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The Name of this Book Is Secret (The Secret…
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The Name of this Book Is Secret (The Secret Series) (original 2007; edition 2008)

by Pseudonymous Bosch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,321None5,879 (3.84)45
robynr's review
When adventurous detectives, Cass, an ever-vigilant survivalist, and Max-Ernest, a boy driven by logic, discover the Symphony of Smells, a box filled with smelly vials of colorful ingredients, they accidentally stumble upon a mystery surrounding a dead magician's diary and the hunt for immortality. ( )
  robynr | Apr 19, 2012 |
All member reviews
Showing 1-25 of 66 (next | show all)
RGG: First in a series. A fun puzzle book with interesting kid characters. Occasionally difficult vocabulary. Reading Level: 10-12.
  rgruberexcel | Apr 4, 2014 |
This one was just okay for me. Not my favorite, but I know it's pretty popular. Full review here: http://tahleenreads.blogspot.com/2012/02/review-name-of-this-book-is-secret-by.h... ( )
  Tahleen | Feb 16, 2014 |
Izzy, thank you for sharing this one! It was great fun! A quick read, fun and funny. Quite the page turner as well. Only lightly touches on reality. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
The Name of this Book is Secret is a phenomenal book filled with suspense action and a lot of comedy! This is the first book in the series and it is exciting from the first page. I won't go into detail about the book but I will say that there is a kidnapping and a lot of thievery. The author who does not reveal his real name, has also decided to not reveal the names of the characters so he calls the protagonist by the name of Cass and her side-kick, Max-Ernest. They must endure a long and hard adventure and it felt like they had no chance of living at times. Every
book must have its antagonist and this book is no different. The "bad guys" in this book are creepier than the usual and they attempt to kill a couple of children! You are going to have to read the book to find out if this book ends out well and let me just say this book is a LOT different than normal books. All in all, read this book if you want an excellent book to read when you are bored.
  TomasJefferson | Jan 20, 2014 |
RGG: First in a series. A fun puzzle book with interesting kid characters. Occasionally difficult vocabulary. Reading Level: 10-12.
  rgruberexcel | Nov 3, 2013 |
While I applaud the book for having very clever narrative voice, and for having a somewhat well written female protagonist, the mystery isn't very engaging at all. This would be a two star book, except for those things, which barely eek it over the three star line. ( )
  JWarren42 | Oct 10, 2013 |
I read this book because I run a book group for 3-5 graders, but man, it was great! It was suspenseful, funny, and down right entertaining. I loved the narrator's voice- it reminded me a lot of the Lemony Snicket books at first, but it is equally as good as that series, and not quite as dire. This is a book great for any age. The narrator does not dumb down the language at all, and encourages kids to look up words when it's something they wouldn't likely be familiar with. The characters are well-rounded and engaging, and I am eagerly looking forward to reading the next books in the series. ( )
  cocoannie | Aug 19, 2013 |
Interesting storyline and characters. I was a bit distracted by the narrator. I felt the constant interruptions to the story were confusing and took away from the overall book. Perhaps my students will enjoy that bit, but I'd have to teach into that aspect. ( )
  laurensx | Aug 1, 2013 |
This was a very odd and interesting story. Along the lines of a Series of Unfortunate Events and the hundred or so other stories of similar construction, the narrator tells the story as though it were some top secret information that was not to be shared. The whole idea of the hidden story is the humor angle for children, and it succeeds. The book is funny. There's no two ways about it. Having listened to the audio edition of the story, I was much more taken with the reading that David Pittu did. It was truly of a high caliber. I really appreciated the story for its oddity, adventure, and humor. All told, this story fits in well with this latest bizarre trend in publishing. It's clever and fun and leaves you wanting the next story to begin. I will definitely pursue the rest of this tale. ( )
  matthewbloome | May 19, 2013 |
I purchased this book for .99 cents on my Nook Color. It was a worthy purchase. The narrator was phenomenal, and I found myself laughing out loud a lot. He does an excellent job of building suspense because he turns the whole story in to one big secret—a secret so dangerous that he can’t tell you where it takes place, who’s involved, when it happened, or what the secret is—and by the end of the story, you STILL won’t know what the secret truly is. Be prepared to invest some serious time in to this series, because I get the feeling that you won’t really find out the facts of the story until the last book, and I actually think the author just released another book in the series.

I have no doubt that you will fall in love with Cassandra and Max Ernest, Cassandra’s 2 grandfathers, Benjamin, the mysterious magician whose name I won’t divulge at the moment (those aren’t the characters real names. The author refuses to tell you their real names because he doesn’t want to put them in danger). They’re all excellent characters—quirky and funny.

