A selection of reviews …
5.0 out of 5 stars An absolutely powerful experience
It has been an absolutely powerful experience, and I think it should be read by all– children and adults. Then, we might all have a more optimistic, loving, and gracious way of being and living, and not fret so much about the temporal. What joy and innocence and hope spring through all the pages.
I cannot hear or see a bird without thinking of James’ magpies and when I smell or see honeysuckle I think of the beyond and the miracle of the here and now. The imperative to see each natural creation and each human being as something or someone from whom we can learn is indeed a valuable dictum. And, to take time to be still and look inside and outside oneself, and to hear the still small voice of the eternal. To me, though James may not have intended it, this book enhances my Christian faith – that we are here to take joy in the glorious dance of life.
5.0 out of 5 stars SOUL MATE FOR ROLE FATE
Kevin Browne (Henshaws College, Harrogate)
When I picked up ‘Seven For A Secret’ again I revelled in the experience. The book often inspired me and, at times, it moved me to tears. But there is no getting away from the sense of spiritual connection that is part of the experience of coming into contact with the book. A wise, innovative thinker.
5.0 out of 5 stars Its alright to grieve
Olivia Poulter – age 11
“I think Seven for a Secret was adventurous. It took you into a completely different world (literally)!!! The magpies fitted perfectly with the story and they had great personalities. The book tells you that it is alright to grieve angrily or HAPPILY!! I think James is an excellent writer and I hope he thinks about writing another book.”
5.0 out of 5 stars Precious and brilliant
Hermione Sanderson – age 10
“I think that Seven for a Secret is an absolute collectable. It is a precious and brilliant book. It helps you let out your emotions about death and teaches you not to be scared of it. I am very fond of the book and I am hoping that James will write another book/series of books. I thank him very much for the pleasure of the book and the knowledge it has given me.”
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it!
Rob Brown (MD 360degreepeople.co.uk)
I loved this book. James’ style of writing is imaginative, thought provoking and totally engaging. Within the first three pages I was hooked and found it very difficult to put down. Not only is a fabulous story, as it unfolds, the characters invite us to consider where we are in our lives and how ultimately we will choose to say goodbye to this journey on earth.
I am reading it to my godchildren whose grandfather has recently died. They may not yet fully understand the impact of what is currently happening to them but the insights they are getting will be invaluable in the future as they grow up. For most of the time they just think that they are listening to a wonderful adventure story.
Thank you James for your creativity and thoughtfulness. I recommend this book most highly.
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring
Konrath (Saarbruecken, Germany)
“Seven for a Secret” invites us on a journey, that tells us more about life and its purpose than I would have expected. From a new, fresh perspective that blends Eastern and Western philosophies, we learn – like Holly and George – how to cope with challenges, how to find purpose in our lives and how we can deal with death in a very positive way.
A book written for the young ones, with lessons for both children and adults. While reading I was laughing, crying, understanding – and I was deeply moved.
I would recommend “Seven for a Secret” for us children at any age 🙂
5.0 out of 5 stars A very pleasant surprise
I was slightly concerned about what I would find when I started to read this book. Having worked with many dying children and their families, I wondered what this book might contribute, how it would be pitched and used.. I was delighted with it’s message, full of hope, love and potential, not only for children/ young people/ any individual facing death or grieving, but with opportunity to adopt skills for a less than perfect life, laced with challenge, loss and surprises…
An excellent tool for any professional working directly with children, carers, parents, guardians… a treasure :o)
5.0 out of 5 stars Not just for those grieving
David R (UK)
I would recommend Seven for a Secret to anyone who has an open mind. The book is written from the point of view of 2 young siblings who are grieving the death of their older sister. Their adventure teaches them, and the reader, about heaven and life after, (and before), death. The heaven created by the author is clearly based on extensive research of Eastern and Western beliefs. He blends these beautifully.
The experience of the characters will surely outline and give new meaning to many who are reviewing the purpose of their own lives. As you read the book you may experience, as I did, an almost overwhelming sense of kindness from the author.
A very rewarding and insightful read.
5.0 out of 5 stars At last!
HDE Roberts (CEO lg01.co.uk)
The bravery of it! At last someone with personal experience of bereavement has put pen to paper to share a descriptive view of what happens to that spark, which is life, once our physical being fails.
All those involved in bereavement counselling, schools, parents and children of an age where they are beginning to explore the written word, should read Seven for a Secret. Where else will you find such a tangible description of what, until now, has almost been treated as a taboo?
James McKenzie Wright treads carefully not to cause alienation to those of any particular religious belief, tackling a subject that up to press has been the sole domain of religious doctrine.
Maybe I was already prejudiced to accept the concept. From a very young age I have always believed that “life” as I call it, the “Soul” as James sees it, cannot just disappear. The coalescing of souls, the “Sea of Souls” will bring new comfort for those trying to make sense of the awful apparent permanence of the loss of someone they love.
I applaud James for being brave enough to write “Seven for a Secret” and for adopting a writing style that transcends age, religion, sex and race. I just hope that in the years to come we will also be able to applaud all those who are enlightened enough to encourage everyone they know to pick up this book, read it, delight in it and inevitably cry, in the relief and the hope that comes with the realisation that after all there is a point to it all.
5.0 out of 5 stars A gift for the lost
I approached this book expecting it to be a vehicle for a child. I was charmed and delighted to find that as an adult, it had universal appeal and was one of the most accessible books that I have read. The language is easy on the mind and the idea is clear, non-dictatorial and does not leave one with the feeling of sensationalism that many books which deal with this subject matter often do.
