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review 2015-10-08 00:00
The Name of This Book Is Secret
The Name of This Book Is Secret - Pseudonymous Bosch,Gilbert Ford The name of this book is well-crafted fun. I finished reading it aloud to my two, elementary-aged kids, and I think I enjoyed the ride just as much as they did. If you're a parent, I'd highly recommend this approach.

The mystery was just dark enough to create intrigue but light enough to remain firmly in kid territory. There was humor for all ages, along with a very intrusive narrator that pulled us out of the story to give us reading instructions and dissect the mystery genre.

We stopped reading along the way to discuss vocabulary ("dour is like sour, but sour is a taste, and dour is how someone looks"), explain adult jokes, discuss what usually happens in mysteries and make predictions. And as Harry Potter superfans, the kids were thrilled when the Philosopher's Stone was thrown into the mix, too.

All together, this was a perfect family read.
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review 2014-01-18 00:00
The Name of this Book Is Secret (The Secret Series)
The Name of This Book Is Secret - Pseudonymous Bosch,Gilbert Ford This book had a fantastic narrative style. I loved the way the author played with conventions of storytelling and played around with the fourth wall. This is one of those children's books that's fun for adults to read, too. We had a blast reading it out loud. Highly recommended for family story time.
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review 2013-10-02 11:19
The Name of this review is a SECRET!
The Name of This Book Is Secret - Pseudonymous Bosch,Gilbert Ford

This was a absolutely hilarious book! This book reminds me quite a bit of Lemony Snicket's - Unfortunate Events and of Trenton Lee Stewart's - Benedict Society books.

 

I absolutely loved the creative narration, the little parts that he stopped the story to tell us something, a secret or a warning of just a hint of information.

 

The 2 main characters: Cass and Max-Ernest take some getting used to. You might, especially in the beginning, find them a bit annoying, but I really liked them at the end of the book. They really grew and learned things and became better characters.

 

The story itself was brilliant, the villains were true villains. Not the cutesy one you some times see in stories. No real villains with evil plans. I can't imagine what the secret is, but I am highly curious to what it is!

 

I just bought book 2 and 3, and hope they are just as much fun, just as interesting and have enough sleuthing as this book has.

 

Since this book really was great, here are some of my favourite quotes:

 

Generally speaking, books don't cause much harm. Except when you read them, that is. Then they cause all kinds of problems.

 

It was like walking into a treasure trove of books, hoarded by pirate librarians.

 

Only bad books have good endings.
If a book is any good, it's ending is always bad - because you don't want the book to end.

 

Books can also provoke emotions. And emotions sometimes are even more troublesome than ideas. Emotions have led people to do all sorts of things they later regret-like, oh, throwing a book at someone else.

 

So I would really recommend this to everyone, be them a child or a parent or just an adult seeking a fun book!

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text 2013-07-19 19:30
Review: The Name of this Book is Secret
The Name of This Book Is Secret - Pseudonymous Bosch,Gilbert Ford

My girlfriend, Melissa, & I are reading these aloud. I like the way they're told (silly footnotes, random tangents, lots of games and interruptions) better than the stories themselves. But between the narrative style and the characters (Max-Ernest especially), it's been easy to keep reading.

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review 2013-04-12 00:00
The Name of This Book Is Secret - Pseudonymous Bosch,Gilbert Ford “WARNING:
DO NOT READ BEYOND THIS PAGE!”

Great start to a book, isn't it? Very [a:Lemony Snicket|36746|Lemony Snicket|http://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1199734355p2/36746.jpg]. And that is why I picked it up, because I loved A Series of Unfortunate Events and wanted something similar. Unfortunately, Pseudonymous Bosch is not exactly the second coming of Lemony Snicket, great name aside.

It isn't a terrible book, but it's lacking on so many levels that I just lost interest in it. The premise of the book means that the author has purposely left out establishing characteristics of virtually every character, including the main ones. It's to protect their identities, you see. But it just leads to little other than their worse characteristics getting page time, and makes it very hard to like them. The villains are less than memorable, and the plot itself is underwhelming and revolves around one of the main characters making an incredibly foolish mistake.

I try not to poke too much at illustrations, but here, the artist wasn't reading what he was illustrating very closely, and sometimes the art just doesn't match what's in the text. I noticed this very early on. The text describes a real estate sign with an arrow pointing towards the house for sale. The picture of the sign? No arrow. I wouldn't call this a deal-breaker, but it's slightly jarring, and a little lazy.

But I did like that the author obviously did research into some of the topics in the book (circuses, for example) and synesthesia plays a fairly big, and fairly well-done, part of the story. I also liked Cass's grandfathers. Having a stable, older gay couple as an incidental detail in a middle grade book? Very nice.
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