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Customer reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
Secrets of the Book
Format: Kindle Edition|Change

on 22 April 2014
The relationship between Gregor and the main character Spencer, is described fantastically, and is very endearing it reminded me of the ebookThe Secret of the White Firestone - THE WHITE ENNOX TRILOGY: Book 1 in which the characters are also quite quirky. The author explains Gregor's behaviour brilliantly and with such empathy. I thought the idea of notorious dead people popping up out of a secret book was intriguing and felt that there is a lot more mileage in the idea about the book and that hopefully there could be a sequel? The adventures that Gregor and Spencer could get up to could be endless. I found that I had grown quite fond of the characters by the end and wanted more to happen to them.
My daughter who is seven also loved this book. I was a bit unsure at first that she would understand who Marilyn or Al Capone or the other characters that popped out were as she is still a bit young, but it actually made her ask more and want to find out who these people were, so it ended up being quite educational for her, but in a very entertaining way. I would definitely recommend this.
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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 26 March 2015
The plot is action packed, but straightforward. Spencer is given "Pandora's Book" by Ed, a resident in a nursing home whom Spencer visits on occasion. Spencer and his best friend, Gregor, discover that the historical figures in the book can be called out of the book in the real world. Spencer and Gregor cannot, however, figure out how to get the famous characters back into the book, and Ed has disappeared without leaving any instructions. Bad guys, or are they good guys, or a couple of each, start chasing Spencer and Gregor, who are aided by Ed's resourceful grand daughter. All kinds of mayhem follow, before it's all sorted out.

So far, so good. The premise is a little shop worn, but it's all kept afloat by the high energy and cheerful loopiness of the plot, and by the author's wise choice to fill Pandora's book with a broad range of historical figures rather than familiar literary characters. Interesting snapshots of the personalities of the various famous figures are engaging and a number of cameo appearances are very sly and amusing.

But, as I say, apart from the fact that a clever premise is put through it's paces in an accomplished and entertaining way, what else is going on here? Well, I suggest that the author's singular achievement, and the aspect that really moves this book up to a higher level, is the author's choice of heroes. Spencer has a degenerative eye disease that is destroying his eyesight and Gregor is autistic. Their story is presented in a remarkably sensitive, authentic and heartening fashion. The book is near brilliant in its unsentimental and realistic depiction of a functioning autistic hero protagonist. Spencer understands his friend Gregor and displays great patience, understanding and compassion in helping his friend cope. Moreover, he describes Gregor and his autism in a voice that doesn't sound like an after-school special, but rather like the voice and understanding of a sixth grader. This adds an authenticity, a charm, and an appeal that is almost unheard of in what is essentially a middle-grade fantasy/action book.

So, a well handled tale, a nice sense of humor and energy, and appealing characters - a nice find for your middle grade reader.

Please note that I received a free advance ecopy of this book in exchange for a candid review. Apart from that I have no connection at all to either the author or the publisher of this book.
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on 6 August 2014
Got this for my 10 yr old daughter, just for something different..... and she actually really enjoyed it....
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on 2 January 2015
This book is both entertaining and educational.it has interesting historical facts and also facts about some medical conditions,like autism. these facts are nicely fused into this adventure of 3 kids .it's a good safe,interesting adventure.I read it to check it first for my son before he reads it and I enjoyed it.
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on 6 February 2015
Went through the book with my children (6 & 9). We all enjoyed it. Coming back each time to work out what would happened next. The ending lacked the excitement of the early story, and the mysteries failed to peak ones interested, but this wasn't too distracting from the bulk of the story.
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on 15 October 2014
easy and enjoyable read for 9-10 year olds. Good fun and a book you can dip in and out of.
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