NICK'S SECRET by Claire H. Blatchford


Age Range: 9 - 12
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The latest novel in the Nick Wilder Mystery series that began with Nick's Mission (not reviewed) continues the light mysteries that surround the boy who lost his hearing at the age of six. Because of his deafness, Nick has a highly sensitized ability to read facial expressions and body language. But it will take more than that to deal with the combination of problems that surround him. In a showdown with a bully named Daryl and his pot-selling friends, Daryl tries to intimidate Nick into becoming a lookout for their gang. But a mysterious new girl arrives, pointing a rifle at the boys and helping Nick escape. He learns that Ionie and her father breed, raise, train, and sell prize sheepdogs; she has been left alone to care for seven of them while her father takes her dying grandmother to Scotland. Because Daryl has stolen $350 from Ionie's cabin, she is unable to feed her dogs. To this plot, add the danger of dog thieves who will do anything short of murder to obtain these expensive dogs. Harboring Ionie in the basement of his work place (which happens to be a pet shop), Nick is able to provide a safe haven. However, it is only by trusting the adults in his life—his mother, her new boyfriend, and his boss—that Nick can finally assure Ionie's complete safety. While not high art, this simple mystery will satisfy young readers who will enjoy the intrigue, and it has the bonus of having a hearing-impaired hero. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Aug. 15th, 2000
ISBN: 157505194X
Page count: 168pp
Publisher: Lerner