Imatge de l'autor

Wanda Coven

Autor/a de Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret

66 obres 2,763 Membres 12 Ressenyes


Obres de Wanda Coven

Heidi Heckelbeck Has a Secret (2012) 284 exemplars
Heidi Heckelbeck Casts a Spell (2012) 173 exemplars
Heidi Heckelbeck in Disguise (2012) 145 exemplars
Heidi Heckelbeck Goes to Camp! (2013) 132 exemplars
Heidi Heckelbeck Gets Glasses (2012) 116 exemplars
Henry Heckelbeck Gets a Dragon (2019) 103 exemplars
Henry Heckelbeck Never Cheats (2019) 49 exemplars
Heidi Heckelbeck Says "Cheese!" (2015) 45 exemplars
Henry Heckelbeck Spells Trouble (2020) 32 exemplars
Henry Heckelbeck Spy vs. Spy (2021) 29 exemplars
Henry Heckelbeck Builds a Robot (2022) 22 exemplars
Heidi Heckelbeck Pool Party! (2020) 17 exemplars
Heidi Heckelbeck Takes the Cake (2020) 13 exemplars
Henry Heckelbeck chills out (2022) 8 exemplars


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With a dusting of magic, middle school life hits unexpected roommates, new friends, and a touch of homesickness, too.

Heidi is off to boarding school, which would be awful (she does love her regular middle school) if this wasn't the only school where she can learn more about magic. Plus, she won't have to hide her abilities from everyone anymore, since among the regular usual students, there will be other witches and wizards there, too (duh!). Leaving home does make her anxious, and her nerves shift into high gear when she discovers who her roommate is. Any hopes of having a good year shatter as now she wishes she could find a way to ditch the worst roommate ever.

This is a great book to hit that middle path between those first chapter books and longer reads. At 300+ pages, it looks thick, but the text is written in larger font (sometimes, very large font) with lots of spacing in between to keep the feeling of being bogged down by words far away. There are many illustrations to break it up and bring scenes to life, and these are sprinkled in every few pages (not every page). The chapters are longer from page length as well. So, it soothes nervous readers, while preparing them for larger readers.

Heidi narrates this one almost like a diary entry or speaking with the reader like a best friend. She's open, has understandable thoughts (even when she's not always right), and is genuinely a kind person...but also has her slightly mischievous side. The interactions with her family are wholesome and fun, while the ones with friends and classmates invite in. It's easy to feel part of the group and experience the familiar settings and issues. The problems she faces are pretty straight-forward and fit the age group very well.

The magical end is like icing on a cake. The story is well-grounded in normal life as are the interactions. The moments of magic are enough to spark the imagination but don't go to the extreme. There is the secret door to the magic school, which adds a nice bit of mystery. There's an original atmosphere to this school, which sets it apart from many magic-academy-reads. For example, the school store is located in what was once a barn. Since the humans aren't supposed to know about the magic, even these aspects are as usual as usual can be. It creates an easy world to connect with and sink into, while adding just the right pinch of fantasy and dreams. I received an ARC and enjoyed everything from the sparkly cover to the illustrations to the enjoyable character.
… (més)
tdrecker | Dec 3, 2023 |
Henry and his friends go to the new community pool that has just opened for summer! And the timing couldn’t be better because it is hot-hot-hot outside. When Henry’s friends see that there are diving boards at the pool, let the splashing begin! But Henry’s got a secret…he’s a little afraid of heights.
HandelmanLibraryTINR | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jul 5, 2023 |
Henry's fear connects in a familiar way, making him an easy character to sympathize with and root for.

It is super hot outside. So, hot that even lemonade can't cool Henry and his friends down. Deciding to head to the town's pool, the group is ready for a day of fun. When they spot the high-dive, Henry's friends can't wait to try it out. Henry isn't sure he wants to touch something so high...not that he can admit that. Luckily, they decide it's better to work themselves up to it. The three have tons of fun with all sorts of activities, but that high-dive board is constantly visible, reminding Henry that he's going to have to deal with that terrible situation at one point.

I had not read any books in this series, making this book a new adventure for me. It wasn't a problem to dive right in. Henry and his friends are a fun group and come across with realistic finesse. The first chapter allows the reader to get to know Henry and his friends a little before they head off to the pool. Most of the book accompanies the kids as they go from one game and splash-opportunity to the next. It has readers wishing and dreaming of hitting the pool themselves. None of this is done with heavy descriptions, but the dialogue pushes the tale nicely along.

The peer-pressure from the friends comes across realistically. While there wasn't any purposeful malice, Henry's friends' back-and-forth about dares and chickening-out hit home and made Henry's worries understandable. It does, of course, wrap up with a wholesome ending and great message. And there's the magical book, which adds a teensy-tiny bit of imagination.

This one is for readers, who have a pretty good grip on their words but are still learning to sink into larger reads. The font is large and clear for easy reading purposes, and there are illustrations on every page to bring the tale to life. It's a fun bunch with a message as well as familiar fun. I do understand why this series is at book twelve and still running strong. I received an ARC and enjoyed joining Henry and his friends.
… (més)
tdrecker | Hi ha 1 ressenya més | Jul 4, 2023 |
I always rather liked Heidi Heckelbeck, but although this series had a brief surge of popularity a few years ago, they've since been slowly but surely losing interest and I've stopped purchasing new titles and am contemplating starting to weed the the series in the next few years. So I was skeptical of a new series featuring Heidi's younger brother Henry, a la Judy Moody and Stink.

Unlike his magical older sister Heidi, Henry is a perfectly normal boy. He's energetic, noisy, and sometimes annoys his older sister with his impulsive actions. He's excited about his first day back at school, meeting his friend Ben, playing soccer, and maybe solving some mysteries! The first mystery he has to solve is the empty desk and the odd new student. Is she shy or is she unfriendly? When his teacher gives them an assignment to bring three things that are "all about me" to show the class, Henry looks forward to getting to know the mysterious Max better. But when he's finding his remote-controlled dragon, he knocks down a strange book with spells! He tries out a spell and brings his dragon to life - now he's got a problem; catch his dragon, keep it from setting anything on fire, and don't let Max see what's happening. That last might be harder than he thinks, because she likes to play spy and has got her eyes on Henry.

This is a simpler text than Heidi Heckelbeck; the text is larger and there is more white space, and the simple black and white pictures take up more space on the pages. The Heckelbecks are white; Henry's best friend Dudley is black. I think part of the reason these books haven't been popular is the rather blah illustrations. They're simple black and white sketches, the characters' eyes are just little scribbly dots, and there isn't much detail or interest to them. Henry's "adventure" isn't very exciting and overall I don't see kids being excited about it when they are losing interest in the original series.

Verdict: If Heidi Heckelbeck is still popular at your library, you may find interest in this series, or if you need more beginning chapter series featuring (white) boys, but this is at the very end of additional purchases for my collection.

ISBN: 9781534461048; Published December 2019 by Little Simon; Borrowed from another library in my consortium
… (més)
JeanLittleLibrary | Jan 4, 2020 |

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