Book Review: Secrets at Sea

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Book Review: Secrets at SeaSecrets at Sea by Richard Peck
Published by Penguin on October 13th 2011
Pages: 256
Buy on Amazon

The adorable tale of a family of mice stowaways on an adventurous ship's journey In the beloved tradition of The Borrowers, The Tale of Despereaux, and The Cricket in Times Square, here is an irresistible adventure story about the tiny creatures who secretly live among us humans, as only Newbery Medal winner Richard Peck could imagine it. Set on a grand cruise ship to England in 1887, this beautifully illustrated tale of a charming family of mice is full of laughs, near misses, and surprises. Multiple-award-winning author Richard Peck at his best and most playful!


Secrets at Sea is the story of a mouse named Helena, who is the oldest of two sisters and a brother. Unfortunately they are all that’s left of their family and reside in America with the Cranston family. When the Cranston’s get all in a bustle about marrying their oldest daughter Olive off, they set off for England to introduce her to society and hopefully her future husband. Helena gets some sage advice from a mouse next door that to keep her family together, she must travel with the Cranston’s – also to make sure everything goes right with their humans.

Helena is the one with a level head, her sisters Beatrice and Louise have their own quirks and their little brother seems to get into trouble wherever he goes. She finds hundreds of other mice traveling with their humans when they board, even a Duchess mouse, who is traveling with the actual Duchess and finds herself again apart of sage advice from an older mouse. There’s some daring escapes as she almost falls into the water at one point and another time she is chased by the ship’s cat.

I thought it was a charming way to introduce readers to a time period, while giving some interesting lessons about family and letting people carve their own paths in life. I really enjoyed Secrets at Sea, as I enjoy all of Peck’s book that I’ve read.


A mouse-filled adventure with some slight romance and a historical setting.

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