Secrets at Sea” by Richard Peck. Ages 8-12. $16.99

Mischevious creatures living among humans make for great stories for kids. Think “The Tale of Despereaux” by Kate DiCamillo or “A Cricket in Times Square” by George Selden and you’ll get a sense of what kids — and adults — are in store for with Richard Peck’s thoroughly funny and thrilling “Secrets at Sea.” The creatures in this case are four mice siblings headed by big-sister Helena, who tries desperately — and not always successfully — to keep her two sisters and brother safe and happy. The book is set in the late 1800s, and the mice live happily in the United States in the Cranston family home. When the Cranstons decide to take a trip to England, the mice stow away on the ship. This is really a story about family, both the two-legged and the four-legged type.

This story is especially good for families looking for a book that can be read aloud and enjoyed by kids of different ages.

— Tracy Grant