Monday, January 23, 2012
Secrets at Sea by Richard Peck
Secrets at Sea is about a family of mice that lives with a family of humans in New York state. When the humans plan a voyage to England to find a husband for their awkward oldest daughter, the mice fear for their own livelihood (no more crumbs!), but then decide to take fate into their own hands and stowaway on the ship with the humans. Helena, the narrator and oldest sister, tells of the family's adventures aboard the ocean liner in 1887. Once on board, the mice meet aristocrats, become involved in romances, and face the dangers of cats, long corridors, and the sea itself. This Victorian adventure could be enjoyed by children of all ages. It does have a lot of 19th century vocabulary unfamiliar to younger kids, but I read it with my first grader and he thoroughly enjoyed it. I think that it could appeal to readers all the way up through 6th grade.