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The Name of this Book Is Secret (The Secret…

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

by Pseudonymous Bosch

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,566704,674 (3.77)45
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 |
Showing 1-25 of 70 (next | show all)
Fun book in the tradition of Lemony Snicket, right down to the narrator who's a bit reluctant to tell the story, to the mid-narrative vocabulary lessons (here we learn "nonchalant" and "denouement").

The hero and heroine are both spunky but a little two-dimensional, and the plotline stretches credibility just a bit. The villains kidnap children with synesthesia, because their brains contain the equivalent of a philosophers' stone, the secret of eternal youth. And get this, the ancient villains, who have been preying on synesthetic kids for hundreds of years but haven't perfected the formula, look beautifully young everywhere except their hands, which are so blue-veined and wrinkly-skinned that they all have to wear gloves constantly.

I still had some questions left at the end -- maybe they're answered in subsequent books? But my very favorite part of this book was that, when someone asked, "What are you reading?", I got to reply, "The Name of This Book is Secret"! Too fun! ( )
  BraveNewBks | Mar 10, 2016 |
Cute idea, writing a series of books each based on a sense, and my kids cannot wait until we read the next one together. But it was a bit too gimmicky for me. I am not a fan of cliffhanger endings, especially when I'm reading a book aloud at bedtime and am looking for a good stopping place, and every single chapter of this book ended with a cliffhanger. Well, except for the last chapter(s), which were more like a cop-out than a true ending.

Regardless, I'm tied into reading the rest of the series because I can't help but indulge my children when they ask me to read to them. Darned maternal love. ( )
  ImperfectCJ | Oct 19, 2015 |
So much fun to read. I can't wait to pass this on to my eleven year old granddaughter! ( )
  ChewDigest | Sep 12, 2014 |
So much fun to read. I can't wait to pass this on to my eleven year old granddaughter! ( )
  ChewDigest | Sep 12, 2014 |
derivative ( )
  atuson | Sep 7, 2014 |
I began this series when I was very young and the captivating uniqueness of it just gets better and better throughout each book. ( )
  writercity | Aug 13, 2014 |
Written for readers who needs a casual read and a small adventure ( )
  aznjudi | Aug 9, 2014 |
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 |
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