The Art of Secrets by James Klise (2014)

art-ofIslamophobia leads to victim-blaming in a mystery set in a Chicago high school.

Recommended grade level: 6 and up

Pages:   272 (for ISBN 9781616201951)

Genre(s) and keywords: mystery, diverse

Tone/Style: gritty

Pace: moderate

Topics: fires, art, fundraisers, crimes, Islam, islamophobia

Themes: trust, prejudice, greed

Summary: A fire destroys…A community unites…A treasure appears…A crime unfolds…

When Saba Khan’s family home burns in a mysterious fire (possibly a hate crime), her Chicago high school rallies around her. But then a piece of quirky art donated to a school fund-raising effort for the Khans is revealed to be worth a fortune, and Saba’s life turns upside down again.

Greed, jealousy, and suspicion create an increasingly tangled web as adults and teens alike debate who should get the money, question one another’s motives, and make startling accusations. (Source)

Who will like this book?: It’s sort of hard to find straight YA mystery, without other genres mixed in or watching it out. This would be a good choice for mystery in a genre reading project.

Who won’t like this book?: It’s low on action or thrills, which are two things many mystery readers are looking for.

Other comments: Edgar Award for Best Young Adult Novel, 2015

Sequel(s): None

-Kylie Peters

Image: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18267068-the-art-of-secrets

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