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A 24 for middle-grade readers. Fans of spy stories and political intrigue will find plenty to appreciate here."

Kirkus Reviews


"A breathtaking game of cat and mouse....David and Katie’s relationship is realistically and amusingly portrayed in all its sibling rivalry and friendship. Their smarts and moxie are tempered with just enough rash impulsiveness to make them believable. Fans of Roland Smith’s “I.Q” series (Sleeping Bear) will love this fun, intelligent, political page-turner."

School Library Journal, Starred Review


"Wildavsky spins a yarn that’s tight and compelling, balancing high-stakes jeopardy with more basic, earthy troubles....Carefully placed bread crumbs will satisfy young mystery enthusiasts, while the sweet, detailed portrait of a tightly knit family will widen this title’s appeal."



"Perfect for age 9 and older."

The Washington Post


“Older readers who miss the sheer ingenuity and plucky determination of the Alden children of Boxcar fame will delight in Katie and David’s intrepid spirits as they stow away on delivery trucks, elude the villainous nasties more than once, and ultimately rescue their family while giving the bad guys one final comeuppance….The bickering between the twins will be familiar to any reader with a sibling, while the concluding family reunion might draw a few tears. Kids making the transition from series mysteries to more sophisticated thrillers will do well by this suspenseful and age-appropriate drama."

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books


"Page-turning adventure. These intelligent and independent characters engaged in an exciting adventure will appeal to many young readers. Recommended."

Library Media Connection


“One of the drawbacks of young-adult fiction these days is that compelling stories, well told, so often include both expletives and depictions of dark unpleasantness that many parents would rather their teenagers not encounter. Rachel Wildavsky's The Secret of Rover offers a gentler degree of tension for children. Somehow, even as the action heads toward its big conclusion, it all happens without expletives."

The Wall Street Journal 


“This fast-paced thriller boasts intriguing characters, a realistic sequencing of events, and interesting story twists.”

VOYA Magazine (Voice of Youth Advocates)



"The Secret of Rover is a fairly long book but I had trouble putting it down and finished it in just a few days. It is one of the most exciting, suspenseful thrillers for young people that I have read in a long time. There is some bickering between the siblings, but they learn to work together and also grow in their appreciation for one another. A strong sense of family pervades the plot. Pre-teens and teenagers who like spy stories with a lot of intrigue and action will enjoy this book."



"It is a suspenseful book, with life lessons, one that children won't want to put down."

The Examiner


"Exciting adventure book for tweens, The Secret of Rover is a sure hit. This action book is a cross between Alex Rider adventures and a modern day Nancy Drew….Great fun and spectacular adventure, The Secret of Rover will delight readers who enjoy adventure and espionage books. Highly recommended grades 4-8."  

Young Adult Books:What We're Reading Now


"Nonstop action and peril fill this story of two resourceful young people faced with a long journey, a tight deadline, and an uncertain future."



"A book that's plot-based with a capital P. The Secret of Rover is a daring adventure that I think kids will like. Pair it with Gordon Korman's series, On the Run."



"If your child has an interest in spies and intrigue, world politics, or just plain action stories, this is a good one."  

The Book Faerie

"From the time I started to read the book, to the end, I was always on the edge of my seat waiting to see what would happen next. Every part of the book was good, and every character and place was explained so vividly I felt like I was there. I would recommend this book to anyone in a middle school setting. It was an easier read but it was still good. I liked everything about the book, and I recommend this book to anyone."

Josh B.



“I've just finished your book, which I began this morning and have barely put down since.”

Ben P., age 15, at 2:36 a.m.


“Hard to imagine a better book.”

Alex G., age 12