The Secret Tree: Why Is It So Hard To Share A Secret?

It’s true. We all have secrets. Secrets are things that we don’t want to tell other people because we would either be really embarrassed, or we might hurt someone. But the truth is, once someone knows your secret, you feel a heck of a lot better. But we can’t tell anyone, because someone might get hurt or we would be really embarrassed. I call this the Secret Paradox.

The book The Secret Tree is full of the the Secret Paradox. In fact, you could maybe even say it was based on the Secret Paradox.

It all starts when Minty sees a flash in the woods and follows it. She ends up at the secret tree, a tree that is full of slips of paper with people’s secrets on them. They say things like: I put a curse on my enemy. And now it’s working. I’m betraying my best friend in a terrible way. I feel like nobody loves me except my goldfish.

Then Minty meets Raymond, a strange boy who lives in a model home on the outskirts of town. He keeps a big book of people, and he tries to match them to the secrets in the secret tree. And Minty is going to help him.

What will happen when secrets are revealed? Can we trust anyone? Most importantly, who is snooping through peoples’ houses? What a great book.


Palestinians, Israelis, and A Jar Full Of Dirt

You may remember that I blogged about another book boy this author before. And you may be wondering why I am mentioning one of the books again. Because I liked it. I like her books. Also, I want to talk about the Israel problem. I’ll recap that real quick.

So the Israelis lived in Israel for about a thousand years. Then they were forced out by the Romans. (At least, I think it was the Romans). So there was this nice little piece of unused land, so the Palestinians move on in. Then comes the Holocaust (If you don’t know what that is then I cannot help you) and all the Jews need a safe place to live. So the Jew are all sent to Israel and they have to share with the Palestinians. Neither side is happy. So they have a way that lasts six days, and the Israelis win big. So the Palestinians have much less land. Both side are angry. There is continuous fighting. No one knows what to do.

And that is where the book takes place. Israel.

Hayaat, the main character has a grandmother who is dying. And Hayatt wants to get her grandmother some dirt from Jerusalem so she can feel her village’s dirt once more. (As in, some jerks rudely stole her her house wound kicked her off her own property.) One problem. She lives on the wrong side of the big bad wall that separates Israelis and Palestinians.

Why do we treat other people like this? How would we feel if this happened to us? Do we somehow feel that since we have suffered, we have the right to make others suffer? So next time you go to do something a little bit mean to someone, ask yourself, why the heck am I doing this? Do I want to make up for something that happened to me earlier today? Is this person a jerk? Remember, kindness kills.

This guy obviously has the right idea.

Today Is National Read Across America Day: Let’s Celebrate!

Today is National Read Across America day, and I think we all know what that means. It is time to read and to celebrate. NRAAD (National Read Across America Day, as I will now refer to it. Much nicer, don’t you think?). Well anyway, NRAAD is usually on Dr. Seuss’s Birthday, March 2nd, but this year it is on the 3rd! So get out there, read a book, and be thankful we don’t have to deal with boring old Dick and Jane.

Finishing Books According To Grover

Everyone who has read a really good book knows this problem. You find a really good book. You love it! You read until about you are 3/4 of the way through, and then you realize something very terrible. The book is going to end. And now you have a problem. You want to see what happens at the end. But you don’t want it to end. So you want to finish it, but you can’t! Then it will end. Grover understands.

This is at the beginning of the book, when you are young and innocent and do not realize the book will ever possibly end.

Then you realize the book will end. The problem begins here.

Then you have a great idea. The book never has to end! All you have to do is stop reading it.

But, of course, you want to finish the book. You can’t help but read some more and come closer to the end.

You want to stop, but you can’t. You have to finish reading. But you have to stop reading.

Now you are fighting with yourself. Half of you wants to finish the book, but the other half doesn’t. This is the stage where people start worring about you.

You go nuts trying to figure out how to solve this terrible conundrum.

Now you start to get really crazy. YOU CAN’T FINISH THE BOOK! So you start coming up with crazy plans, like a reward system.

And you just get crazier and crazier.

