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Trisha Page
Secrets Of The Toad ~ Reflection
Trisha Page, author
Secrets of The Toad is a series that reveals to readers the heart of acceptance. In Reflection, Emma looks into the mirror and does not like what she sees. She struggles to fit in with those popular girls. Yet, there is one place where Emma can just be herself – the nearby woods. However, one day, everything changes. While gathering leaves after a rough school day, a monstrous voice bellows out. Emma runs for her life from her place of refuge. One horrible day follows another. Now Emma just doesn’t care what scary thing is in those woods. She finds the courage to return and makes an unbelievable discovery. Just as you can’t judge a book by its cover, neither can you judge a person (or a toad) by its voice. Emma finds herself on a magical and mystical journey of self-acceptance - with a wise old toad as her guide.
Plot/Idea: 8 out of 10
Originality: 8 out of 10
Prose: 9 out of 10
Character/Execution: 9 out of 10
Overall: 8.50 out of 10


Plot: Trisha Page’s novel tackles all of the discomforts of adolescence—bullying, cliques, and insecurities. Secrets of the Toad’s word count, dialogue, and themes favor middle grade fiction. The author’s tale offers a playful approach to crucial values for early development.

Prose/Style: For a middle-grade audience, the vocabulary perfectly caters to young minds. Page’s book appeals to young readers because the character’s thoughts are revealed through an inner voice and not written into the story. A third-person intimate perspective allows elementary thoughts to be filtered through a mature narrator, yet Page allows Emma to express her emotions with innocent intensity.

Originality: With a new approach to Jiminy Cricket—amphibian turned mentor—Tobias the Toad provides wise proverbs, which are both fanciful and useful. Teaching lessons through haikus, Page demonstrates how three lines of guidance can impact a child’s life.

Character Development/Execution: Readers can sympathize with the self-effacing Emma. She is placed in a world where she is expected to navigate with little control. Page plunges into the mind of a child, where small feats feel monstrous and friendship determines self-esteem.

Date Submitted: May 27, 2021