HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: The Secret in the Cliffs
Author: Kristin Tucker
Publisher: Electio Publishing, 2018
Related website(s): http://www.eLectioPublishing.com (publisher)
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 10-16
Rating: ***** 5 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Tucker, Kristin. The Secret in the Cliffs (published in 2018 by eLectio Publishing LLC, Little Elm, TX). Twelve year old Kyle Marshall lives with his parents in a seaside community. He and his dad used to spend many Saturdays together at the beach where Kyle would see some cliffs that line the shore and wanted to explore them, but Dad always said that they were too dangerous. Now that his father has a new job and is forced to work extra hours on the weekend, Kyle decides to investigate the cliffs by himself. He locates a hidden cave, his “secret place,” where he finds what appears to be a key made out of stone and a tooth that looks human but is much larger than a normal person’s tooth. He keeps these two items locked up in his treasure chest.
Then, one day Kyle is startled to find two strange men lurking around, watching his every move, even chasing after him. He escapes but just has to tell somebody, so he confides in his next door neighbor and best friend, Kaitlin Davenport, a fellow sixth grader at school. When Kaitlin learns about his secret excursions, she insists on going with Kyle to search the cave further. What else do they discover there? How will their parents react to what they are doing? And who are those suspicious men? The Secret in the Cliffs blends adventure, humor, and mystery with the story of an adolescent boy who endeavors to live his life according to his faith.
There are a few common euphemisms (doggone, gee, gosh, darn, heck), but no cursing or profanity is found. The families attend church, and the children pray. Kyle’s biggest dilemma is whether it would be best to protect the sanctity of an ancient people, or to allow the world a glimpse of the cliff’s biggest secret, which might cause many to come to faith. One reviewer wrote, “The main characters are dishonest to their parents in sneaking around.” I didn’t see any dishonesty, just kids being kids and doing kid things. The exciting plot keeps the reading interesting, and the book shows young people being raised with good morals. It’s a great tale.