James Klise        Chicago-based young adult author
 young adult author

About The Art of Secrets


  • 2015 Edgar Award Winner, Mystery Writers of America
  • 2015 "We Need Diverse Books" Educator Kit Selection
  • Bank Street 2015 Best Books for Children Selection
  • Nevada Young Readers' Award, winner, 2017
  • Vermont's Dorothy Canfield Fisher Children's Book Award, Master List 2016
  • Sakura Medal H.S. Nominee, Japan, 2016
  • Chicago Public Schools Recommended Reading List 2015
  • 2015 Illinois Reads Selection
  • ALA Booklist Editors' Choice Winner 2014
  • Chicago Public Library "Best of the Best" Selection 2014
  • Booklist "Top 10 Crime Fiction for Youth" 2014
  • ABC Best Books for Children & Teens Pick 2014
  • Christian Science Monitor "25 Best New Middle Grade Novels" of 2014
  • Houston Chronicle 2014 Summer Reading List

       
                                   

Algonquin Young Readers


A fire destroys...

          A community unites...

                     A treasure appears...

                               A crime unfolds...

When Saba Khan's family home burns in a mysterious fire (possibly a hate crime), her Chicago high school rallies around her. But then a piece of quirky art donated to a school fund-raising effort for the Khans is revealed to be worth a fortune, and Saba's life turns upside down again.

Greed, jealousy, and suspicion create an increasingly tangled web as adults and teens alike debate who should get the money, question one another's motives, and make startling accusations.

In other words, "The Art of Secrets" is a crime story, a school story, an art story, and there's even (of course) a romance. I hope you enjoy it.

One of the things I loved about working on this book was the opportunity to include elements of the astonishing life and work of a well-known Chicago artist, Henry Darger (1892-1973), whose paintings have fascinated me for many years. If you aren't familiar with Darger's work, go ahead and Google his name. His watercolor images may seem weird, mysterious, and sometimes scary, but they are always beautiful. They provoke us in the way the best art always does. They raise questions and make us see the world differently. Once we spend time with those powerful images, we can never forget them. Which makes it even more extraordinary to consider: Until the very end of Henry Darger's life, this vast body of art itself was a secret.

For more information about Henry Darger, I suggest you pay a visit to Intuit: The Center for Intuitive and Outsider Art in Chicago, or the American Folk Art Museum in New York City.

When Saba Khan’s apartment burns in a mysterious fire, her high school rallies around her. But then a quirky piece of art donated to a school fund-raising effort for the Khans is revealed to be worth a fortune and Saba’s life quickly turns upside down again. Greed, jealousy, and suspicion create an increasingly tangled web as adults and teens alike debate who should get the money and begin to question one another’s motives and make accusations.  - See more at: http://www.algonquinyoungreaders.com/books-for-teens/#sthash.tNoR5wNT.dpuf