Then you finally figure out a gigantic, enourmous plan that is sure to fail, but you don’t care at all.

Then it does fail, you finish the book, and your world comes crashing down around you.

Finally your brain just utterly fails, and you end up crying in a corner because there is no more book to read.

But it is ok. You finished the book, nothing really bad happened, and there are other books to be read. Go find them! This is a good book. You should read it.

Finding A Good Book Is Hard: Once You Find It, It’s Gone

Sadly, sometimes people write books that are so bad this never happened because of their book.

It is hard to find a good book. I think we all know that. Books that your friends like may not be the same kind you like. Tht book your coworker raved about might be really bad. Worst of all, you might really want to get a book, but there are no copies left in your local bookstore or library. I admit. Some books I read, I hate. Usually I pretend I like it until about halfway through, when I stop and say: “Wow. This is a really crappy book.” But of course, whenever you start reading a book, the Novel Laws* state that you must finish it. You can’t help it.

I just read a book called GONE. That was the original reason for the post. But then I started thinking. And this is the result. So go read GONE. Then come back and finish reading this. I’ll wait. It’s cool. Well, you obviously didn’t read it. It took me a while to read it. And here you are still. I’ll look past it, but just this once. Consider yourself warned.

All book should be like this one. I want a book to hug me now.

Think back to the last time you read a really good book. Was it really, really good. What was it about? What genre? I want to read all the books I can get. But anyway, while you are thinking about that really good book, try and remember when you read it. Unless there is a surplus of really good books where you live, it was probably a while ago. See where I am going? It is hard to find a good book. So if you find one, let me know.

*The Novel Laws are an ancient set of rules created by the first authors about reading and writing books. These laws control a lot of stuff that happens in the world. Kind of like the law of gravity.

Reaching 50

We have reached 50!

We have reached 50. And when I say we, I mean all of us. Everyone who looked at a post, everyone who came to this site. 50 posts. 50 followers. And I’d like to thank all of you. You guys made this possible. Thank you for supporting me in my quest for a good book. Thank you for being here. I hope to see you guys back here again some other time.

A Tangle Of Knots

The title of this book has nothing to do with the book. Really. I gave it my best shot, and I couldn’t figure out why the book was titled like it is. My only thought was that it had something to do with the man who sells knots. Who knows?

Anyway, this book is set in a land quite like Earth, except mostly everyone has a certain Talent. It might be for spitting, it might be for playing jacks. Almost everyone has one. In fact, our protagonist’s character has a talent for baking cakes. (Which I would very much like to have.)

Unfortunately, Cady (the main character) is an orphan, lives in an orphanage which is run by a woman who can find the perfect match for any orphan except for Cady. Until Cady meets Toby, a taciturn man who once was married, but then something happened, and his newborn child disappeared, and his wife died. He’s not sure he’s ready for a child, but he takes Cady anyway.

Now Cady lives in a Lost Luggage Emporium, where there are 35 matching suitcases, and a whole lot of other stuff. But there are still some mysteries in Cady’s life. Who is her mother and father? Will she win the cake-baking contest? Why is that man stealing everyone’s talents? Live your life forever plagued by mystery, or read this book and sate your curiosity!

The Defense Of Thaddeus A. Ledbetter


Thaddeus A. Ledbetter has been unfairly placed in Internal School Suspension. Nothing was his fault. He is always looking out for people’s welfare, always trying to come up with ways to improve stuff for the better of the community. It’s not his fault that, well, things happen. No one bothered to tell him this stuff. Honestly, it’s not his fault.

The fat man who got run over by a bus (only slightly) because of technical difficulties during a slug bug (known to others as punch buggy) competition, as well as the small attention span of the bus driver? NOT HIS FAULT!

The mass choking of the elderly people of a certain nursing home because Thaddeus and his Boy Scout troupe (minus leader) decided to brighten their day by feeding them oranges? No one bothered to tell Thaddeus that old people only wear their dentures during specific eating times? NOT HIS FAULT!

