoraâ€™s Book. Is he one of the bad guys? Or is here to help Spencer unravel the secrets of the book? But there are others interested in Pandoraâ€™s Book, others who might use its powers to take over the world. And itâ€™s up to Spencer, along with Gregor and Edâ€™s mysterious (and cute) granddaughter Mel, to protect the bookâ€”and save the world.
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