Sunday, April 15, 2012

The Secret Tree by Natalie Standiford

Minty and her best friend Paz are keeping themselves busy during summer vacation. Changes are about to occur. They will be entering middle school when summer is over. But even before that their friendship is tested by change.

Minty has always desired to be in the Roller Derby. She imagines her name to be Minty Fresh with Paz being named Pax A. Punch. But Paz begins hanging out with another group of girls and is no longer interested in Minty's Roller Derby dream.

Minty catches a strange boy hiding and taking pictures of the neighborhood. She soon becomes friends with Raymond. They find a tree in the woods that seems to call to them. The legend is that if you put your secrets in the hole of the tree they will disappear. Minty and Raymond decide to match the secrets with the neighbors around them.

Who's secret is "I put a curse on my enemy. And it's working" and who's secret is "I'm betraying my best friend in a terrible way." Minty and Raymond set out to spy on their neighbors to find out their secrets.

The Secret Tree is a sweet story that I enjoyed very much. I liked the way that Minty and Raymond didn't want to use the secrets to bribe people or hold against people, but actually wanted to help the people in the neighborhood. The secrets helped them to understand the behavior of the people around them. It was funny to read about Minty and Paz trying to bring their older sisters back together after they get in a fight over a boy. Minty and Paz decide to bring them together by being "pesky younger sisters" they figure that is the best way to get the sisters talking by being able to commiserate with each other about their pesky younger sisters. A cute-heart-warming read.

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