Tag Archives: Psuedonymous Bosch

The Name of This Book is Secret

Author: Psuedonymous Bosch

Illustrator: Gilbert Ford

Actually, it’s not just the name of this book that’s secret; the entire book itself is secret. In fact, you really shouldn’t read it at all, or so says the anonymous narrator. In this story, a couple of eleven-year-old kids–a boy who tells not-funny jokes and talks too much and a girl who’s a survivalist and cries disaster too often–encounter a secret which leads them into true danger and looming disaster. Only their growing collaboration and unique skills will enable them to survive and rescue their classmate. We can only hope that is enough.

So. I enjoyed The Name of This Book is Secret to an extent, but I think I would have enjoyed it much more if I didn’t already love the works of Lemony Snicket. Because this book feels altogether too much like it’s trying to imitate the style of Lemony Snicket–just without all the parts I love most, like the highly individual characters and the individual author’s unique attitude and style. Everything about The Name of This Book is Secret is so very intentionally disguised–to increase the impression of danger–that it loses a lot of potential personality. On the plus side, I really did enjoy seeing synesthesia–a real and fascinating medical condition–being used as a plot device. There were several other interesting allusions to history, culture, entertainment, etc.–it’s just that they’re so mixed up together that it’s difficult to really appreciate them. The Name of This Book is Secret gets three out of five stars in my opinion; I don’t regret reading it, but I probably won’t read it again.

Note: The allusion of the author’s “name” to the not-particularly-well-known artist Hieronymus Bosch (known for busy and super-creepy paintings) is sort of interesting, I must admit.

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Half-Minute Horrors

Editor: Susan Rich

Do you love the sort of short, startling stories that are best told late at night around a campfire? Or maybe you’re the sort that doesn’t really think it’s possible for a story to be properly scary in only a page or two, but you’d like to see them try. Regardless, this collection of one- to two-page short stories is sure to horrify–and possibly change your outlook on closets, lasagna, and strawberry bubble bath forever!

Half-Minute Horrors was a lucky find at a used bookstore for me–I’ve never seen it anywhere else. This collection features (extremely) short stories (and a few comics) by some of today’s leading authors and artists. The variety is impressive, yet they all prey on our deepest fears, utilizing surprise, disgust, and the ever-useful twist to create stories that are sure to leave the reader, well, horrified. Yet even while being certifiably creepy, these stories are honestly appropriate even for elementary-age children–as long as they don’t get freaked out too easily or have nightmares. I definitely enjoyed this collection, and would recommend Half-Minute Horrors to anyone who likes scary stories–especially if you don’t have much time to enjoy them.

Featured Authors/Illustrators: Lemony Snicket, Jerry Spinelli, Kenneth Oppel, Richard Sala, Erin Hunter, James Patterson, Sonya Sones, Tom Genrich, Michèle Perry, Angela Johnson, Jon Klassen, Arthur Slade, M. T. Anderson, Yvonne Prinz, M. E. Kerr, Adam Rex, Dean Lorey, Sarah Weeks, Gloria Whelan, Holly Black, Faye Kellerman, Lisa Brown, Pseudonymous Bosch, Nadia Aguiar, Sienna Mercer, Jack Gantos, Stephen Marche, Brad Meltzer, Lane Smith, Carol Gorman, David Rich, Jenny Nimmo, Margaret Atwood, Mariko Tamaki, Brian Selznick, Francine Prose, Ayelet Waldman, R. L. Stine, Adele Griffin, Aliza Kellerman, Mark Crilley, Allan Stratton, Sarah L. Thomson, Katherine Applegate, Avi, Gail Carson Levine, David Stahler Jr., Carson Ellis, Tui T. Sutherland, Abi Slone, Joseph Delaney, Alan Gratz, Brett Helquist, Josh Greenhut, Neil Gaiman, Lesley Livingston, Jon Scieszka, Vladimir Radunsky, Alison McGhee, Daniel Ehrenhaft, Melissa Marr, Chris Raschka, Stacey Godenir, Dan Gutman, Alice Kuipers, Frank Viva, Libba Bray, Joyce Carol Oates, Jonathan Lethem, Michael Connelly, Lauren Myracle, Barry Yourgrau, Aaron Renier, Gregory Maguire

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