Name of This Book is SecretTitle: The Name of This Book is Secret
Author: Pseudonymous Bosch
Narrator: David Pittu
ISBN: 0545053412
Discs: 5 CDs / 6 hours 22 minutes
Pages: 360 pages
Publisher/Date: Scholastic Audiobooks, c2007.

“Well, it wouldn’t be the best way to get help, would it?” asked Max-Ernest, a little more slowly than usual. “I mean , he could have just called someone–like the police. Or the fire department. But I guess maybe if he didn’t want everyone to know. Like if it was only for a certain person –”
“Whoever it was for, we’re the ones who read it,” Cass pointed out. “That means we have to help him.”
“But he’s dead!” (46-47)

Cassandra’s uncles, who run an antiques store, receive a package from an real estate agent who is handling the death of a reclusive magician. This package, inscribed as the Symphony of Smells, is filled with vials that smell like peanut butter, licorice, or other things. But there’s also a call for help, which Cass feels obligated to answer. Max-Ernest, a boy who talks too much, becomes an undesired collaborator. But when Cass encounters Dr. L and Ms. Mauvais, and a classmate with unusual abilities goes missing, Cass smells disaster. Unfortunately, Cass thinks disaster is everywhere, and no one believes her, so she’s forced to set off on her own.

If you liked Lemony Snicket series, you’ll like this new series by Pseudonymous Bosch, which starts with The Name of This Book is Secret. It’s narrated in the same dry, sarcastic nature, with the doom and gloom laid out so heavy that it’s hilarious. Max-Ernest reminds me of an annoying cousin or younger sibling, who you’re forced to put up with even though you’d rather not have to work with them. Cass’s ingenuity and view of the world is refreshing. The cliff hanger teaser of an ending guarantees that children will be clamoring for the sequel, If You’re Reading This, It’s Too Late. It’s already out.

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