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Season of Secrets

By Sally Nicholls

From the award-winning author of Ways to Live Forever

Molly and Hannah have just lost their mother, and while Dad "figures things out," they're sent to stay with their grandparents in a quiet country town. A new home. A new school. A new set of kids who think Hannah is mean and Molly is too much of a dreamer. And the girls aren't sure when, or even if, their dad will be back for them.

Then Molly makes an unexpected friend, and magical things start to happen. Her friend can make a flower blossom in the palm of his hand; he can make a sapling grow in the dead of winter. Molly wants desperately to figure out who he is and just how much power he has. If he can make the trees come to life again, is there still hope for Molly and Hannah's mother?

Reviews and Awards

Parents' Choice Award Silver Honor
2012 USBBY Outstanding International Book

⋆“Death and birth, then and now, bad and good: Molly is encountering transition for the first time, and the loss of childhood's certainties isn't easy. Molly's mother has just died. Her father has sent her and her older sister, Hannah, to live at Grandma and Grandpa's odd half-house, half-shop, "until [he] gets things Sorted Out. Whenever that is." Caught in an autumn storm, Molly is terrified by a horned huntsman and worried about the bloodied man she finds after the hunt. No one believes her, but after Molly finds the face of "her man" carved in the pillar of an old church, Molly's teacher tells her about the Oak King and the Holly King, who do battle eternally as the seasons change. Nicholls's second novel, following her critically acclaimed Ways to Live Forever and its theme of terminal illness, is an exploration of surviving. Molly's wishes don't come true, and the cycles of nature do not stop just because she cries. But Molly learns, too, that no change is an absolute, and if she can't stop it, she can yet make something of it.” - Publishers Weekly, starred review

“Written in gently flowing prose, the plot appropriately transitions from autumn into summer as Molly emerges from grief to acceptance and hope. A poignant story of healing tinged with mystery.” - Kirkus Reviews

“This atmospheric novel, which draws upon the legend of the Green Man, is a study in grief and renewal, reminiscent of Katherine Paterson’s Bridge to Terabithia (1977) and K. L. Going’s The Garden of Eve (2007).... Moving seamlessly between fantasy and reality, this title offers a thoughtful, touching exploration of how we survive our darkest hours.” -Booklist

“In its fresh re-clothing of mythology and its unsentimental and detailed portrait of a grieving family, this novel is reminiscent of David Almond’s Skellig, and, like Almond, Nicholls keeps her highly pitched material firmly grounded in sharp observation and a convincing child voice.” - Horn Book

“[T]he book proves to be captivating as Molly’s fantasy/coping skills introduce her to a life cycle that is painful, yet part of a continuum, and not solely the unbearable loss she initially experiences. For thoughtful readers, this tale is a gem.” - School Library Journal

“[Season of Secrets] offers fantastical touches and an encounter with old mythology in a quiet tale about rebirth and hope.” - Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

Purchase Options
Indiebound • Scholastic Store • Amazon • Barnes & Noble

Spring 2011
Middle Grade Novel
ISBN: 978-0-545-21825-2
Price: $16.99 / $19.99
Trim Size: 5 1/2" x 8 1/4"
Page Count: 240
Foreign Rights: Scholastic UK
Translation Rights: Scholastic UK
Rights Available? yes

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