Skip to Main Content

Book Club Kits: The Name of this Book is Secret

Alamance County Public Libraries offer Book Club Kits for check out to area book clubs. Each kit contains 10 copies of a book and a reading guide.

Cover Image

Pseudonymous Bosch

Check Availability

Alamance County Public Libraries

Alamance County Public Libraries provide free and open access to lifelong learning, resources for everyday living, and reading for pleasure in a welcoming environment.  Our collections, services and programs enhance the quality of life for individuals, families, and communities. Contact the Library webmaster.

Alamance County Public Libraries operates as a Department of Alamance County Government.  Visit the Alamance County Website at

Book Summary

Warning: this description has not been authorized by Pseudonymous Bosch. As much as he'd love to sing the praises of his book (he is very vain), he wouldn't want you to hear about his brave 11-year old heroes, Cass and Max-Ernest. Or about how a mysterious box of vials, the Symphony of Smells, sends them on the trail of a magician who has vanished under strange (and stinky) circumstances. And he certainly wouldn't want you to know about the hair-raising adventures that follow and the nefarious villains they face. You see, not only is the name of this book secret, the story inside is, too. For it concerns a secret. A Big Secret.

Discussion Questions

  • Pseudonymous Bosch, the author and narrator, is one of the most important characters in the book, and one of the slipperiest. What roles does he play in the story? How reliable is he? How intrusive? Does your opinion of him change as the book progresses?

  • “Generally speaking, books don’t cause much harm. Except when you read them, that is. Then they cause all sorts of problems.” [from prologue] Do you agree? What problems have books caused for you, or people you know?

  • Cass is growing up without knowing her father. Max-Ernest lives with both parents but neither speaks to the other. How have those circumstances shaped their personalities? Would Max-Ernest be so chatty if his parents communicated directly? Would Cass be as cautious?

  • “As I’m sure you know from experience,” Pseudonymous Bosch claims, “lying is an important skill to have.” [page 50] Do you agree? What makes Cass and Max-Ernest such bad liars? Who are the expert liars in the story?

  • Footnotes are seldom in novels, but this one is full of them. Identify and discuss the many roles they play here. Do you read the footnotes as carefully as you read the main text?

  • Ms. Mauvais and her followers will do anything—even kill—in their quest for eternal youth. What do you think of their goal? Would you like to live forever? Talk to older adults. Would they want immortality?

  • “Only bad books have good endings,” claims Pseudonymous Bosch. [page 314] Is he just making a joke, or a good point? Do good books always have you aching for more?

Who is Pseudonymous Bosch?