The Art of Secrets
A Fire Destroys . . .
A Treasure Appears . . .
A Crime Unfolds . . .
A Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" 2014
A Booklist Editors' Choice, Books for Youth 2014
A Booklist Top Ten Crime Fiction for Youth 2014 When Saba Khan's apartment burns in a mysterious fire, possibly a hate crime, her Chicago high school rallies around her. Her family moves rent-free into a luxury apartment, Saba's Facebook page explodes, and she starts (secretly) dating a popular boy. Then a quirky piece of art donated to a school fund-raising effort for the Khans is revealed to be an unknown work by a famous artist, worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, and Saba's life turns upside down again. Should Saba's family have all that money? Or should it go to the students who found the art? Or to the school? And just what caused that fire? Greed, jealousy, and suspicion create an increasingly tangled web as students and teachers alike debate who should get the money and begin to point fingers and make accusations. The true story of the fire that sets events in motion and what happens afterward gradually comes together in an innovative narrative made up of journal entries, interviews, articles, letters, text messages, and other documents.
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About the Author
James Klise is the author of The Art of Secrets, winner of the Edgar Award for Best Teen Mystery, the Nevada Young Readers Award, and a Booklist Editor's Choice Award, among other honors. His first book, Love Drugged, was an ALA Stonewall Honor Award winner and Lambda Literary Award finalist. His short fiction and non-fiction have appeared in the New Orleans Review, StoryQuarterly, Southern Humanities Review, Chicago Tribune, and elsewhere. Mr. Klise earned an MFA from Bennington College. He leads a popular Novel-in-A-Year workshop at StoryStudio in Chicago and, for the past two decades, he has overseen a very busy high school library.
"Where there's smoke, there's fire . . . and apparently, valuable art! When the Khan family's home is mysteriously burned to the ground, the funds from a priceless painting come to their rescue. Through unique journal entries, articles, and interviews, a tangled web of unusual secrets unfolds." --Teen Vogue"This art mystery is that rare book that will be passed around by teens as well as teachers in the faculty lounge, discussed and dissected and immediately reread to scour for hidden clues and motivations. The incidents at Highsmith School will stay on readers' minds long after the last page." --Booklist, starred review "Intriguing . . . The hairpin-turn twist ending will have surprised readers leafing back through the earlier parts of the book to search for foreshadowing, and it will provoke much discussion about who's a good guy here and who's a baddie." --Bulletin for the Center for Children's Books "This darkly ambiguous, provocative novel highlights several themes worthy of discussion, including the destructive power of secrets and the politics of generosity." --The Horn Book "Greed, jealousy, and suspicion create a tangled web in this easy-to-read, creative and thought-provoking story set in the Chicago area with multicultural characters. Engrossing!" --Skipping Stones "This is a book about the secret motivations that drive us all. Klise develops a set of complex characters, both teen and adult, who, because of the stolen artwork, must deal with their own beliefs about fairness, belonging, and truth. This mystery is well crafted and will leave readers guessing as to the identity of the culprit to the end. This is an excellent addition to collections where mysteries are popular and will give readers much to think and talk about." --VOYA "Relationships, secrets and lies aplenty for caper-loving fans." --Kirkus Reviews