Reviews for The secret letters

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

In the small town of Groveview, Ohio, two 12-year-olds solve a mystery. Colin’s and Nevaeh’s families approach the business of material possessions from opposite directions: Colin’s single mom, who’s so minimalist his friends think the family is poor, runs Possession Curation, a company dedicated to helping people declutter their lives. Nevaeh comes from a large, loving family; her father, the self-proclaimed Junk King, never met scrap he wouldn’t keep until he could sell it. One day, Colin finds a box of letters dated 1973-77 and written by someone named Toby to a certain Rosemary hidden in his mother’s client’s attic. In the first letter in the shoebox, Toby pleads with Rosemary not to hate him. Meanwhile, Nevaeh helps her dad open a long-locked self-storage unit and finds it empty when it should have been full of antiques. Gradually, in third-person narratives that alternate between the two White tweens, Colin and Nevaeh meet, become friends, realize that their families share a history, and solve the entwining mystery of their finds. Haddix writes with her usual smooth skill in this series opener, weaving in an interesting theme about possessions and what they mean to different people. Nevaeh longs for Colin’s clean home, while Colin finds persistent beauty in the things his mother discards. Though the mystery they solve relies heavily on coincidence, it’s credible, as are all of Colin’s and Nevaeh’s actions. The characters are real and inviting, and the emotions ring true. Fast-paced and enjoyable. (author’s note) (Mystery. 8-12) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

In the small town of Groveview, Ohio, two 12-year-olds solve a mystery.Colins and Nevaehs families approach the business of material possessions from opposite directions: Colins single mom, whos so minimalist his friends think the family is poor, runs Possession Curation, a company dedicated to helping people declutter their lives. Nevaeh comes from a large, loving family; her father, the self-proclaimed Junk King, never met scrap he wouldnt keep until he could sell it. One day, Colin finds a box of letters dated 1973-77 and written by someone named Toby to a certain Rosemary hidden in his mothers clients attic. In the first letter in the shoebox, Toby pleads with Rosemary not to hate him. Meanwhile, Nevaeh helps her dad open a long-locked self-storage unit and finds it empty when it should have been full of antiques. Gradually, in third-person narratives that alternate between the two White tweens, Colin and Nevaeh meet, become friends, realize that their families share a history, and solve the entwining mystery of their finds. Haddix writes with her usual smooth skill in this series opener, weaving in an interesting theme about possessions and what they mean to different people. Nevaeh longs for Colins clean home, while Colin finds persistent beauty in the things his mother discards. Though the mystery they solve relies heavily on coincidence, its credible, as are all of Colins and Nevaehs actions. The characters are real and inviting, and the emotions ring true. Fast-paced and enjoyable. (authors note) (Mystery. 8-12) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.