Sail Away with "Secrets at Sea."

Dr. Terrell Young, a McKay School alumnus now professor, has also taught literacy education at Washington State University. He has authored several textbooks and numerous scholarly articles in his field.

Dr. Terrell Young, who recently joined the McKay School’s teacher education faculty, has chosen Secrets at Sea as his December recommendation. Kelly Murphy’s whimsical illustrations enhance animate Richard Peck’s engaging storytelling throughout the 239-page novel. In the vein of beloved classics such as Watership Down, Peck invites children into the life of a family of nineteenth century mice. Those familiar with Peck’s award-winning books know that Peck’s work will both tickle your funny bone and tug at your heartstrings. Dr. Young, an expert in children’s literature, notes that Secrets at Sea may captivate an even younger audience than Peck’s other books for kids (such as A Long Way from Chicago and The River Between Us). Published just in time for the holidays, a novel like Secrets at Sea is the perfect excuse to spend some quality family time reading and telling stories this December.


In 1887, two families occupy the Cranston home in the Hudson Valley: the Upstairs Cranstons—a human family consisting of Mr. and Mrs. Cranston and their two daughters, Olive and Camilla, and the other family—the Mice Cranstons, who have occupied the home for generations longer than their human counterparts. The mice consist of four surviving siblings: Helena, Louise, Beatrice, and Lamont. On the day that the mice learn that the social-climbing Human Cranstons plan to set sail for England to find a husband for Olive, they refuse to be left behind. Certain that they are needed to shape the destiny of their human counterparts, the Mice Cranstons decide that they also must travel to Europe. The four mice encounter many aristocratic humans and mice as they set sail on a life-changing journey filled with danger and surprise.