Secret Holes

  • Interest Level: Grade 3 - Grade 6
  • Reading Level: Grade 5

Sylvia and Miz Lula Maye are back! And Sylvia is in for a big surprise when Miz Lula Maye tells her about secret holes. Secret holes, Miz Lula Maye explains, were places where people used to keep money and important papers. They could be anywhere—under a loose floorboard, behind a wall, or even inside a bedpost. Between getting to know her newfound daddy, frying up fritters, and helping uncover hiding places from long ago, Sylvia decides to draw a picture of her family tree. With Miz Lula Maye’s help she fills in her daddy’s side. But what about her momma’s? Sylvia doesn’t know, and her momma’s not telling. While looking for answers, Sylvia uncovers the biggest secret of all—a secret that changes everything she ever thought she knew.

Format Your Price Add
Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 6
Reading Level Grade 5
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Carolrhoda Books ®
Language English
Publication Date 2003-08-01
Reading Counts! Level 3.7
BISACS JUV044000, JUV013000
Dewey [Fic]
Graphics Full-color illustrations
Lexile 680
ATOS Reading Level 4.3
Accelerated Reader® Quiz 79132
Accelerated Reader® Points 3.0
Features Awards, Index, Reviewed, and Source notes


  • Children's Book Committee at Bank Street College Best Children's Book of the Year, Winner, 2003


The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

“Syliva is a spunky character. . . and her first-person narration flows in easy-to-read dialect with enough cultural references thrown in to evoke the seventies setting. Her ten-year-old voice reflects an apt egocentrism, and her retreat into theatrical illness whenever she is faced with hearing a new secret is as funny as it is touchingly realistic. Black-and-white illustrations support the text and accentuate the warm relationships between the characters; readers with their own complex family relationships will take heart at Sylvia’s happy ever after.”
The Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

School Library Journal

“The strength of this story of self-discovery lies in the loving relationship between Sylvia and her great-grandmother. Although the action is set in 1978, the novel has a timeless quality. . .”
School Library Journal

Illustrator: Felicia Marshall

Felicia Marshall draws on her childhood experiences in rural Texas for her illustrations. Her most recent book, Beautiful Shades of Brown, was an NCSS-CBC Notable Social Studies Trade Book, a Eureka Honor Book, and won the Northern Lights Book Award.