Wednesday, August 22, 2012

The Secret Tree by Natalie Standiford

This is  middle school fast read about friendships and the way they grow and change.  Araminta known as Minty chases after a flash in the woods, sure someone is lurking and taking secret pictures of people.  She stumbles on a hollow tree in which people have been placing their greatest, most painful secrets.  There is something magical about this tree that seems to say if you give me your secrets, I'll take care of them.  Not long after, Minty meets the flash in the woods who turns out to be Raymond.  He has been sneaking around taking pictures and spying on people.  It is his hope to match the pictures with the secrets on the slips of paper from the tree.  Minty decides to assist him in his detective work.  She has her own secrets, her best friend seems to have a new best friend and seems to be leaving her behind. Yeah that one is familiar. Throughout this summer before middle school Minty and Raymond, spy and gradually figure out which secret belongs to whom, mostly anyway.  Minty manages to take some pretty funny action to resolve some of the hurts.  She learns Raymond's greatest secret.  She finds her own worked out just by being herself and helping or tormenting others.  I like the witches house and who the witch turns out to be.  It seems like most neighborhoods have some spooky house to be avoided at all cost.  It seems like kids, not knowing exactly why, make up creepy stories to explain things.  We did in my neighborhood, so did my best friend.  This is great comfort food.
jdw 8/22

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