Minty plans to spend the summer hanging out on the block and practicing roller derby moves. But when she discovers a tree full of secrets, she sets out to solve the neighborhood’s many mysteries. A cute and quirky summer mystery! — Marika McCoola
Summer 2012 Kids' Next List
“Minty Mortimer loves being a kid. She loves roller derby, hanging out, and annoying her older sister, Thea. Minty's best friend, Paz, is ready to embrace middle school and a new grown-up image. She wants to impress the cool seventh graders, and she is becoming cruel to Minty. The Secret Tree tells the story of Minty's last summer as a little kid and Paz's first summer as a big kid. Unfortunately for their friendship, it's the same summer. Every fifth grader needs to read this book. So much heartbreak could be avoided if kids could only see the secrets in their friends' hearts.”
— Elizabeth Anker, Alamosa Books, Albuquerque, NM
A sweet story of a tree that's literally filled with secrets.
What is your secret?
Minty's neighborhood is full of mysteries. There's the Witch House, a spooky old farmhouse on the other side of the woods from where Minty and her best friend, Paz, live. There's the Man Bat, a seven-foot-tall half man, half bat who is rumored to fly through the woods. And there are the Mean Boys, David and Troy, who torment Minty for no reason, and her boy-crazy older sister, Thea, who acts weirder and weirder.
One day Minty spots a flash in the woods, and when she chases after it, she discovers a new mystery -- a Secret Tree, with a hollow trunk that holds the secrets of everyone in the neighborhood. Secrets like:
I put a curse on my enemy. And it's working.
I'm betraying my best friend in a terrible way.
No one loves me except my goldfish.
About the Author
Natalie Standiford is the author of HOW TO SAY GOOD-BYE IN ROBOT, CONFESSIONS OF THE SULLIVAN SISTERS, THE SECRET TREE, and THE BOY ON THE BRIDGE. She is originally from Maryland, but now lives in New York City and plays in the all-YA-author band Tiger Beat.
Praise for THE SECRET TREE:
"A captivating story about the mysteries of summertime and friendship." – Rebecca Stead, author of WHEN YOU REACH ME
* "The intimate neighborhood setting – with its mysteries, superstitions, and traditions – the authenticity of Minty's voice, and her worries about the transitioning nature of her life and friendships give Standiford's story a richness that will stay with readers." – PUBLISHERS WEEKLY, starred review
"Captivating . . . takes its rightful place in the now classic genre of 'neighborhood kids' that began with Beverly Cleary." – THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW
"A charming and mysterious story of friendship, growing up, and keeping secrets." – BOOKLIST
Praise for HOW TO SAY GOOD-BYE IN ROBOT:
* "Bea's original first-person voice will draw readers in, and the unexpected plot will keep them engaged. A decidedly purposeful not-love story, this has all the makings of a cult hit with a flavor similar to Stephen Chbosky's The Perks of Being a Wallflower." -- KIRKUS REVIEWS, starred review
* "An honest and complex depiction of a meaningful platonic friendship and doesn't gloss over troubling issues. . . . Teens will identify with the intense emotions of Beatrice and Jonas, the reasons they are drawn to each other, and the ups and downs of their relationship. . . . Outstanding" -- SCHOOL LIBRARY JOURNAL, starred review