What would you do if you discovered a note hidden in a tree in the woods? When 10-year-old Araminta (Minty) Mortimer unfolded the note she found, she read: "No one loves me except my goldfish." Because almost everyone she knew owned a fish, she put the paper in her treasure box to keep it safe.
The next day, my life was one sentence different than it had been the day before. I kept looking at people I was used to seeing every day, and I wondered whether they felt that nobody loved them except their goldfish. (p. 31)—The Secret Tree by Natalie Standiford (Scholastic Press, 2012)
- Setting: Woodlawn Road neighborhood, Catonsville, Maryland
- Circumstances: Minty discovers that someone is hiding notes in a tree in the woods, her friends seem to be maturing faster than she is, her older sister is rebelling, and there's a mystery to be solved
- Characters: Minty, her best friend, the new boy, Minty's family, various neighbors
- Themes: friendship, growing up, people's secrets, privacy, family
- Audience and genre: middle readers, contemporary fiction, a bit of a mystery
- Awards: Indie Kids Next pick for summer 2012; Washington Post KidsPost Summer Book Club selection; Scholastic Mother-Daughter Book Club selection