The Book of Secrets

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

This exciting graphic novel presents a series of puzzling mystical Jewish stories weaving together a daring adventure tale, following siblings Rose and Ben as they search for their missing grandparents, aided only by a mysterious book, a lantern, and their wits. Anticipating danger, the kids’ grandmother, Bubbe, appears to the twins in a cloud of flour and tells them to find a package that contains a book. The midrash stories they find—about the flying Ziz, the giant Og, the gatekeeper at a maze, and a treasure-seeker who lives in a mushroom hut—provide insights into defeating the creepy sorceress scheming to take the book. As the mystery deepens, the siblings must follow the Lamplighter’s wise advice, slip past a guard into a maze, reunite with their grandparents, and learn why they have inherited the responsibility to protect the book—and the Jewish people.

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Interest Level Grade 3 - Grade 5
Reading Level Grade 3
Genre Graphic Novels
Copyright 2020
Publisher Lerner Publishing Group
Imprint Kar-Ben Publishing ®
Language English
Number of Pages 208
Publication Date 2020-10-01
Text Type Fiction—Action/Adventure
BISACS JUV008040, JUV008070, JUV033020
Dewey 741.5/973
Dimensions 6 x 9
Lexile 540
Features Author/Illustrator biography, Awards, and Reviewed

Author, Illustrator: Mat Tonti

Mat Tonti is a teacher and an artist who strives to make art that is inspirational and educational, including comics, illustrations, and Ketubot. When not teaching, or making art, he can be found playing in the woods.


  • 2021 Aesop Accolade, Winner, 2021


Sydney Taylor Shmooze

“While the style of art is unusual and the story unconventional, the awards committee may just have a taste for something different this year, and will send the The Book of Secrets to the top of their list!” — Gigi Pagliarulo

Jewish Book Council

“This graph­ic book cel­e­brates Jew­ish her­itage with each sto­ry it tells, and encour­ages its read­ers to do the same.” — Ricahrd C. Kraus, Jewish Book Council

AJL Newsletter

“With artful, easily understood frames and vivid colors, the author/illustrator crafts an engaging read. The stories are taken from the Mishnah, Hasidic tales, Midrash, tales of the Ba’al Shem Tov, and a story by Kafka.” — Debbie Colodny, retired librarian, Cook Memorial Public Library District, Libertyville, IL; former owner Sefer, So Good; former member Sydney Taylor Book Award Committee, AJL

Kirkus Reviews

“Readers will be happily confounded by every secret in this book.” — Kirkus Reviews