This is my first Trenton Lee Stewart book and – oh my days – what a multi-layered, beautifully written, epic adventure The Secret Keepers was.
Written in a thoroughly absorbing voice, this story is about a boy called Reuben who randomly discovers a watch that can turn him invisible. Yes, this sounds a little frivolous at first, but let me reassure you that the implications this find has – especially upon him being able to escape his authoritarian/dystopian world – within the historical breadth of this story is so intense it builds a mood of combined wonder, magic and terror as the novel moves along.
Reuben must leave his home and find where the watch came from, at the same time as all the time being wary of a strange man called The Smoke who runs the city where he lives. The Smoke controls everything, has troops on the street, and will anything in his power to find the watch Reuben has.
I don’t want to give too much more of the story away, but suffice to say their are twists and turns, bizarre characters, Indiana Jones-style traps, family secrets buried in caves of treasure, action galore and a very determined central character in Reuben that the reader really sees everything through very clearly.
The cover of The Secret Keepers is stunning (by Karl James Mountford) and so are the lovely, atmospheric illustrations inside too by a very talented Diana Sudyka.
Trenton Lee Stewart has created a wonderful, all-encompassing and magic story that made my heart leap with joy reading it.
THIS is what children’s writing is about!