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The Art of Secrets by James Klise

The Art of Secrets

by James Klise

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Left homeless after a fire of unknown origin destroys their apartment, Saba Khan and her family’s lives are changed forever. Fellow students at Highsmith School decide to collect items for an auction to be held at school with the proceeds to be donated to Saba’s family. But when a rare and valuable painting worth hundreds of thousands of dollars gets donated to the auction, lies, secrets, jealously, deception, and greed become entwined with this otherwise altruistic act. Told through the voices of numerous narrators in personal journal entries, along with official documents, interviews, and articles, this teen novel will intrigue and keep the interest of all readers.

Sharyn H. / Marathon County Public Library
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( )
  mcpl.wausau | Sep 25, 2017 |
Although I loved all the Chicago references, this one was just a bit too YA for me :( ( )
  dmbkel41 | Dec 7, 2016 |
Fire, fraud, and fakes are the themes in this Edgar YA winner. I always try to read the Edgar's yearly nominees, and I think the thing I liked best in this book was the twist in the tale. It's a story told in multiple first-person POVs, making it unique. You're often reading Saba Khan's journal--given to her after her family's apartment caught fire--by her school social worker. There are chapters from others in Saba's life too, friends, high school teachers, her father, and a first-love interest. But things are not what they seem. The plot thread follows a dumpster-dive found piece of art and a planned high school fund-raising auction to help Saba's family recover their losses. It has a subtle layer of the immigrant's experience in America, yet its unpredictable ending is what I think made this book a winner. ( )
  PaperDollLady | Nov 21, 2015 |
A mysterious fire, a mysterious work of art, and a school fundraiser are the main events in this novel. I liked the mystery about the book. The characters were not anything special and I thought the story was a bit young for a teen audience. ( )
  bnbookgirl | Feb 23, 2015 |
I’ve never read a book quite like THE ART OF SECRETS by James Klise. Told in multiple perspectives, almost entirely in the form of discourse and conversation (with the occasional journal entry from protagonist, Saba Kahn), THE ART OF SECRETS is part mystery, part drama, and so very fun to read.

In the wake of a fire that destroyed her family’s home and all of their belongings, Saba Kahn has gone from almost invisible at her Chicago prep school (where she is a scholarship student) to borderline notorious, with a basketball star as a sort-of boyfriend and school do-gooders organizing a charity auction to help her family.

She’s got a lot to deal with, though. Saba’s family is getting too much attention at school, and from the police. Authorities can’t seem to decide if her family are victims or culprits, which means the rumors are flying at school. And then there’s the whole art thing — an item in the auction, which new girl cum auction organizer and her brother found in an alley, has turned out to be some seriously valuable paintings by a famed but reclusive Chicago outsider artist. When the art goes missing, Saba has another mystery plaguing her and her family. And more rumors to try and ignore.

With points of view ranging from Saba’s father, to Saba’s boyfriend, to the school principal, to her classmates running the auction, THE ART OF SECRETS is a unique mystery, as well-designed as it is well-written. Klise‘s characters are wry and witty, and even with so many narrators, the voices are compelling and distinct. I’m still excited about the book. I can’t stop being excited about it. And while it’s a rare book that I think is a contender for the Printz, the National Book Award, and the Edgar, I fully expect to see these and other accolades for James Klise in the near future. ( )
  EKAnderson | May 19, 2014 |
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According to Intuit, The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art, in Chicago, Illinois, "outsider art" can be defined as the "work of artists who demonstrate little influence from the mainstream art world and who instead are motivated by their unique personal visions."
At last, here's one just for Kate.
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Apartment fire leaves four homeless
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When some quirky art donated to a school fundraising effort to help a Pakistani American family, victims of a possible hate crime, is revealed to be an unknown work by a famous outsider artist, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, adults and teenagers alike debate who should get the money and begin to question each other's motivations.… (more)

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