Friday, February 5, 2010

Shakespeare's Secret, by Elise Broach

When Hero starts 6th grade at a new school, all she wants is for the other kids to stop teasing her about her Shakespearean name. But when her old neighbor, Mrs. Roth, tells her that an old diamond is hidden in her house, everything points back to Shakespeare. Will she and her new friend Danny find the diamond and discover how Shakespeare ties everything together?

This literary mystery offers a good introduction both to the history of the debate over Shakespeare's identity, as well as to good mystery writing. Tweens interested in history will be interested to see how Broach intertwines English history with the present-day story.

This book was selected as an ALA Notable Children's Book in 2006. Scholastic published an online discussion guide which includes lit circle questions and student handouts. Quick booktalk ideas can be found here. A compilation of editorial reviews can be found at


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