Secrets of the Book

​You don’t choose the book—the book chooses you. 
Sixth grader Spencer Lemon has a degenerative eye disease—and he’s rapidly losing his eyesight. So he has no idea why he was chosen to guard Pandora’s Book. When Ed, the old guy at the nursing home, hands over the book, he doesn’t get a chance to explain any of the rules to Spencer. Spencer only knows that the book contains famous dead people—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 Spencer’s doorstep—and he seems to know a lot about Spencer and about Pandora’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 Pandora’s Book, others who might use its powers to take over the world. And it’s up to Spencer, along with Gregor and Ed’s mysterious (and cute) granddaughter Mel, to protect the book.
– Goodreads synopsis

Secrets of the Book Review

Erin Fry did an almost perfect job in Secrets of the Book. She gave us an interesting, imagination driven story that excites the mind. The characters are great and don’t fit the expectations for this type of read. It’s got a solid beginning, middle, and end. The power of a full, complete book in today’s serialized publishing world cannot be left unnoted. In regards to reading level, it’s solidly a middle grader read, but adults can definitely enjoy it too.

Spencer is a boy who suffers from a disease that is stealing his eyesight. When the story opens, he already has basically no night vision, and without his glasses on can’t see more than blurs. His best friend, Gregor, is somewhere in the Autism Spectrum. Both of them are strong, loyal, make stupid mistakes, and are solidly good kids. I have to admit that Gregor stole the show for me. The author did a fantastic job in communicating the effects autism has on behavior, and how much he has to struggle to function when he’s stressed. 

Often in these types of stories where someone like Gregor is present, the character serves to make the main character look better or more pious or something. That is not the case at all in Secrets of the Book. Instead, it is a true friendship between two equals in a big sense. Spencer might acknowledge that he has to do things a certain way to interact with his friend sometimes , but it’s also clear that he respects his friend deeply and also depends on him.

The basic premise of the story in Secrets of the Book is not an original one. However, Erin Fry makes it her own with several details and twists. The story has a Night at the Museum feel, but without the slapstick. Characters that make an appearance are well known for the most part. Those who aren’t are explained enough that the reader is not lost. 

Secrets of the Book is not one where nothing bad ever really happens to the kids. All of them get banged up (though nothing life threatening) at some point or another. Injuries are not brushed aside either. Everything is treated realistically . It’s one of the things that make this a delight to read, honestly. Erin Fry skillfully avoids most of the traps that catch writers.

Overall, I’m quite impressed with Secrets of the Book. It is not perfect, but its strengths overcome its flaws easily. The characters are definitely what make the book, but the storyline is still a fun one. Its definitely one to pick up for the family library or for the classroom.

Title: Secrets of the Book | Author: Erin Fry | Publisher: Two Lions | Pub Date: 2014-2-4 | Pages: 294 | ISBN13: 9781477847169 | Language: English | Triggers: none | Rating: 5 out of 5 | Source: free Prime book.

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