To save an image, right click the thumbnail and choose "Save target as..." or "Save link as..."
|Art of secrets|
Author: Klise, James
When some quirky art donated to a school fundraising effort to help a Pakistani American family, victims of a possible hate crime, is revealed to be an unknown work by a famous outsider artist, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, adults and teenagers alike debate who should get the money and begin to question each other's motivations.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG+
Reading Level: 5.60
Points: 8.0 Quiz: 170056
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 6-8
Reading Level: 4.70
Points: 14.0 Quiz: 63831
School Library Journal (00/04/14)
Booklist (+) (02/15/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (00/05/14)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 02/15/2014 *Starred Review* After her family’s apartment goes up in flames, Saba Khan’s Chicago high school organizes a benefit auction for her family. When a book by the famous outsider artist Henry Darger turns up among the items that have been gathered for sale, it raises a number of perplexing questions: How did such a unique piece go missing for so long? Shouldn’t the financially floundering school get a cut of the profits? Instead of bringing everyone together, the discovery further marginalizes the school’s outsiders. The story is told through documents, interviews, journal entries, and text messages from Saba, her father, teachers at her school, and her classmates as their suspicions about the art and the origin of the fire grow, and fingers are pointed in every direction. Klise lets loose a chorus of genuine voices as the disturbing truth emerges, and people’s secrets grow too large to hide. This art mystery is that rare book that will be passed around by teens as well as teachers in the faculty lounge, discussed and dissected and immediately reread to scour for hidden clues and motivations. The incidents at Highsmith School will stay on readers’ minds long after the last page. - Copyright 2014 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 04/01/2014 Gr 6–10—A suspicious fire, possibly a hate crime, destroys Saba Khan and her family's apartment and possessions. The Khans rely on the generosity of their neighbors and donations from Saba's school, a prestigious private school near downtown Chicago. Siblings Kendra and Kevin Spoon, two of the teen's classmates, decide an auction would be a great way to raise money to help the Pakistani American family. Soon the Spoons find a unique piece of artwork for the auction, and the event becomes big news that everyone wants in on. The art goes missing, and anyone involved in the auction is a suspect. This novel is told in variety of formats, including journal entries, email, text messages, newspaper stories, and police reports. Ten different characters share their points of view, leaving readers to work out exactly what happened and who might be guilty. Keeping up with all the different perspectives can be daunting, and some entries don't always contribute to the momentum. For fans of realistic fiction with plot twists, mysteries, and epistolary-type novels.—Natalie Struecker, Rock Island Public Library, IL - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 05/01/2014 It’s a tragedy for the Khan family when their apartment goes up in flames, destroying all they own, but fortunately people rally around them to help. The most generous help comes from the toney Highsmith School, where Saba Khan is on scholarship as a sophomore, and from Saba’s service-minded classmate, Kendra Spoon, who joins with her older brother to plan a charity auction to benefit Saba’s family. One of the items the Spoons acquire for the auction turns out to be an undiscovered work by outsider artist Henry Darger, with a value of half a million dollars; the excitement this find brings to the auction turns to consternation when the manuscript disappears, raising suspicion and bitterness throughout the school. Klise weaves an intriguing story through various voices, such as Saba’s father (who fears his young son may have set the apartment fire), Saba’s schoolmates (including the senior class president, who briefly dates Saba as her misfortune makes her prominent), and Highsmith teachers and administration (the self-serving principal is delighted to use the charity auction to promote the school), with newspaper articles and letters filling in additional gaps. Particularly interesting here is the way different characters respond to the situation and how they’re affected by the Khans’ volatile fortunes and the art mystery. The hairpin-turn twist ending will have surprised readers leafing back through the earlier parts of the book to search for foreshadowing, and it will provoke much discussion about who’s a good guy here and who’s a baddie. The acknowledgments include a further reference for reading about the fascinating art of Henry Darger. DS - Copyright 2014 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.