Overall, if I was 10 years old I would have gobbled up these books. I don’t know if I’ll continue with the series just because I’m a little weary of series right now, but if the Nook Color decides to put the second book up for .99 cents, I’ll be sure to buy it.
( )
  russell.alynn | Apr 16, 2013 |
Listened to Scholastic Audiobooks Playaway edition narrated by David Pittu. A fun read-alike for the Lemony Snicket books, this has the same sort of arch narrator with footnotes and asides, intrepid child heroes, puzzles and codes and such. I'm not sure how well the plot would hold together on a re-read, but this is solid commercial fiction. Pittu does a fine job with the narration, particularly with the villains, different voices for all the characters complete with accents as needed (and with one particular character it turns out they're needed a lot!). It's clear by the end that there are more mysteries to be unraveled and there will be more books, but the events of this one are tied up so that the ending is satisfying. The print edition includes full page illustrations at the start of each chapter by Gilbert Ford which contain bits and pieces of the story which are fun to look for. There's also a glossary of magic terms included that is not part of the audio. ( )
  JenJ. | Mar 31, 2013 |
A cute enough middle reader frolic, with some good ideas (the Symphony of Smells) is a fine example. It didn't have much in the way of character identification or emotional punch for me, but it's a fast book and probably satisfying for readers in its target demographic. ( )
  OshoOsho | Mar 30, 2013 |
11-year-old misfits Cass and Max-Ernest find a mysterious box, The Symphony of Smells, filled with vials and an encoded plea for help. And from there, their troubles begin: an eccentric magician has been killed, a classmate kidnapped, and Cass is getting scolded on manners whenever she tells the principal what clues she has. An engaging mystery-adventure, though with a writer insecure in his own cleverness; he instead tries too hard to be the next Lemony Snicket. Fourth walls aren't just broken but demolished while the writer begs us to notice just how funny he is, and how much of a risk he's taking by sharing this awful, tragic story. Here's a book that will find readers; don't expect it to stay a secret in the 4th-6th grade set.

