Book review

The Girl Who Knew by Sandra Glover (2000)

How do you think you would react if you were deliberately injured in a hit-and-run accident? One minute you are walking down the road with your friend after school netball club and everything is absolutely ordinary - the next thing you know, you wake up in a hospital bed, and you can't feel your legs. Do you think you would be angry?

Kits is angry when she wakes up in hospital in this story. She is angry that she has been deliberately injured by a stranger, but she is also angry with her best friend because she escaped injury.

'I see those headlights every minute of every flaming day. I feel the impact over and over, jolting me out of sleep every time I try to close my eyes. And I see her, James. Leaping out of the way to save her own, miserable skin. So don't tell me what to think, who to blame.'

Kits obviously has a lot of work to do. She must come to terms with her wheelchair, and the special bus that takes 'cripples' to the specially-adapted school, and she must face up to all the work that she must put in if she is ever to get out of the wretched wheelchair again, onto crutches. That kind of adapting takes time.

Meanwhile, she is a very angry person, and she makes life very difficult for her patient family. She also makes life very difficult for her friend Lisa - until she suddenly remembers that she, Kits, actually pushed Lisa into the ditch herself when she saw the car bearing down on them, that fateful day.

It's the beginning of a reconciliation between Lisa and Kits, but Kits begins to understand that Lisa has many problems at home which she has always kept secret, until now ... And Lisa's problems are Kits' problems now, because they involve that hit-and-run accident. But if Kits has lost the use of her legs in the accident, she has acquired some other special abilities which she is going to need if she is to help her friend.

This is a fast-moving mystery story with a slow-moving sub-plot about stages of recovery after a major accident. It is an interesting mixture and I enjoyed the book very much.

What can I read next?

If you are interested in the 'accident' side of this story, you might like to look at this one by Benjamin Zephaniah:

If it is the 'mystery' side of the story which interest you, you could look at this one for slightly older readers by David Belbin:

Or this one by Jenny Nimmo has a similar fantasy feel to the mystery:

Or this strange little mystery by Jan Mark might catch your interest:

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