Jacqueline Wilson is bang on form with the superb Secrets
, a stirring story of two young girls from opposite sides of the tracks and the effect they have on each others lives.
India lives in the lap of luxury on a posh housing estate. Her mum is a famous children's clothes designer and her dad is top man at a top company. But India is far from happy with her life. Her uptight anorexic mother does little to hide her disappointment in her chubby offspring, and her dad is decidedly distracted these days, so India follows in the footsteps of her heroine Anne Frank and reveals all in her secret diary.
Treasure lives in a council flat with her glamorous, line-dancing Nan but is scared she may one day have to go back to live with her mum. She, too, keeps a diary but hers is called the Terrible Terry Torture Manual and is filled with all the things she would like to do to get her own back on her bullying stepfather.
Treasure, the floppy-haired stringbean, and India, the rotund red-head, meet by chance and against the odds forge a friendship that is tested to the limit when Treasure runs away to avoid having to go and live with her mum and Terry again. The frightened little girl takes refuge in her new best friend's attic, while India relishes the chance to take care of a real Anne Frank...
Told via alternating entries from the two very different diaries, Secrets brimms with the stuff of pre-teen childhood (best friends, secrets, diaries and the allure of other people's families) while cleverly combining the swift realism of class barriers, broken homes and society's deep rooted suspicions.
Wilson does it again in a book that will undoubtedly win her new fans, but will also be warmly welcomed by anyone who has read The Illustrated Mum, The Story of Tracy Beaker, Vicky Angel, The Bed and Breakfast Star or any of the other superb award-winning titles this remarkable author has tucked safely under her belt. Age 8 and over. --Susan Harrison
--This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
" Hugely popular with seven to ten years: she should be prescribed for all cases of reading reluctance." -- "Independent on Sunday"
" Children and young teenagers will love this story, as the author speaks to them with a voice with which they wholly
identify" -- "The Times Ed. Supplement"
" Wilson's skilful way with dialogue and plot makes this moving, funny and uplifting story about friendship." -- "The Observer"
" Has a rare gift for writing lightly and amusingly about emotional issues." -- "Bookseller"