The lighting his pastor on fire, in an attempt to introduce better looking candle lighters, as well as putting his pastor out, by smothering him in the church’s sacred vestments, which are, by the way, very special, very expensive, no-no touch kind of thing. NOT HIS FAULT!

The making several people doubt their life choices, as well as causing one to realize his life was meaningless. All he did was ask a couple questions. NOT HIS FAULT!

And the True Emergency Drill? Well, let’s just say fire+tornado+killer bees+ old people= a whole lot of freaking out. Just goes to show how unprepared the school is for a true emergency. AGAIN, NOT HIS FAULT.

Free Thaddeus. Read his defense. Take sides. Learn the truth.

The Fancy Part Where I Attempt To Explain The Title Of The Book

Notice Thaddeus’s last name? Ledbetter. Led Better. As in, Thaddeus thinks the school should be led by someone better. Cool, isn’t it?

Author’s Names and Ramblings

If I were you, I wouldn’t read the first two paragraphs. They are dreadfully pointless and boring. Take my advice and don’t read the rest, either.

Did you notice the Author’s Name? (By the way, I feel that certain words should always be capitalized because they are important. I also feel that all of my blog posts should contain at least one set of parentheses, but not too many, or ones that are too long, because then you can kind of get off topic. I do that all the time. Like now.)

But anyway, getting off topic, well, not anymore. Finally! So, the author’s name is N. E. Bode. Which can be pronounced like Anybody. See where I’m going? Pretty cool, right? Only problem is the author doesn’t get any recognition. It also takes a lot of work to find out the author’s true name. But you usually can. Except for Lemony Snicket. That guy is a master of secrecy. (Never mind, I just googled him. The Internet is cruel.)

Getting back to the book. Fern lives with the Drudgers. The Drudgers are boring. Fern is exciting. The Drudgers enjoy boring, banal things that no one in their right mind would enjoy. They collect flyers and cans of clothing starch (is there any other kind?) Fern is the exact opposite. Messy, loud, everything the Drudgers aren’t and wish to rid the world of.

Luckily for both Fern and the Drudgers, a nurse, a man, and a boy soon show up at their doorstep, and they discover that Fern is actually the daughter of the man (called the Bone), and the boy (Howard), is the Drudgers’ son. So the two families  decide to swap children for a month to see if what the Bone says is true. And then things just get crazier and crazier.

The Looking Glass Wars: Alice’s True Story?

I don’ t quite remember how I found this book. But I am sure glad I did. This book is a twisted version of Alice In Wonderland. Although the artwork on the cover is kind of creepy and twisted, you should definitely give this book a try.

The book starts off in Wonderland, where a 7-year-old Alyss Heart (Yup, that’s her name)  is hanging out with her mother, the queen. (Yes, that does make Alyss a princess.) Oh, one more thing that I forgot to mention: the entire kingdom has the power of imagination! What this means is you can basically imagine anything, as long as your imagination is strong enough. Now, since this moment is important to the plot of the story, I have to tell you. But I have to put it lightly, it’s really sad. Here goes!

Alyss’s aunt, who was kicked out of line for the throne because she was very irresponsible and just plain old bad, comes in and kills Alyss’s parents and a bunch of other people. She almost kills Alyss as well, but Alyss escapes into the Pool Of Tears, a portal to another world, where there is no imagination powers. This strange world is called “Earth”.

From one world to another…

Alice spends around the next fifteen years of her life on Earth. And slowly, the loses her imagination powers. She also loses Wonderland. Years spent trying to convince the people she met that Wonderland was real wore her down. No one believed. Not even her adoptive parents, the Lidells. Until she met Charles Dogeson, reverend and friend of the Lidells. He believed. And even better, he was willing to try and write and publish a book about her life in Wonderland. Surely that would help convince someone!

Unfortunatly, Charles Dogeson changed Alyss’s life story into a whimsical book about how a little girl named Alice dreamed about a place named Wonderland. The book was nothing like Alyss’s story. Her name wasn’t even spelled correctly! How would anyone believe her now? It’s up to us…

Read this book, or she will chop off your head!


And she will kill you any old way!

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