Limit this search to....

Secrets at Sea Reprint Edition
Contributor(s): Peck, Richard, Murphy, Kelly (Illustrator)
ISBN: 0142421839     ISBN-13: 9780142421833
Publisher: Puffin
    OUR PRICE: $10.79  
Product Type: Paperback - Other Formats
Published: October 2012
Annotation: In 1887, the social-climbing Cranstons voyage from New York to London, where they hope to find a husband for their awkward older daughter, secretly accompanied by Helena and her mouse siblings, for whom the journey is both terrifying and wondrous as they meet an array of titled humans despite their best efforts to remain hidden. By a Newbery Medalist and multiple award-winning author.
Additional Information
Library of Congress Subjects:
Adventure and adventurers; Fiction.
Mice; Fiction.
Ocean travel; Fiction.
BISAC Categories:
- Juvenile Fiction | Action & Adventure
- Juvenile Fiction | Animals | Mice, Hamsters, Guinea Pigs, Etc.
- Juvenile Fiction | Transportation | Boats, Ships & Underwater Craft
Dewey: [Fic]
LCCN: bl2012036500
Lexile Measure: 600
Academic/Grade Level: Grade 4-6, Age 9-11
Book type: Juvenile Fiction
Physical Information: 8.50" H x 5.25" W x 0.75" (0.45 lbs) 238 pages
Accelerated Reader Info
Quiz #: 147581
Reading Level: 4.2   Interest Level: Middle Grades   Point Value: 5.0
Scholastic Reading Counts Info
Quiz #: Q55416
Reading Level: 3.4   Interest Level: Grades 3-5   Point Value: 9.0
Descriptions, Reviews, Etc.

Contributor Bio(s):

RICHARD PECK (1934-2018) was born in Decatur, Illinois and lived in New York City for nearly 50 years. The acclaimed author of 35 novels for children and young adults, he won the Newbery Medal for A Year Down Yonder, a Newbery Honor for A Long Way from Chicago, the Scott O’Dell Award for The River Between Us, the Edgar Allen Poe Award for Are You in the House Alone?, a Boston Globe-Horn BookAward Honor for The Best Man, and the Christopher Medal for The Teacher’s Funeral. He was the first children’s author ever to have been awarded a National Humanities Medal, and was twice a National Book Award Finalist.  

Reviewed by Horn Book Guide Reviews (Horn Book Guide Reviews 2012 Spring)
In this rollicking comedy of manners, the social-climbing Cranstons (human) take an ocean voyage to Europe hoping to snag a husband for daughter Olive. Observant, careful Helena and her quite-a-bit-less-prudent younger siblings (mice) go, too. Peck's droll take on human and mouse society is exquisite, and Murphy's dandy and detailed pencil illustrations add just the right air of royalty. Copyright 2012 Horn Book Guide Reviews.

Reviewed by Horn Book Magazine Reviews (Horn Book Magazine Reviews 2011 #5)
The rodent world meets Upstairs, Downstairs in this rollicking comedy of manners that begs to be read aloud. Downstairs, we have the observant, careful oldest mouse sister Helena and her quite-a-bit-less-prudent siblings, running around in the night with God knows whom. Upstairs, the social-climbing human Cranstons are in a swivet over the spinster status of oldest daughter Olive. The Cranstons decide to take an ocean voyage to Europe hoping to snag a husband for Olive, and Helena realizes that (Heaven forbid! All that water!) the mice will have to go, too. Peck's droll take on human and mouse society is exquisite. Through Helena's meticulous observations, he notes everything from Mrs. Cranston's beefy shoulders to elderly mouse Aunt Fannie's bald patches and lone tooth -- all enhanced by hilariously upended clichés ("quiet as a mouse," "herding cats," "cat out of the bag") and by Murphy's dandy and detailed pencil illustrations that add just the right air of royalty. The story moves along at a fine pace, fueled by snarky but playful comments about the lack of taste of the Upstairs Cranstons (hayseeds in overpriced taffeta), Olive's debilitating seasickness, and the soap opera that a sea voyage is, whether one is a human or a mouse. In true soap opera style, each character's destiny is revealed in the dramatic final chapters. Older sisters, mice or not, will enjoy the exciting and romantic Copyright 2011 Horn Book Magazine Reviews.

Reviewed by Publishers Weekly Reviews (PW Reviews 2011 August #4)

Newbery Medalist Peck's (A Year Down Yonder) dry wit and gentle jabs at social mannerisms appear in full force in this charming tale of a 19th-century mouse family traveling abroad. The story begins when house-mouse Helena and her younger siblings get wind that the human residents upstairs, the Cranstons, are planning to go to Europe to find a proper husband for elder daughter Olive. Not wanting to be left behind in an empty, crumb-free abode, the mice sneak onto the ship, despite their fear of water. "Time is always running out for us mice, and water often figures in," remarks Helena, whose delightfully genteel narration carries the novel. Once aboard, Helena and her siblings are surprised to find a "major infestation" of other mice traveling with their human housemates. While trying to avoid the ship's one-eyed "kill-crazy" cat, they scurry from one adventure to the next, rubbing elbows with aristocracy and finding unexpected romance. Readers—especially fans of Beatrix Potter—will revel in the detailed descriptions of mouse-sized joys, woes, and love connections, all beautifully depicted in Murphy's soft pencil illustrations. Ages 8–12. (Oct.)

[Page ]. Copyright 2011 PWxyz LLC

Reviewed by School Library Journal Reviews (SLJ Reviews 2011 September)

Gr 3–5—In his first venture into animal fantasy, Peck weaves a delicious tale of three mice—Helena, Louise, and Beatrice—and their troublesome brother, Lamont. Their ordered life in the Hudson Valley home of the socially inept Cranston family is thrown into turmoil as they find themselves on an ocean voyage, accompanying their unwitting humans who are hoping to marry off their elder daughter in England. Helena, who has assumed the parental role since their father was killed by a barn cat and their mother and two sisters drowned in a rain barrel, must help her siblings overcome their fear of water and keep them out of human sight as they avoid the ship's cat, negotiate corridors, and slip in and out of staterooms. They meet other mice who are accompanying their humans on the trip: the influential Duchess of Cheddar Gorge, with connections to Queen Victoria; Nigel, the ship's steward who entices Lamont into his service; and dashing Lord Peter Henslow, mouse equerry to the human Lord Peter. Chaos, intrigue, and romance ensue, culminating in a royal rodent wedding, synchronized with the queen's Diamond Jubilee. The Upstairs, Downstairs motif works nicely, and personalities, both human and anthropomorphic, interact to hilarious effect. The fast-paced story is peppered with the author's characteristic sly wit and is pure fun. It is sure to be enjoyed by fans of Avi's "Poppy" series as well as by mouse lovers of all ages.—Marie Orlando, formerly at Suffolk Cooperative Library System, Bellport, NY

[Page 127]. (c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.