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THE SECRET OF THE SEALED ROOM by Bailey MacDonald

THE SECRET OF THE SEALED ROOM

A Mystery of Young Benjamin Franklin

By Bailey MacDonald

Age Range: 9 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-9760-3
Publisher: Aladdin

When the woman who owns her indenture dies of arsenic poisoning, 14-year-old Patience flees before she can be sold. Suspected of stealing her mistress’s money, she hides at the print shop where young Ben Franklin works. The two collaborate to find the real murderer and thief and to free a midwife accused of the poisoning and witchcraft. The early-18th-century Boston setting is believable, and the teenage Ben comes to life, clever and resourceful, with a fine and familiar way with words. A kite and a coded message embedded in a newspaper article help them solve the mystery. Each chapter begins with a relevant quotation from the real Franklin, often from Poor Richard’s Almanac. Spunky Patience, daughter of a ship’s first mate and the slave he stole from a Virginia plantation, is a girl with modern ideas about women at odds with those of her times; readers will find her a sympathetic and courageous character and applaud her success. Another entertaining historical mystery by the author of Wicked Will (2009). (Historical mystery. 9-13)