Learning Never Exhausts the Mind: A Mr. and Mrs. Kind Book Review

Sisters Sophie and Lisa have more than a historian for a father – they have a piece of history fall into their laps that no one knows about.

In Secret Scouts and The Lost Leonardo, the sisters, along with friends Jack and Tom, are gifted a mysterious sketch that leads them to a mysterious room inside Sophie and Lisa’s father’s study. Everything they find slowly pieces itself together and with extensive research, they reveal that they’ve discovered an original 15th century codex full of Leonardo Da Vinci’s sketches, writings and calculations.

They’re determined to decode the mysterious writings and can’t believe what they find – a means of actual time travel.

The authors, Dennis and Wendel Kind, took inspiration from their favorite 1980s classics, when feel-good lifelong friend stories were popular amongst television and film.

“A unique feature of the Secret Scouts series is that the 80s-inspired, feel-good adventure stories are based on intriguing and strange facts from history, which make them very informative,” they said in a press release. “But because fact and fiction intertwine in very realistic storylines, Secret Scouts is just as entertaining and easy to read as other well-known, accessible and popular fantasy stories.”

This book surely sparks a discussion about the historical facts integrated in the story, from Da Vinci’s works to the landscape of 15th century Italy. It also creates a dynamic between the four friends that the intended age group can relate to and learn from.

The end of the book leaves quite the cliffhanger for the next one, naturally leaving a lot of questions. However, there are some questions that hopefully get answered sooner rather than later. Where exactly do they live? What’s the back story of their neighbor, Mrs. Prattle, and how did she come to possess the sketches? What does her pet ermine have to do with all of this? How did Da Vinci’s possessions get into the hidden room in the study? Who else knows about the codex and time travel?

Secret Scouts and The Lost Leonardo combines adventure with mystery and history to create a young adult novel for a generation of curious minds. Its equal parts of fact and fiction are meant to challenge the reader and give them a reason to turn the page. While the next part of the series won’t be out until next year, it won’t be too long before these four friends are back for another trip through time.