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Something Secret Paperback – Unabridged, 1 May 2009


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Product details

  • Paperback: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Macmillan Children's Books; Unabridged edition (1 May 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0330464043
  • ISBN-13: 978-0330464048
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 0.5 x 20.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 927,807 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Gwyneth Rees is half Welsh and half English and grew up in Scotland. She studied Medicine at Glasgow University, qualifying as a doctor in 1990. In 1992 she moved to Birmingham and specialised in psychiatry. She moved to London in 1999, where she worked as a psychiatrist with children and adolescents until 2003, when she stopped practising in order to become a full-time writer. She makes great use of her educational background and training, as well as her whimsical imagination, to create the memorable characters that appear in her books. Gwyneth's love for writing extends back to her childhood, when she read non-stop and started writing stories influenced by her favourite books. As a student and young doctor she kept writing and began to attend writers' workshops in her spare time. Her first book was published in 1995.

Gwyneth is the author of many bestselling and award-winning children's books, including the Fairies series, the Cosmo series and the Marietta's Magic Dress Shop series, as well as several books for older readers. Her new book, My Super Sister, is publishing in August 2012 and is the start of an exciting new series about two sisters, Emma and Saffie, who have superpowers!

Gwyneth currently lives near London with her husband, Robert, their two young daughters and their elderly Siamese cat.

Product Description

About the Author

Gwyneth Rees is half Welsh and half English and was brought up in Scotland. She is a qualified child psychiatrist. The author of MERMAID MAGIC, the Fairies Series, THE MUM HUNT (winner of the Red House Children’s Book Award), THE MUM DETECTIVE, THE MUM MYSTERY, MY MUM’S FROM PLANET PLUTO, THE MAKING OF MAY and many others, Gwyneth is now writing full-time. She lives in London with her partner, daughter and two cats.

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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Rachael VINE VOICE on 28 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book surprised me in so many different ways.

First of all it is a reprint of a book published back in the 1990s. Second of all, it's a book aimed at nine year olds. This was a surprise given the jazzy cover embellished with silver foil, you would automatically assume it was aimed at pre-teen girls. I really shouldn't judge a book by its cover, should I.

However, reading this I feel that the story is much too serious for a nine year old audience. In fact, it's a book dealing with much heavier issues than you would expect a nine year old to digest. It deals with bereavement and blame, and despite the young protagonist's attempts at joining the Brownies, practising Scottish dancing, and dealing with her mother's new boyfriend, the plot wouldn't be out of place in Eastenders!

I was really surprised at how the story panned out, from the outset you really believe it's just a story about a girl trying to join the Brownies and arguing with her mum, and the whole "Oh my god my mum's a murderer!" thing at the start is going to end with her mum reassuring her it's not true, having a bit of a laugh about it and giving her a cup of hot chocolate at the end, while tucking her into bed with a couple of cuddly toys. But no, it's actually serious, which is a bit of a shock. To be honest, I think if you're going to give this to a child, you really need to read it beforehand to make up your mind as to whether it is suitable for them.

It would probably be best being taught in year seven or eight English lessons, though.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By John Wilson VINE VOICE on 4 Jun. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Everyone - adults and children - enjoys being in on a secret. So this book should appeal to adults and young children. However, secrets, of their nature, can be divisive, separating those in the know from those who are in blissful ignorance. Gwyneth Rees' new book is a lovely story of a troubled young girl who discovers by accident that her mother harbours a terrible secret, a secret which may be responsible for her mother's increasingly erratic behaviour. Yet in this beautifully written and observant book nothing is quite what it seems and it is not until the final few pages that Laura, the narrator, understands all.

Laura's parents have split up, with her father now in Australia and, seemingly, more interested in his new family than in Laura. To make matters worse her mother has a new boyfriend. Laura has to cope with all this plus her mother's secret. This is a tall order for a young girl.

Although this subject matter appears bleak, it is handled sensitively by Gwneth Rees who places Laura's own thoughts and emotions, as she strives to make sense of the adults around her, at the centre of the book. Be clear that this is no kitchen sink melodrama. If anything the book is uplifting and full of insights into how young children see the world, which is not at all how adults often think they see it. (Rees was once a child and adolescent psychiatrist so should know what she is talking about.)

I read this book in one sitting as I needed to know the ending. It didn't disappoint me and I'm sure it won't disappoint children, especially girls, from about 9-13 everywhere. Heartily recommended.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Shady Tree VINE VOICE on 11 Aug. 2009
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I chose this book because I've read most of the Gwyneth Rees "Fairy" books and really enjoy them. This is more grown up though so I'd recommend it for children of 10 and over because of the subject matter. It's a really good story with a twist which is quite shocking, but luckily there's a happy ending where things aren't as awful as I first thought.

This book makes you want to read on to find out what's going to happen next. It's more grown up than the other Gwyneth Rees stories I've read; more like Jacqueline Wilson's more serious stories, but I liked it all the same.

(Reviewed by Shady Tree's 10 year old daughter)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charlie-CJ HALL OF FAMETOP 50 REVIEWER on 13 Feb. 2011
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
Autheress Gwyneth Rees was born in Leicester in 1968. She is half Welsh and half English, and grew up in Scotland after her family moved to Glasgow when she was six. When she is not writing, she works in London as a consultant child/adolescent psychiatrist. Gwyneth wrote her first book when she was ten, being inspired by Enid Blyton, but her first to be published [way back in 1995] was this book 'Something Secret'. The books rated for 9+, and my daughter thought it was aimed at 10-14 year old girls.

Plot outline: "Dad lives miles away, and when her mother gets a new boyfriend Laura has to adapt to him being around more and more. Worse still, Mum's behaving oddly and obviously keeping something from her, but what? As Laura digs deeper, she begins to suspect the secret might be even more terrible than she first thought. So what is this secret in mum's past, and why does she refuse to allow Laura to join the Guides and be with her friends? ..."

My 14 year old daughter quite enjoyed this book - 3* is a high score for her, the same given to her beloved Harry Potter books, with only the likes of 'Inkheart', 'His Dark materials', 'Harry Dresden', 'Wyrmeweald' and 'The ask and the answer' scoring more. My daughter liked the well developed character of nice but determined Laura [who reminded her of one of her best friends], and she found the book an easy light read and quite amusing despite the underlying serious storyline. Plus she liked the fact the story comes to a proper conclusion with the mystery solved. So recommended for older girls or lady's young at heart.
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