Book Review: Secrets of the Book by Erin Fry

Secrets of the Book by Erin Fry is a middle grade novel with a great premise. Sixth grader Spencer Lemon's mom is big on volunteering, which means Spencer does plenty as well. While volunteering at a nursing home he makes friends with Ed, who in turn hands over a very special book without the chance to explain all the necessary details. The book contains famous dead people who can be brought back to life. Unfortunately Ed goes missing and some less than trustworthy characters seem to be popping up with extreme interest in the book. And it’s up to Spencer, along with Gregor and Ed’s mysterious (and cute) granddaughter Mel, to protect the book and save the world.

Love the idea behind Secrets of the Book. The characters are interesting and well fleshed out. I really loved the inclusion of Gregor as a very capable young man, and an asset to the group.The friendship between Gregor and Spencer is well done and feels real. Spencer's eye condition gives him a challenge to overcome, but despite being mentioned regularly did not seem to have much other impact on the story besides in the building of his character. The mystery behind the book and the wondering about which historical figure would pop up next was intriguing as well. However, I will admit that my interest in the book started to wan about half way through. It is not that there was not any action, there were chases and intrigue a plenty. But for some reason my interest started to waver. I put the book down, picked it up again, and so on. I am not sure exactly what was not working for me either. The mystery was there, good characters were there, and I was curious to know what happened next- but several times I was just not curious enough to read instead of cook dinner or pick up my latest crochet project. This means that I got behind on my reading schedule and frustrated with myself, and less interested in the book.

Secrets of the Book did not grab me like I hoped it would. I think some middle grade readers will love it, and think it might inspire some to expand their circle of friends, since friendship is a major component of the book. I think it might also encourage some readers to do some research about the historical figures mentioned or taking part in the book.

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