Sarah's Stars

Marthe Jocelyn. Secrets
Tundra Books  $12.99  ISBN 0-88776-723-0  175 pg.
Reviewed by Emma, Age 13

Everybody has a secret. Most people have more than one. Some are lies, told to make or avoid trouble. Some secrets are scary, like a creaking door when no one is home. Some secrets are special little moments you never mention to anyone. Some are part of a surprise. Others are like soda pop, waiting to burst out in a flood of giggles.

Secrets, a collection of short stories, are all very different from one another. But all have one thing in common: girls with secrets! Girls all over Canada and the United States at all different times, all with some kind of secret to cover up, reveal, or dance around until it smacks them in the face.

The 12 different stories in this book were selected by Marthe Jocelyn, but written by 12 different authors across North America. Included are Elizabeth Winthrop (Castle in the Attic), Loris Lesynski (Dirty Dog Boogie), and Teresa Toten (The Onlyhouse). Marthe Jocelyn is an author and an illustrator, and has written 12 books so far. I recommend Secrets to all kids ages 11-14, but maybe girls would like it a little better.

This book is like a patchwork quilt. Each story, character, and secret is completely different, and each will intrigue you in a different way. With solid characters and backdrops, stories unfold and draw you into their brief, succulent worlds. Many leave you hanging, longing for the non-existent end of the novel. Friends and enemies, teachers and pets, drop in and out in a colourful blur of laughter and fright. Read this book on a sunny dock in your swimsuit, or at the back of a boring class.

This reviewer gives Marthe Jocelynís Secrets three stars.


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