Monday, October 28, 2013

All About Middle Grade Reviews: Aesop's Secret


Aesop's Secret by Claudia White, May 28, 2013. 128 pages. Published by MP Publishing. Source: Author for honest review.
Melinda and Felix Hutton are just an ordinary pair of siblings, until their parents confess that they have all inherited the talent of metamorphosis, a revelation that begins to unravel the children’s world. Ten-year-old Melinda embraces her Athenite heritage, but her efforts often end up leaving her freckled face attached to feathered body with a twitching rat’s tail. Her older brother Felix doesn’t greet this new reality as something to celebrate. Wishing he were normal, Felix resents becoming parts of the myths and fables he’s read. But there’s a threat rising just as the children are learning of their talents, and a powerful enemy will use every trick and tool he has to keep the family from letting slip the secret of their gifts. With only the help of Melinda’s pet rabbit Aesop, who has begun acting awfully strange lately, Felix and Melinda determinedly fight back against the suffocating grasp of those who want to drive the Huttons and their kind back underground.
First Sentence:
"Felix, stop it!" Melinda screamed at her twelve-year-old brother, who was jumping around and around her.
Guys, I am very excited to be featuring Claudia White's Aesop's Secret this week on the blog with a review
because this book rocks! I really hope that you'll give this excellent middle grade book a shot.

There are quite a few things I really enjoyed about Claudia White's middle grade novel, Aseop's Secret, her fresh take on mythology and the way she used it in her book, the writing, and of course the characters.
   What really makes her use of the mythology behind Athena so interesting is that she used the myth as a jumping off point and ran with a new and interesting concept-that of Melinda and Felix's family being descended from her. The secretiveness behind their ability and heritage harkens to that of books like The Borrowers, but that is where my comparison ends because the story and characters in Aesop's Secret are unique unto itself.
    The writing really pulls you in from the very first page as Ms. White dives right into the world Hutton's and the revelation that  is about to be revealed to the two protagonists. While the book itself is short on pages, the author does an excellent job of making use of each page.

While I enjoyed the mystery and twists within Aesop's Secret, I am going to leave y'all in the dark so you can discover what will befall the Hutton kids in what is now one of my favorite middle grade books this year. Just know this, Aesop's Secret is a fast paced, addictive read that I read in about an hour because I wanted to know how things would end, especially after what happens to Felix about half-way through the book.

One of my favorite things about Aesop's Secret would have to be the bickering between Melinda and Felix. The reason I really enjoyed the sibling bickering is because while they may have drove each other crazy you could tell that they liked one another. While I enjoyed the sibling dynamic to the book, what really makes it interesting is that most books tend to either make siblings so antagonistic towards one another that any chance of an interesting sibling story line is lost. So, yeah, it was nice seeing siblings depicted in a better(ish) light.

Really the only complaint I had after reading Aesop's Secret would be that the parents were kinda of dense. Even though Melinda and Felix's parents were a little hopeless when it came to listening, seeing what the problem was I enjoyed them because they were very present in the lives of their children.While my thoughts on the parents bounces between like and mild annoyance, it definitely gave Melinda and Felix the opportunity to learn more about their heritage and get to the bottom of the mystery.

Don't forget, you can check out my interview with Claudia White for the All About Middle Grade Challenge.

Final Verdict: Aesop's Secret was such a delight to read and definitely one that I feel comfortable recommending.

Aesop's Secret earns 5 out of 5 pineapples.

I received Aesop's Secret from the author for an honest review. 

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