The Secret History of Tom Trueheart, written by Ian Beck, is a wonderful mythical adventure about a boy named Tom, overshadowed by his "courageous" older brothers, trying to find his place in his family as well as his world. Tom lives in the darkness, most haunted by his internal fear that he doesn't have the requisite courage that all of his older brother's profess. When it comes time for him to test that fear, Tom's true colors shine through, and the adventure that ensues is a wonderful romp through the world of familiar fairy tales.
Beck has managed to meld an entirely original story with the world of well-established tales, and that is the delightful discovery of this story. As you read this with your kids, much discussion can easily ensue, both about the plot and what my happen next, as well as the deeper issues of believing in one-self, making the right choices, and ultimiately, what path you might take in life.
A relatively quick, easy read, this story will lend itself easily to read-alouds, with its delightful use of language, quick prose, and engaging content. Beck seems to have set himself up for a sequel towards the end (no spoilers here!), but suffice it to say, this does lend itself to one.
Ever wish you could take your class or your children to a new world of make-believe? Look no further. I highly recommend "The Secret History of Tom Trueheart". Once you pick it up, you won't put it down until you turn that last page!