Author: Standiford, Natalie
Minty discovers a tree in the woods of her neighborhood that holds everyone's secrets, prompting her and new kid, Raymond, to fix a curse and solve some mysteries.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 3.50
Points: 6.0 Quiz: 151055
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 2.80
Points: 13.0 Quiz: 57004
Common Core Standards
Grade 6 → Reading → RL Literature → 6.RL Range of Reading & Level of Text Complexity
Grade 6 → Reading → CCR College & Career Readiness Anchor Standards fo
Kirkus Reviews (04/01/12)
School Library Journal (07/01/12)
Full Text Reviews:
Booklist - 05/01/2012 Minty Fresh knows all the local superstitions: the seven-feet-tall Man-Bat, the Witch Lady, and Crazy Ike. But nothing prepares her for the Secret Tree. There she pulls out slips of paper on which other kids in town have written about crushes, being held back a grade, and even placing curses on their enemies. Minty makes it her mission to track down each writer to see how their secrets affect others—as well as how to handle her own secret fear that she is losing her best friend right before starting middle school. Universal anxieties about growing apart from friends are expressed with such earnest clarity that middle school–bound readers will take comfort from Minty’s discovery that everyone has insecurities and must cope the best way they can. Standiford’s (How to Say Goodbye in Robot, 2009) charming and mysterious story of friendship, growing up, and keeping secrets rests squarely on the shoulders of an immensely likable protagonist who possesses a delightful oddness, like so many imaginative children in real life. - Copyright 2012 Booklist.
School Library Journal - 07/01/2012 Gr 5–7—There's a tree in the woods near a quiet suburban Baltimore town; a tree with roots deep enough to house a ghost that feeds on secrets. And this town has enough secrets to keep the tree humming, and it plays a part in a fast-paced plot with intriguing characters. It's the summer before Minty Mortimer and her friend Paz Calderon start middle school. Until recently, the girls only wanted to be roller-derby skaters named Minty Fresh and Pax A. Punch. But now, secrets and a bit of magic are the catalyst for a summer of change for Minty and those who share their secrets with the tree-and even those who don't. After Paz starts hanging out with a group of cool girls, Minty becomes friends with Raymond, a runaway who lives in an abandoned model home. They spy on neighbors to solve secrets left in the tree; they believe in curses, and in the wisdom and auras seen only by Otis, a vendor who sells produce from a horse-drawn wagon. Themes of friendship, loneliness, family dysfunction, and even mental illness are presented in Minty's naïve, engaging narration. The plot contrivances-all ends well with generally everyone happy-are satisfying with an almost nostalgic feel for summers and communities of times past.—Maria B. Salvadore, formerly at District of Columbia Public Library - Copyright 2012 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.