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The Secret Keepers
     

The Secret Keepers

5.0 3
by Trenton Lee Stewart, Diana Sudyka (Illustrator)
 

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A New York Times Bestseller!


This heart-pounding mystery adventure, by the author of the New York Times bestselling series The Mysterious Benedict Society, is laced with magic and humor

A magical watch
A string of secrets
A race against time


When Reuben discovers an

Overview


A New York Times Bestseller!


This heart-pounding mystery adventure, by the author of the New York Times bestselling series The Mysterious Benedict Society, is laced with magic and humor

A magical watch
A string of secrets
A race against time


When Reuben discovers an extraordinary antique watch, he soon learns it has a secret power and his life takes an intriguing turn. At first he is thrilled with his new treasure, but as one secret leads to another, Reuben finds himself torn between his innately honest nature and the lure to be a hero.

Now he is on a dangerous adventure--full of curious characters, treacherous traps, and hairsbreadth escapes--as he races to solve the mystery before it is too late. Even with fearless Penny, mighty Jack, and the wise Mrs. Genevieve on his side, can Reuben outwit and outmaneuver the sly villain called The Smoke and his devious defenders the Directions and save the city from a terrible fate?

In this ingeniously crafted novel, acclaimed New York Times bestselling author Trenton Lee Stewart invites readers to join the adventure, decipher the clues, and ask themselves the question: Is knowing a secret a gift or a curse?

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
★ 07/18/2016
It’s summer vacation for 12-year-old Reuben Pedley, a resident of a rundown neighborhood in New Umbra, a city ruled by a mysterious figure known as the Smoke and his minions, the Directions, who constantly patrol the city. While Reuben’s mother is at work, he spends his days exploring; one afternoon, he finds a leather pouch containing a strange antique watch. In attempting to discover the secret of the watch, Reuben attracts the unwanted attention of the Smoke and the Directions. Reuben teams up with Penny and Jack Meyers, descendants of one of the original owners of the watch and keepers of a dark family secret, to outsmart the Smoke and free New Umbra from his clutches. Stewart (the Mysterious Benedict Society series) has created an exciting, fully imagined world filled with mystery and danger, where children can have real adventures without parental supervision. He doesn’t shy from putting the children in true danger, both physical and moral, keeping readers on tenterhooks until the final page. Art not seen by PW. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Eric Simonoff, William Morris Endeavor. Illustrator’s agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Sept.)
From the Publisher

Praise for The Secret Keepers:

A New York Times Bestseller
An Entertainment Weekly Best Middle Grade of the Year Choice
ALA Notable Book for Children
Amazon #1 Best Book of 2016 for Children Choice
Bank Street College of Education 2017 Best Children's Book of the Year

*"Stewart... has created an exciting, fully imagined world filled with mystery and danger, where children can have real adventures without parental supervision. He doesn't shy from putting the children in true danger, both physical and moral, keeping readers on tenterhooks until the final page."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

*"Fans of Stewart's Mysterious Benedict Society and series like it will devour his latest novel. This epic story filled with adventure and twists and turns is certain to keep readers' interest from beginning to end."—School Library Journal (starred review)

*"Children will be caught up in the mystery, trying to decipher the clues as they follow Reuben and his new-found friends in their race to save the town from a dreadful future.... All in all, this is another winner from Trenton Lee Stewart."—School Library Connection (starred review)

"There are enough hidden tunnels, concealed traps, enigmatic secrets, hair-raising surprises, quirky characters, and ethical dilemmas to keep the plot buzzing. Fans of the Mysterious Benedict Society series will welcome Stewart's latest puzzling adventure, whose seemingly ordinary hero proves quite extraordinary."—Kirkus Reviews

"The plot builds with a simplicity that slots each element firmly into place before adding complications, leading to a clear, comprehensible line... Stewart is thoroughly in touch with young readers' delight in all things sneaky and hidden."—The Horn Book

"Fans of the Mysterious Benedict Society series will be thrilled to see a new Stewart novel, and this adventure easily lives up to the high bar....The Smoke is an excellent main villain, creepy and oozing menace, and his various henchmen are worthy additions to the novel."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

Praise for The Mysterious Benedict Society series:

*"Begins with a bang... resembles the otherwordly experience of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory."—Publishers Weekly (starred review)

*"Fans of Roald Dahl or Blue Balliett will find a familiar blend of kid power, clues, and adventure."—School Library Journal (starred review)

*"Tackles personal concerns: abandonment, family, loyalty, and facing one's fears."—Booklist (starred review)

*"Dashes of mild humor and introspection rest on a solid base of suspense, mystery, and well-rounded characters, making this a satisfying dish for readers of varying tastes."—The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (starred review)

"Do not miss this one. Buy two copies because they will be needed."—VOYA

"Real flashlight under the bedclothes material... this story flies past, thrilling us as it goes."—Horn Book

