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Shakespeare's Secret


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About the Author

Elise Broach is the New York Times bestselling author of books for children and young adults, including Desert Crossing and Masterpiece, as well as several picture books. She lived in England from the ages of twelve to fourteen and vividly remembers her first visit to William Shakespeare's house in Stratford-upon-Avon. At a rare-book store there, she purchased a volume of Shakespeare's plays that she still keeps on her nightstand. Ms. Broach holds undergraduate and graduate degrees in history from Yale University. She was born in Georgia and lives in the woods of rural Connecticut, walking distance from three farms, a library, a post office and two country stores.


Gr 4-7-Elise Broach's debut mystery (Holt, 2005) is a gem. Hero has moved to Maryland with her mother, father, and beautiful older sister named Bernice. Hero's father is a professor of English literature and an expert on William Shakespeare. Hero, named after a character in Much Ado About Nothing, is a veteran of many moves and dreads starting sixth grade at a new school. While Bernice manages well in the new environment and quickly becomes popular, Hero doesn't quite fit in. She finds solace with kindly Mrs. Roth, an elderly neighbor, who informs her that Hero's new home may hold a mysterious million-dollar diamond. Hero grudgingly accepts the help offered by Danny, the police chief's son, and the three delve into Elizabethan history to locate the diamond. They are shocked to discover the jewel may have belonged to Anne Boleyn, but an even bigger revelation changes the trio's lives forever. Along the way, they question the true identity of William Shakespeare. Broach has created a nifty mystery for middle school readers. Her dialogue is realistic, and narrator Jennifer Ikeda gives each character a distinctive voice. An engrossing mystery that touches several historical elements.-Tricia Melgaard, Centennial Middle School, Broken Arrow, OK Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.

"I like this book because it involves a girl trying to solve an unfinished case. Even my friends say it's a good read!" --Discovery Girls tween reviewer"(More) evidence-driven than Blue Balliett's Chasing Vermeer, this agreeable history-mystery may have even more appeal to budding sleuths." --Kirkus Reviews, Starred Review"Elise Broach's debut mystery is a gem. An engrossing mystery that touches several historical elements." --School Library Journal"Middle school girls will love the suspense and identify with the characters' personal decisions, reflecting Shakespeare's universal themes such as loyalty, the public versus the private self, integrity, true love, and humor's dark side." --Voices of Youth Advocates"Sophisticated readers, particularly fans of Blue Balliett's Chasing Vermeer, will appreciate the true emotions, the rich language, and the revelations of many-layered mysteries that tie the past to the present." --Booklist"Terrific hero, terrific book. I loved it." --Patricia Reilly Giff, Newbery Honor-winning author of Picture of Hollis Woods"The historical references, the highly developed characters, and the intriguing plot make this a page-turning satisfying read." --Armchair Interviews

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