Book Review: Secret Letters (From 0 to 10)

Children are the best readers. Unlike adults who know nothing but to filter, judge its technicality and compare it to other stories, children know nothing but to appreciate and feel the very message of a story. They are innocent and their minds are not hindered by any philosophies (yet) that may affect their utmost understanding of the story. Everything is simple. How I love to go back to that reader I used to be.

Susie Morgenstern's Secret Letters (From 0 to 10) is one of the very first books I have read. Back then I thought it was impeccable and no other story can suffice the feeling I had when I read it, but when the Harry Potter series came to me, my heart plummeted to the ground. Now that I have dissected the main points of a good literary work,I have realized that it is really not as good as thought it was. But the little Rhea will not agree.

Title: Secret Letters (From 0 to 10)
Author: Susie Morgenstern
Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Ten-year-old Ernest lives a flat, colorless life. Each day is the same: he comes home right after school, eats a healthy snack, and does his homework. Enter Victoria, the new girl in class. Victoria instantly falls in love with Ernest, and bulldozes her way into his life. Much to Ernest's surprise, he likes it. Bit by bit, color seeps into Ernest's humdrum existence--and he begins to realize that life can hold an endless variety of love, friendship, adventure, and change. "Quirky characters, heightening suspense, and hilarious situations are deftly combined in this tender novel, which examines a few of the large and small ways people affect one another." --Booklist, starred review


The story is indeed simple- because it ought to be. It talks about a young boy's life, Ernest, who never knew any of his parents. This gives the readers, especially the children, the comparison between those people like Ernest, and those people like Victoria who grew up with her big family. Although the main conflict is Ernest's journey in meeting his father, I think that what is highlighted in the story is his transformation from a human robot, to a boy who will sneak out a baby inside their school... given that he's only 10 years old in the story.


What I love the most about the story is its characters. Each character is no similar from the others, giving the story such a dynamic and exciting atmosphere in spite the fact that it tackles such a subtle story. The settings and can be easily pictured out in your imagination and its simplicity added to the innocence of the story. I have to admit that I find the love story between Ernest and Victoria cute and sweet.


There is clearly no room for vague and highfalutin words for a juvenile story. What is important is that you will successfully send across your message most especially to the young ones. The children will have no hard time in understanding the story and through Morgenstern's vivid description of the characters and settings, one can easily imagine a picture about what is happening in the story.


If you are a kid (I don't know what you are doing here! HAHA), or an adult looking for something to give your brothers/ sisters/ children this yuletide season, you may want to consider Secret Letters. I am sure that he/ she will appreciate the value of family and friendship after reading it.

Quotable Quotes:

"Love notes are full of hopeless hopes." - Ernest
"Handsome is only what you see, it is not important." - Ernest

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