October 10, 2006
Hero is starting the sixth grade, and she knows it's going to be bad. On the first day of school, some girl blurts out that Hero is the name her family calls their dog. Hero, and her sister, Beatrice, are named after characters in Much Ado About Nothing, which is a Shakespeare play, but that's not the point, in Hero's mind. Who cares about Shakespeare, except for her Dad, who is totally obsessed? Why can't she have a normal name, and a normal time in school like her sister, Beatrice, who is so pretty and popular that she gets just about everything she wants? But then, something takes Hero's attention away from her name and the teasing at school. The neighbor next door tells her that there may be a 500 year old diamond hidden in her house! Hero is determined to find it, and to shed the layer of anonymity and ordinariness that characterizes her life. She's not much of a hero, maybe, but she's a crack shot at solving a mystery. Oddly enough, the cutest boy in the whole middle school is suddenly willing and interested in helping her? Why? Is it because he's the son of the chief of police? Is there more to this diamond thing than meets the eye? A mystery within a larger mystery, Shakespeare's Secret is a middle grade novel that will keep younger readers guessing until the end.