Synopses & Reviews
It looked like an ordinary package.
On her twelfth birthday, Jax Malone receives a surprise gift from her great-aunt Juniper: a mysterious locked box that will only open in one location. If Jax's mom hadn't freaked out and tried to return it, Jax wouldn't have paid much attention. She would have assumed it was just another boring present to add to the most boring, un-magical birthday ever.
Instead, Jax decides she must open the box—whatever it takes. So she recruits her reluctant cousin Ethan and together they trick Ethan's obnoxious older brother, Tyler, into helping them find the site where the box will open.
But what starts as a fun adventure quickly turns crazy, even dangerous, when Jax, Ethan, and Tyler discover themselves at the center of a mysterious family legacy—and learn that the box was not intended as a gift, but as a call for help. . . .
"When Jax's mother confiscates a package sent to Jax on her 12th birthday, Jax is determined to get it back in this charming adventure story. She enlists the help of her cousin Ethan, who is a year older and much more cautious than headstrong, impulsive Jax. He's also tired of being Jax's sidekick. The package turns out to be a mysterious box that can only be opened in one location, but Ethan is less than eager to turn detective and embark on an adventure, especially because it requires the help of his computer genius older brother, Tyler. The mystery deepens when the three learn that the box was sent by an archeologist great aunt none of them knew about, and villains are seeking the box as well. With narration shared by Jax and Ethan, and plenty of humorous moments supplied by cranky Tyler, this is a promising launch to a planned trilogy. Mixing Greek mythology and mystery with gamer lingo and poignant coming-of-age moments, Ringwald delivers a smart balance of comedy, endearing characters, and high-stakes escapades. Ages 8 12. (Feb.)" Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
The Secret Box
is a Junior Library Guild selection and the first in an irresistible middle grade series that will delight fans of Dan Gutman, Wendy Mass, and Trenton Lee Stewart.
What starts as a fun quest to open a mysterious birthday present quickly turns crazy and dangerous when Jax and her cousin Ethan discover themselves at the center of a special magical legacy. Soon they realize the secret box was not intended as a gift, but as call for help that they alone can answer.
Readers will love the page-turning mystery, hilarious girl and boy narrators, and clever incorporation of mythology—and lingering questions will leave them eager for more.
About the Author
Before becoming an author, Whitaker Ringwald was certified as World's Greatest Snowball Maker and developed a nonstick peanut butter formula in conjunction with lauded Ig Nobel scientists. Whitaker spends six months of every year in a deep sea submersible trying to film live footage of giant squids. But giant squids are hard to come by, so that's where Whitaker gets a lot of writing done.