Series: The "Secret" Series: Book 1
By Pseudonymous Bosch
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When intrepid friends Cass and Max-Ernest set out to discover the history behind the mysterious Symphony of Smells, they become embroiled in an experiment to discover the secret of eternal youth. Together they must come up with a plan to rescue their classmate from a hideous fate and escape the eerie pyramid of dastardly villains The Midnight Sun.
Pseudonymous Bosch is a pseudonym, or as he would prefer to call it (because he is very pretentious), a nom de plume. Unfortunately, for reasons he cannot disclose, but which should be obvious to anyone foolhardy enough to read this book, he cannot tell you his real name. But he admits to a deep-seated fear of mayonnaise.
Visit www.thenameofthiswebsiteissecret.com to find out more.
“***** 5 Stars”
“I cannot tell you what [this book] is called, clearly – it's a secret. I am under the impression that the author's name might just not be a real person's name. The book as it is is only presented to us because, although the contents are so dangerously shocking, life-changing and world-affecting, the author just cannot keep a secret. All attempt is made at putting us off reading, without being aware of what the consequences might be. All the same, we don't know where it happens, when it happens (although it starts on a Wednesday), nor even the characters' real names... I'd strongly recommend the book, and will make no secret of that fact.”
The Book Bag
“A thoroughly entertaining read, both funny and addictive. Beyond the author's dire warnings, however, is a good adventure story with real warmth and unique and quirky characters.”
“Quirky, original and hugely entertaining this is a debut novel of fantastical proportions. The first in a secretive series, The Name of this Book is SECRET is accompanied by a website, part of which is in code so important information is only given to the brave (or foolhardy). It provides even more insight into the twisted villains and their lair. But shhh ... maybe I have said too much, tell no-one what I have said and whatever you do, don’t visit: www.thenameofthisbookissecret.co.uk”
Love Reading 4 Kids
“Pseudonymous Bosch is from the Lemony Snicket school of creative writing, talking directly to the reader and issuing dire warnings of the dangers of reading this story... Clever writing depicts the main characters discovering more about themselves and each other as they rush headlong into the investigation of the disappearing magician and his symphony of smells. It is important that Cass is in training (Self taught) as a survivalist and, after facing many dangers and living in very interesting times, they survive to prepare for the sequel.”
School Librarian Journal
“This book starts with the words 'Do not read beyond this page'. Of course, I did and straight away felt I was part of a secret. There are two main characters: Cassandra (Cass) who has big ears that turn red when she's lying and Max Ernest who tells terrible jokes and talks non-stop. Together they investigate the burnt down house of a magician and discover the magician's notebook which leads to all sorts of secrets, suspense and adventure. The writing style is similar to The Series of Unfortunate Events by Lemony Snicket, it's very funny and would appeal to boys and girls aged 8 to 11 years.”
“This is a strange book, it sometimes stops in mid-sentence and tells you it can't reveal any more and then leaves the rest of the sentence blank! It's full of 'you're not supposed to know this...' then leaves you hanging on for more. It's an adventure/fantasy-style book and is really different from all the other books I've read and that's A LOT of books! I liked the characters - they are like soul mates. I would recommend it; it has a great cliffhanger ending.”
“When friends Max Ernest and Cass discover a strange box, entitled "The Symphony of Smells", with a secret notebook they become entangled in a mysterious and dangerous adventure. This is the first title in a hugely entertaining (and secretive) series. Full of quirky characters and written with a fun narrative voice, this book is a delight to read, but sssh, just don’t tell anyone...”
New Books - Christmas Guide to Children’s Books
“If you like books that are funny and adventurous, then this is the book for you. It is about two friends who are always trying to save everybody. There is a magician who dies and Max-Ernest and Cass are suspicious and set out to find out what really happened… If you want to know what adventures they have, READ THE BOOK! I like this book because it is full of surprising and unexpected events. It made me laugh a lot and I always wanted to read on to see what was going to happen next.”
Books for Keeps
“Many different types of readers will thoroughly enjoy this tale including fans of Anthony Horowitz and Lemony Snicket. The book is an interesting read where many types of emotions overwhelm you such as horror, grief, mystery, anxiety the lot. Mixed with a hint of sweet satisfaction that you have finally read the story. I honestly do not know how I lived without reading the book - it baffles me.”
Guardian Children's Books
Visit Usborne Quicklinks for teacher's notes with discussion topics and classroom activities structured around the UK National Curriculum for this book.