The Secret Legacy is an illustrated chapter book that tells several traditional Mayan accounts of the world, humans, and the spiritual world by renowned activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Rigoberta Menchu. Despite living through years of warfare in Guatemala, Menchu recounts joyous traditional legends and stories about life in Guatemala and the world of the Mayan people. The heroine, Ixkem, is a seven-year-old girl who is taught about the Mayan world by her elderly grandfather. He explains to his granddaughter that he has chosen her to carry on the teachings of the Mayan people and also care for the cornfield. The young girl takes in all her grandfather's teachings and eventually explains this knowledge to tiny spirit beings called b'en. They have heard the girl scaring away the animals who steal from her family's corn crops and they come from below ground to ask the girl to travel with them below the surface. The girl agrees and journeys to the home of the tiny beings and begins to explain what life is like for her community on earth. She explains corn and its importance, how people fall in love and the lengthy marriage ceremony, the lesson of the lion, how to deal with angry people, and the difference between wisdom and virtue. Finally the tiny spirit beings tell Ixkem a secret that allows her to return home and understand the death of her beloved grandfather. This read-aloud book contains colourful illustrations by a Mexican artist that enlivens the text and creates understanding of this amazing Mayan culture. The young girl returns home to take on the responsibility of caring for the cornfield as her grandfather wished. A must-have for all school library collections.