The Secret Box

secret boxThe Secret Box

By Whitaker Ringwald

New York:  Harper Collins, 2013.

297 Pages  Grades 5 and Up.

Jacqueline Alice Malone, Jax, is turning 12 years old which in and of itself should have been exciting.  But nothing ever exciting happens in Jax’s life–especially since life with her single mom in a sleepy little town is very ordinary and simple–until that day when a mysterious birthday package arrived.  Well it was exciting for about 10 seconds!

That is the time it took for Jax’s mom to look down at the package and rip it from her arms! She totally freaked out! She marks the package RETURN TO SENDER—all over it and puts it in her trunk!  She told me to forget about it—I was never getting that package.

 All I could make out was the name Juniper.  That is when my imagination went wild. Could this package be from my dad—the dad whom my mom says she can’t even remember his name?

Jax knows she saw the name Juniper on the return address.  She just can’t get this package out of her mind—so she enlists the help of her only real friend—her cousin Ethan.  Their moms are sisters.  Ethan is the opposite of Jax—he has a dad (and an older video game obsessed brother), gets stress nose bleeds, and he craves the simple and ordinary life of Jax.  Jax is adventurous and bold.  Ethan recognizes, since he has no real friends either, that if he didn’t hang out with Jax he had no life at all!

Jax and Ethan get the package back and that is when the really big mystery begins—the package is a box that cannot be opened—well it can if you figure out the puzzle.  Game on! 

Ethan and Jax meet up with a long lost relative, an evil couple who would kill to get the secret box, kidnapping, guns and a secret so imaginative it will keep you turning the pages right up to the end!

This is a great action packed, crazy, dangerous mystery by this new author, Whitaker Ringwald.  It looks to be the first in a wonderful new series.  I can’t wait to get the book cataloged, book talk it and send it out to students!


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