Dear Mr. Bosch,
I really connected with the first book in your Secret series, The Name of This Book Is Secret, because I come from a family of collectors just like Cassandra and her Grandpa Larry and Grandpa Wayne. I enjoy collecting stamps and rocks but other members of my family collect everything from antique glassware to unique chairs.
My grandparents are great collectors and also save personal items from relatives who have passed away. Because I spend many weekends at their home in Cedar Rapids, they have passed on their love of collecting to me. My grandpa gave me hundreds of different stamps and rocks to get me started with collecting. Now, I have over four hundred stamps and approximately six hundred rocks in my own personal collection.
Once while staying at my grandparents’ house, they showed me an old composition notebook that belonged to my great-great grandmother, Lois Richards. While reading through the notebook, I discovered it contained notes and information from different subject areas that my great-great grandmother recorded while she was in the seventh and eighth grades. One of the most interesting things to me was the facts she wrote down about the human heart and her detailed free-hand drawn diagram of the heart. The notebook also contained the names of all the rivers in the United States, explanations of how the digestive system works, an illustration of how air ventilates throughout a room, mathematical problems, definitions of vocabulary words, and psychology notes describing feelings. The composition notebook also included geography facts, the names of the states and their capitals and the biggest industries found in each state.
I found my great-great grandmother’s composition notebook very interesting and it led me to think that she must have been someone who loved learning just like me. From reading her notebook and seeing all the diagrams and illustrations she drew free-hand, I was sure she must have had artistic talents as well. I, too, am a good artist and enjoy drawing.
Reading this notebook caused me to want to know more about my great- great grandmother. It was like trying to solve a mystery just like the characters Cass and Max-Earnest. They wanted to figure out what happened to the magician’s brother. As I read, my imagination caused me to speculate that my great-great grandmother might have grown up to be a physician, a world traveler or possibly a psychologist. I think when people are trying to solve mysteries or make discoveries, their minds often times begin to speculate. As the pieces to your story were divulged, Cass constantly speculated. This would lead her to discover that Dr. L was the magician’s brother and Mrs. Mauvais was practicing alchemy to live forever.
Questioning my grandparents further led me to the fact that my great- great grandmother became a teacher and her husband also became a teacher. I want to become a teacher when I grow up. I want to share my love of learning with others. I also learned that my great grandmother and great grandfather were both teachers, as well, so not only does collecting run in my family but teaching runs in my family too.
This experience learning about my great-great grandmother made me wonder what other “Secrets” I could discover about my family. Maybe some of my grandparents’ antique glassware holds clues which could lead to more interesting facts about my ancestors.
With greatest admiration and respect,