The Secret Box is a Junior Library Guild selection and the first in an irresistible middle grade series that will delight fans of Dan Gutman, Wendy Mass, and Trenton Lee Stewart.
What starts as a fun quest to open a mysterious birthday present quickly turns crazy and dangerous when Jax and her cousin Ethan discover themselves at the center of a special magical legacy. Soon they realize the secret box was not intended as a gift, but as call for help that they alone can answer.
Readers will love the page-turning mystery, hilarious girl and boy narrators, and clever incorporation of mythology—and lingering questions will leave them eager for more.
When Jax's mother confiscates a package sent to Jax on her 12th birthday, Jax is determined to get it back in this charming adventure story. She enlists the help of her cousin Ethan, who is a year older and much more cautious than headstrong, impulsive Jax. He's also tired of being Jax's sidekick. The package turns out to be a mysterious box that can only be opened in one location, but Ethan is less than eager to turn detective and embark on an adventure, especially because it requires the help of his computer genius older brother, Tyler. The mystery deepens when the three learn that the box was sent by an archeologist great aunt none of them knew about, and villains are seeking the box as well. With narration shared by Jax and Ethan, and plenty of humorous moments supplied by cranky Tyler, this is a promising launch to a planned trilogy. Mixing Greek mythology and mystery with gamer lingo and poignant coming-of-age moments, Ringwald delivers a smart balance of comedy, endearing characters, and high-stakes escapades. Ages 8 12.