Upper Elementary to Middle School Books

Theme: Secrets

Eloise: A Paranormal Adventure - (ISBN: 978-1741146592)

by Catherine Jinks

Allie’s “Exorcist’s Club” starts out as just another after-school activity, but then her friend Bettina needs some real help with a ghost. This book follows the girls’ exciting adventure into the secret world of spirits. What are some other unusual organizations your school might offer as extracurricular activities?

Keeping Secrets at Dark Creek - (ISBN: 978-1550391237)

by Nikki Tate

Jessa looks forward to riding every day after school to escape the pressures of middle school. Even at the ring, though, she finds competitors, secrets, and new riding paths that pull her into mysterious events. What activities do you use to relax and have fun after school?

Rain is Not My Indian Name - (ISBN: 978-0688173975)

by Cynthia Leitch Smith

After Rain, a half native-American teen, loses her best friend to a car accident, she gradually comes out of her mourning. She develops a love of photography and becomes more active in her Indian heritage. Do you have any friends of mixed heritage? Use this novel to try to understand the different pulls of their lives. Why did some people with ancestors of different races try to keep their backgrounds a secret? Is it the same today?

The Haunting of Granite Falls - (ISBN: 978-0142403716)

by Eva Ibbotson

How can an American millionaire who buys a Scottish castle and ships it to the U.S. for his granddaughter get rid of its unexpected ghosts? Surprisingly, the ghosts find some companion spirits in America. How do Texas-style ghosts differ from those in the U.K.?

The Mysteries of Harris Burdick - (ISBN: 978-0395827840)

by Chris Van Allsburg

Add to the few words found here as you make up your own stories about the enchanting drawings of this unusual book. Tell a story that links all the stories, or focus on just one page at a time as you open it.

The Name of this Book Is Secret - (ISBN: 978-0395663820)

by Pseudonymous Bosch

Is the story about the secret in the middle of the book too secret to tell? Many layers of secrets will keep you jumping, anxious to turn the next page. Lots of mysterious advice about what is in the book entices you to find out what the big mystery is all about. When you finish reading, talk about how the title actually has two meanings.

The Secret Garden - (ISBN: 978-0064401883)

by Frances Hodgson Burnett

When Mary returns to England to live with her uncle in a huge but gloomy mansion, she finds a wondrous garden which she shares with the mysteriously ill Colin. Colin is so pale and weak he cannot walk. While Mary helps Colin find his way to health by exercising in the garden and enjoying the sunshine, she opens her uncle’s heart. Why does her uncle never talk about the garden? Why is the opening to the garden hidden and the garden neglected?

The Secret Life of Amanda K. Woods - (ISBN: 978-0141306421)

by Ann Cameron

A rural Wisconsin girl in the 1950’s feels temporarily abandoned when her best friend moves away, but her life begins to open for her as she matures. She develops new interests, including a French pen pal who eventually comes to visit. She also forges a new relationship with her father while accepting the limitations of her mother’s example and her sister’s advice. Why does she add K. to her name when she says it? Do you use your middle initial when you introduce yourself?

The Secret of the Painted House - (ISBN: 978-0375840807)

by Marion Dane Bauer

After they move to a new home, Emily and her brother find a mysterious playhouse with a picture of an identical playhouse painted on the walls. What happens when they enter the playhouse door inside the large playhouse and find a ghost child who lures them into doorway after doorway? What puzzles do they solve?

Keeping Secrets - (ISBN: 978-1416928010)

by P. J. Denton

Keeping Secrets (Hannah Montana) - (ISBN: 978-1423102212)

by Beth Beechwood

Keeping Secrets: Nancy Drew on Campus # 18 - (ISBN: 978-0671568078)

by Carolyn Keene

Top Secret, Personal Beeswax: A Journal by Junie B. - (ISBN: 978-0375823756)

by Barbara Park Denise Brunkus

Activities for this Theme

Learn how to write a secret message.


Check out writing tips on how to use The Mysteries of Harris Burdick.


Learn how to create secret codes.


Take a look at these “Wordies on the Web” puzzles, then try to make your own.


Try these activities after reading Rain is Not My Indian Name.


If you enjoyed Eloise: A Paranormal Adventure, try other Eloise books in the series by the same author.