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The Name of this Book is Secret



Last updated Sunday, February 26, 2012

Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Date of Publication: 2008
ISBN: 0316113697
Grade Level: 4th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Oct. 2011

Synopsis: From Booklist
In enormous lettering the first page warns: "Do not read beyond this page!" The reason? The book contains a secret so nefarious as to be dangerous even to innocent page-turners daring enough to venture forth. The first few chapters present a tricky little exercise in metafiction in which the story about a secret is revealed as being itself too secret to tell, a ploy sure to tickle more puzzlesome readers. But then the intrusive narrator, who is equal parts snarky and delightful, strikes a deal and deigns to tell the story with fake names in Your Hometown, as long as you agree to "forget everything you read as soon as you read it." Then follows a not terribly shocking story wherein two intrepid kids uncover a mysterious society bent on immortality, which gets them in and out of all manner of trouble. While some may be disappointed that there is no mind-bending secret at the bottom of it all as promised, most junior Da Vinci Coders will likely be having too much fun to notice.

Note to readers:
•  If a "secret" comes out and you feel it is something serious, be sure to get the child's name and tell the site coordinator.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  Have you ever had a secret? Who do you tell your secrets to?
•  Has anyone ever told you a secret? (after the warning ask the kids if they think they should continue.
•  If you were to make up a fake name for yourself, what would it be?

vocabulary:
•  Miasma- harmful fumes
•  Befallen- to take place or to happen to
•  Exaggerated- enlarged beyond truth or reasonableness; over state
•  Slyly- Clever or cunning, mischievous
•  'Real Old Coot'- slang for an elderly person who keeps to themself
•  Cadaver- dead body
•  Reclusive- withdrawn from society, not social
•  Paradox- a statement or situation that seems contradictory or opposite

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Do you have any emergency plans? Earthquake/fire? Is there a place you will meet your family? Emergency supplies?
•  Is there anyone in your life you think of as family but you're not technically related to?

Craft ideas:
•  Write your own magic spell on a "scroll". What would it do?
•  Word Search?
•  Make your own decoder

Special activities:
•  Telephone/Word Association

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!