Title: The Secret Life of Ms.Finkleman
Author: Ben H. Winters
Genre: A fiction novel
Age Appropriate Grade Level: Grades 4-7, middle school
Ms.Finkleman: The Music Fundamentals teacher at Mary Todd Lincoln Middle School; the students consider her as a plain, boring, old music teacher, but there is much more behind her life than any of them had ever expected.
Bethesda Fielding: Bethesda is one of the main characters in this book; A very smart and curious girl who is in Ms.Finkleman’s music class
Tenny Boyer: A “not-so-normal” boy which is also in Ms.Finkleman’s music class. He is obsessed with rock ‘n roll music, but his mind is completely blank when it comes to his other classes. He spends his time sitting in class paying no attention to anything, except thinking of rock music.
Pamela Preston: An all-time smart student who is also in Ms.Finkleman’s music class. She was one of Bethesda’s childhood best friends but many things go wrong with their friendship, especially in this book.
Mr.Melville: He is the social studies teacher in the novel. He is also very strict.
Vice Principal Van Vreeland: The vice principal at Mary Todd Lincoln Middle School;
Jasper: The janitor at Mary Todd Lincoln Middle school; always supporting agreeing with everything Vice Principal Van Vreeland says.
Setting: The setting in this story takes place mostly at Mary Todd Lincoln Middle School.
Overview of Novel:
Everything started with a Special Project in Mr.Melville’s social studies class. His assigned his class to solve a mystery in their own life. Bethesda chose to find out the secret life of her music teacher, Ms.Finkleman. Ms.Finkleman was too tempting to ignore. She was considered as the most boring teacher in the school. She never shared anything about her life, and Bethesda wanted to find out why. Bethesda thinks her music teacher was hiding a secret life and she wanted to find out what it was.
She finds a piece of paper in Ms.Finkleman’s drawer, and she gets the wrong idea of her music teacher. Was Ms.Finkleman actually a rock star? Was this all true? The school goes wild once everyone heard about Bethesda’s mystery. Everything was so unexpected for everyone. To make things worse, the vice principal assigns Ms.Finkleman to set up a rock show. Many things get sabotaged and one problem led to another. With the help of Tenny Boyer, a rock obsessed classmate, and Bethesda, they are able to work things out. They get in really big trouble, almost expelled, but they still stick to the mystery. Ms.Finkleman finally revealed the whole truth about the life behind her.
The Secret Life of Ms.Finkleman is a mystery novel that takes you to a whole new world. There was many obstacles through the book, but the characters were really determined to keep trying and find out the mystery. Bethesda made some bad choices, but it didn’t stop her. This novel teaches motivation and determination even though you can go through many struggles at times. Bethesda was really curious, and her curiosity was the one thing that kept her from not giving up. Even though some people tried to stop her from finding out the mystery, she still didn’t give up because she wanted to find out the mystery about her music teacher.