(Apologies for the formality! I've been reading official School Library Journal-esque book reviews all day.) ( )
  librarybrandy | Mar 29, 2013 |
OK--I think that this book is by the same guy who does Alcatraz and the Evil librarians--but what do I know?
Enjoyed it simply because 1) it did give you some information that you may not know as a child and at least once encouraged you to "look it up". 2) Encouraged good behavior, manners, morals, etc. 3) was just plain silly. Yes I will read the others, just don't know when. ( )
  carolvanbrocklin | Mar 19, 2013 |
This book is really good so far I'm only on chaper 1.5 but it is kinda funny in away.
  Emily_15 | Dec 6, 2012 |
It's pretty good but it is kinda confusing at the same time :S it is suitablefor ages 9-12 ( )
  TLHelen | Nov 1, 2012 |
The plot is not bad, and the characters are interesting, but it tries too hard to be funny, and it has the worst ending to a book I've read in years. That said, I know kids who loved it. ( )
  Inky_Fingers | Oct 31, 2012 |
Stop! Don’t read this review if you value your life. Well, I guess it’s too late for you now, just like it was too late for 11-year-olds Cass and Max-Ernest once they opened up the mysterious “Symphony of Smells” found in the dead magician’s house. They soon discover a coded notebook; a notebook that a secret society will do anything to protect and one that the sinister Dr. L and Ms. Mauvis will do anything to find in order to learn the secrets of eternal youth. The intriguing mystery doesn’t end with the last chapter of the book; the playful narrator encourages readers to create their own ending, but the curious reader will be delighted to learn that Cass and Max-Ernest’s tale is not quite finished. Part of the “Secret Series”, this story is told by an omniscient narrator who, out of concern for the reader, constantly questions his reckless recounting of so many dangerous secrets. Quirky chapter heading illustration set a witty tone for the story and give the readers an indication of the ensuing action. Inquisitive children from 3rd grade to 6th grade will appreciate the clever humor and be entertained by the relentless adventures experienced by the brave, young protagonists. ( )
  MzzColby | Oct 7, 2012 |
Read this to convince my nephew that it was a good book. And it was! Full of adventure and good vocabulary for ages 9-11. I miss the adventure of children's chapter books -- might go back to reading some of them :] ( )
  mariamsultana | Aug 7, 2012 |
Poteva essere simpatica come storia, peccato il narratore si sia messo in mezzo di continuo, peggio di uno spilungone col cappello da cowboy seduto sulla sedia davanti a te al cinema... ( )
  vanlilith | Jul 25, 2012 |
The fact that the author does not want readers makes this a book you know will be funny - very simliar to A Series of Unfortunate Events. Throughout the story the author continues to uphold his stance of not sharing too much of the secret to put the reader at risk, but he seems to share it all anyway! Clever and magical this book will interest readers of the 39 clues series and Magic Theif alike. ( )
  agrudzien | Jul 15, 2012 |
When adventurous detectives, Cass, an ever-vigilant survivalist, and Max-Ernest, a boy driven by logic, discover the Symphony of Smells, a box filled with smelly vials of colorful ingredients, they accidentally stumble upon a mystery surrounding a dead magician's diary and the hunt for immortality. ( )
  robynr | Apr 19, 2012 |
Publishers Weekly
Blending the offbeat humor of Lemony Snicket and insight into the preadolescent psyche à la Jerry Spinelli with the captivating conundrums of Blue Balliett, the debut novel from a pseudonymous author is equal parts supernatural whodunit, suspense-filled adventure and evocative coming-of-age tale. When an unlikely pair of 11-year-old outsiders-survivalist Cassandra and aspiring stand-up comedian Max-Ernest-team up to solve a mystery surrounding the alleged death of an old magician and the strange and wondrous possessions he left behind, they unwittingly cross paths with the villainous Dr. L and his ageless accomplice Ms. Mauvais, who are obsessed with finding the magician's notebook. After the diabolical duo shows up at Cass and Max-Ernest's school, one of their classmates (a gifted artist named Benjamin) goes missing. Convinced that Benjamin has been kidnapped and faces mortal danger, Cass and Max-Ernest track the doctor and his glove-wearing sidekick to an exclusive and remote "sensorium" cum spa, where they uncover an arcane, alchemical, potentially apocalyptic bombshell. Relayed by an often witty, sometimes arch narrator, and loaded with brainteasers-anagrams, coded messages, palindromes and more-as well as such bounty as a brief and idiosyncratic history of Benito Mussolini, the definition of synesthesia and how Earl Grey tea got its name, Bosch's deliberately eccentric offering is likely to acquire a cult following. Ages 8-12 ( )
  EBurggraf | Mar 13, 2012 |
The name of this book is secret, great book!
This book is a series of five. Hmmm... the number five is familiar to you? The cool thing about the series is that each book stands for one of the five senses.
Wait, have you read the secret series? Oh, no! I can't write this book! As Pseudonymous Bosch said, this book might fall into the wrong hands! Are you a member of the midnight sun? No? Okay, thank goodness, now I can keep writing. Please don't spread the word of this recommendation, I fear of the midnight sun.

So....
It starts out with two kids, Cass and Max-Ernest. The author Pseudonymous Bosch refuses to give the real names of any character in the book, so Cass and Max-Ernest are their fake names. In the beginning of the book, Max-Ernest wants to become a comedian or a magician. Well, he still wants to by the 5th book. Anyway, despite his love for comedy, Max-Ernest is a terrible comedian and a terrible magician. Everyone is so tired of his jokes that always have to be logical that everyone ignores him, EVERYONE. Except for one girl, Cass, later in the book they fight some crime, a lot of gloves, and a symphony of smells.

Will Cass and Max-Ernest save themselves from the terrible clutches of the midnight sun? ( )
  noacres | Jan 13, 2012 |
Cassandra is a young survivalist who is joined by fellow collaborator Max-Ernest on an adventure to discover the most deadly secrets. Who could blame them? How would you feel if you were trapped in a burning pyramid with death calling your name?

On an adventure into creativity, the pair of friends execute some very odd ways of hacking into the code to immortality. Using many different clues codes and myths, like a scent jar, they try to discover the secrets.

The Name of This Book is Secret has obviously a fascinating title which draws the reader in, for they have not heard of a title quite like it before. Many different types of readers will thoroughly enjoy this tale including fans of Anthony Horowitz and Lemony Snicket. The book is an interesting read where many types of emotions overwhelm you such as horror, grief, mystery, anxiety the lot. Mixed with a hint of sweet satisfaction that you have finally read the story. I honestly do not know how I lived without reading the book - it baffles me.

The author of the book is nicknamed Pseudonymous Bosch, for the reader is never told what his real name is, and he writes in a mysterious, funny and eccentric style. Being one of five books so far in the series, The Name of This Book is Secret is definitely a fantastic novel from Mr Pseudonymous Bosch.
  ctmstoan | Dec 16, 2011 |
Showing 1-25 of 66 (next | show all)

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