The author’s belief is that the soul never dies, but lives through a series of ‘life lessons’ in order to experience and grow. The idea is both comforting and plausible and I feel that this book could be of real benefit to those who are recently bereaved or who are suffering with terminal illness, either personally or with a loved one.
I would like to see this book on the shelves of every school and believe that adults and children alike would benefit from its serene message. It would be a helpful aid in group discussion, preferably with adults and children present. In this world of confusion and conflict, I found it a little oasis of relief and my children are absorbed in it too.
5.0 out of 5 stars Lets talk about death…
E. Baillie “Heather Baillie” (Evesham, England)
There is only truly one certain thing in life and that is perhaps the least talked about thing within our culture – that we will all..one day … die! Death and our responses to the death of those close to us, is something I can categorically say will touch all our lives at some point and yet it amazes me that death is still one of the last taboos. It’s not the norm to discuss this topic casually or in an unprompted way…normally something happens…and unfortunately when it does as it inevitably will…we are anything but prepared and the overriding feeling surrounding death is often fear – we are quite simply absolutely rubbish at knowing what to say or do in these difficult situations and this can be most confusing for the children who are affected. This book can help, before, during and after….
My first experience of dying and death was when I was 8 and my much loved Granddad died. The emotions I experienced from the adults at that time were anger and bitterness! How different my experience would have been if the idea introduced by the book of `good grief’ had been shared with me – if the adults in my life had known how to open up the channels of communication rather than hide away their emotions and how much I could have been helped by imagining as I drifted off to sleep in the weeks to come that my kind and loving Granddad was at peace and happy in soul school choosing his next life and learning his lessons from this one.
This book deals with an alternative view of life and death which for me is neatly summed up in the phrase coined by the author `life coaching meets death coaching’ – there are many alternative ideas expressed in the book which as an 8 year old I would not necessarily have fully grasped but as the younger readers are guided on their journey by the questions and observations of the character of 7 year old George the positive and uplifting message and feel to the book is clearly communicated.
This book sends its readers a positive message, no mean feat for a book which begins at the 1 year anniversary party of the central characters death. `Seven for a Secret’ does not simply raise questions about how we see death, it’s as much about how we choose to live our lives. Characters throughout the story offer thought provoking insights as to how our `challenges’ on earth help us to learn and grow and that basically the doom and gloom mentality which sadly often seems prevalent these days needs questioning, a sentiment I would whole heartedly agree with.
31 years on from my first experience of death my mother died, did I deal any more positively with the experience? Not a chance, in fact if anything I suspect the 8 year old, who at least had some sense of God, met her challenge a little more courageously than did the 39 year old. I became one of the depressed angry adults lost in a world of doom and gloom with a mental attitude that left little room for love or life lessons. As I read this book I was reminded of a dream I had not long after my mother died, in which she met me, told me she was happy – she looked, younger, vibrant and her happiest self not the person she became when her body and mind had been ravaged by the effects of alcoholism – she told me all was well and that this was the afterlife – and that you return to the best of who you are. At the time it gave me a fleeting sense of peace but I was too caught up in my own self-absorbed pain to fully appreciate it’s significance. I wonder now if this was indeed my own visit to soul school…My very own Seven for a Secret moment…..
5.0 out of 5 stars Independent Review from a 12 year old
Chippy Wesemael (Wiltshire, UK)
Mum (below) asked me to read this book. Even though I haven’t experienced loosing someone close it is a very good book with several ways to understand dying and living for my age group (12 years old). I found it easy to read. If you wanted a younger kid to understand the message I think either simplify the discussion or recommend for an adult to read it to them. I loved Old Harry, he was my favourite character.
5.0 out of 5 stars Written as a child’s story , relevant to us all
Lyn Wesemael (Wiltshire, United Kingdom)
Seven for a Secret is “for inquisitive minds seeking to make sense of the world in which they live.” I found it delivers amazing insights on life and death. The author has written in open dialogue to help us reach our own conclusions and choices. This is a thought provoking book for everyone – dealing with life, illness and death issues. It is a valuable piece of writing or “story” that I shall be recommending to others and keeping for my young family. Everytime I see a magpie I smile!
5.0 out of 5 stars Seven for a Secret
Carol Wilson “Carol Wilson”
A visionary and sensitive book dealing with the little discussed area of child bereavement. It is an enchanting story which every family should read when faced with a life threatening illness or bereavement, as my own has been a number of times.
5.0 out of 5 stars This is not your everyday book about managing grief
Pridmore “Michelle Pridmore” (Wiltshire, UK)
This is not your everyday book about managing grief, and it’s written in a believable and fun tone. Using reincarnation is not very common and I found it helped me ask myself some important questions about the bereaving of my father.
When a loved one passes over, mourning throws us into chaos and as we focus on what died, we forget what didn’t. This book makes you think about the after-life and how not only we live on, but how our deceased loved ones might be living on too, which whether it’s “true” or not doesn’t really matter – it’s comforting and that feels good. It definitely helped me question (and leave behind) some of my fears and uncertainties about death.
I’ve passed the book onto my boys who recently lost their father too, as I have no problems with the messages it covers, nor the way it covers them, which is fun, mischievous and easy to grasp. Time will tell if it will help them with their own grieving process, or answer some of their questions about death.
I think people should give this book a go – the worst that can happen is that they think and talk about their grief, as I am.