Sunday, November 6, 2022

The Secret Letters by Margaret Peterson Haddix

The Secret Letters was a delightful read from start to finish. Colin and Nevaeh's parents own two competing junk-clearing companies. Each has grown up "in the business" with mixed feelings about the job. In the process of clearing out a house, Colin finds a hidden shoebox which begins the treasure hunt of his life! But the "treasure" is not what you might expect! His search crosses paths with Nevaeh and together they become not only secret friends (their parents cannot stand each other) but also secret detectives.  

Colin and Nevaeh uncover the epistolary history of two childhood friends. But the letters abruptly end when they apparently had a falling out. Now the youngsters piece together clues and gather information trying to locate these now-grown pen pals. They hope to find out what went wrong and help get them reunited. But if Nevaeh's Dad knew she was spending time with Colin, he would definitely put an end to their investigations.

The author did a fabulous job of sprinkling in details about the time period throughout the book as well as offering additional historical notes at the end of the book. Young readers will come away with a more complete understanding of the struggles for equality that women faced in years past. I felt the topic was handled in a way that children could understand.

Positive elements I particularly liked: strong family dynamics in both Colin's and Nevaeh's homes; positive attitude toward work; an examination of the expectations our family may have of us and how that can impact one's future choices. 

I'm excited that this is the first in a series and can't wait to read the next one! 

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of The Secret Letters from NetGalley for the purpose of review. No other compensation was received.


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