Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Review: The Secret Tree - Natalie Standiford

Where I got it: Library
Rating: 4 stars  
Cover Rating: 4 stars (Fun. I like the texture of the tree.)
Genre: Middle Grade
Publication Date: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Scholastic Inc.
Page Count: 256 p.
Buy it: Book Depository / Amazon
Add it: Goodreads

Minty loves the roller derby and so does her best friend Paz. Or, at least she used to love it too. Now Paz has started hanging out with some of the older more popular girls and Minty isn't sure what to do. Strange things start happening though, like Paz getting weird ailments and someone snooping through people's things. When Minty catches the snooper she chases him through the words, here she stumbles upon a The Secret Tree. People place their secrets in the tree and the ghost inside eats them and then the secrets disappear, but not if someone takes them first. Minty wants to figure out what is going on in this town, because too many things are strange. She wants her best friend back, but maybe she can make some other friends while she tries.

This was a sweet story about friendship. Minty was an interesting young girl. I've never known anyone to be so obsessed with roller derby, but it was a fun aspect to this novel. This novel takes place the summer between fifth and sixth grade, a time of big changes for kids. Paz seems to be trying out a different personality and Minty just wants everything to stay the same. Unfortunately people change though. Minty's town reminds me a lot of my own. Both towns are on the smaller side, we have a man who sells vegetables around town in a horse drawn cart and anyone can be in the parades. I wasn't positive what age-range this book would fall into before reading it, but it's definitely middle grade possibly into young YA. It's a great story for all ages though. I really enjoyed how things transpired and the little bits of mystery that were within the pages. This is definitely a book to check out if you want a nice read that leaves you satisfied.

First Line:
"A ghost can live anywhere."

Favorite Lines:
“It had a long, black braid down its back, four tiny barrettes in its hairs, and Paz's wallet-sized school picture glued to its face. The doll was stuck full of pins."

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