School Library Journal
★ 07/01/2016
Gr 5 Up—Parkour practitioner Reuben Pedley has been having a hard time since his mom lost her job and they had to move to a different (and poorer) part of the city. Friendless, he spends his days avoiding the Directions, the enforcement officers of the mysterious Smoke, who runs the city. On one of these afternoons, he finds a very interesting object after getting himself stuck on a ledge while he was supposed to be at home. What he discovers crammed in the masonry of a wall is an extremely old pocket watch that he is certain is worth a large sum and might just help him and his mother leave the poor part of town. Instead, he realizes that the watch has a little bit of magic in it, which gives him a special ability. Regrettably, the Directions learn of the presence of the watch, and they will stop at nothing to bring it to the Smoke. Only Reuben and his newfound friends have what it takes to solve the mystery of the watch and save their city. VERDICT Fans of Stewart's "Mysterious Benedict Society" and series like it will devour his latest novel. This epic story filled with adventure and twists and turns is certain to keep readers' interest from beginning to end.—Wayne R. Cherry Jr., First Baptist Academy Library, Houston
Kirkus Reviews
2016-06-22
A solitary boy with a penchant for finding "spots where no one would ever think to look" finds a mysterious watch and unravels a series of startling secrets.Growing up in shabby New Umbra, white, 11-year-old Reuben lives with his widowed mother. Exploring a precarious ledge, Rueben finds a case containing a spherical watch that enables him to become temporarily invisible. Excited and empowered, Reuben experiments with his secret watch but is worried when he hears that The Smoke, an ambiguous character controlling New Umbra, is desperate to find the watch and has his bullies searching for it. An inscription on the watch case leads Reuben to a lighthouse where a young white girl named Penny reveals a long-kept family secret. Reuben discovers there are really two watches and whoever holds both becomes immortal. Convinced The Smoke already possesses the other watch, methodical Reuben must rely on moxie and wits to confront him on his own turf. Despite the novel's daunting length and Reuben's tendency to overthink everything, there are enough hidden tunnels, concealed traps, enigmatic secrets, hair-raising surprises, quirky characters, and ethical dilemmas to keep the plot buzzing. Sudyka supplies atmospheric black-and-white spot illustrations done in ink and wash. Fans of The Mysterious Benedict Society (2007) will welcome Stewart's latest puzzling adventure, whose seemingly ordinary hero proves quite extraordinary. (Adventure. 8-12)
Children's Literature - Peg Glisson
Reuben has found a watch, but not just any watch. It is an antique, missing a hand, and only runs for fifteen minutes at a time. Having recently moved to the depressed city of New Umbra, the friendless twelve-year-old is spending his summer lurking in shadows and climbing high buildings while his single mother works two jobs. Convinced that the watch is valuable, he sets out to ascertain its worth. He is helped by elderly watchsmith Mrs. Genevieve; and from her, he learns the watch is urgently being sought by Smoke, the bully who rules the city, and his underlings. Reuben fiddles with the watch and discovers it has magical powers. As he tries to uncover the watch’s history and secrets, an inscription on it leads him to Penny and her older brother Jack, who reveal an old family secret tied to the watch. The threesome joins forces to retrieve a duplicate of the timepiece and at the same time save the city from Smoke’s clutches. Stewart (The Mysterious Benedict Society series) has crafted another complex and well-plotted mystery. Reuben methodically picks his way through a myriad of clues and situations, displaying much intelligence and courage along the way. He becomes as committed to his new friends as he is to his mother. Stewart successfully creates the world of New Umbra with great detail. That detail, as well as Reuben’s thoughtful pondering of the many possibilities facing him throughout this adventure, slow the story’s pacing and make this a lengthy tome—which may deter some readers. Those who stick with it will be rewarded by an exciting tale filled with unusual characters, intrigue, secrets, hidden tunnels and traps, wild chases, terror, along with Reuben’s gradual understanding of what is truly important to him. Sudyka’s pen-and-ink illustrations add to the tension. Reviewer: Peg Glisson; Ages 10 to 14.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780316389556
Publisher:
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Publication date:
09/27/2016
Pages:
512
Sales rank:
3,163
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.40(h) x 1.70(d)
Lexile:
820L (what's this?)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Meet the Author

Trenton Lee Stewart is the author of the award-winning and New York Times bestselling Mysterious Benedict Society series. He lives in Little Rock, Arkansas.

Diana Sudyka is an illustrator who lives and works in Evanston, Illinois, just north of Chicago.

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The Secret Keepers 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
SallyLockhart More than 1 year ago
Feels like a classic, without being stodgy! I'm an adult reader of children's books, and this one is an awesome read and just a BEAUTIFUL physical object. It's the kind of book I'd like to pass along and share, but not really because I don't want anyone messing up my copy. Loved it!
kidsbookreader More than 1 year ago
I am huge fan of The Mysterious Benedict Society Series and was excited to see this in stores. I read it in one sitting--totally absorbing, fast-paced adventure with lots of action and a very cool magical watch! A fun read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
T.L. Stewart is the Roald Dahl of this generation! This book is FANTASTIC--a must read!