THE SECRETS OF MS. SNICKLE’S CLASS by Laurie Miller Hornik

THE SECRETS OF MS. SNICKLE’S CLASS

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 7 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

Hornik’s story seems uncertain about its intent. It demonstrates that everyone has some necessary secrets, but also indicates that secrets can be damaging. The author does not, however, clarify the difference between healthy privacy and unhealthy secrets. The story begins as a fun ride into the magical classroom of Ms. Snickle. There are no tests, and everything, including some students, is mysteriously enchanted. Eva used to be a swan until an evil sorcerer turned her into a little girl, and Dennis’s mother is the tooth fairy. And there is Haley, who sneezes constantly. The one rule in the classroom is keeping secrets. Then one student, Lacey, discovers her love for tattling, divulging each secret as she learns it. The consequence of this is a very grouchy student body, except for Haley, who, readers find out, sneezes because she is allergic—to secrets. But when Lacey reveals the biggest secret of all, she discovers the downside of exposing others’ privacy. With all the secrets aired, Haley is finally freed from her allergy, but Ms. Snickle’s magical solution to restore peace has Haley grabbing for the Kleenex again. Written with wit and a just-this-side-of-ordinary appeal, middle readers will find this a pleasant entertainment. The object lesson of the story, however, is ambiguous as Haley’s sneezing attacks disappear when all secrets are revealed, but suffers a recurrence when secrecy is restored while everyone else seems better off when their secrets stay private. The story is enhanced by Tilley’s (Hide and Seek, see below, etc.) occasional, cheerful illustrations. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: April 23rd, 2001
ISBN: 0-618-03435-8
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 1st, 2001




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