Book review

Secrets by Jacqueline Wilson (2002)

It's a terrible thing to be lonely. Everyone needs someone to tell their secrets to. Treasure does. India does.

Treasure? Yes, it's her real name:

'Look at your little baby, your little treasure,' said this kind nurse. 'Don't you want to give her a cuddle?'
'I'd sooner give her a clip round the head for all the pain she caused me,' my mum moaned. 'My little treasure?'
She said it as a joke. She used it as my nickname. So that's what I got called. I don't care if she didn't mean it in a nice way.
Well, I do care.

Treasure's in a sticky situation. She lives with her Mum, and her Mum's boyfriend, Terry. But Terry is rough when he's drunk. He hits her with his belt.

He did me a huge favour hitting me with his belt. Nan took one look at me and went white.
'My God, Treasure, what have they done to you?'

Treasure's Nan takes her home to live with her in her council flat. There isn't much room, and there isn't much money, but Treasure is thrilled to be with her Nan.

India could do with a Nan like Treasure's Nan. Nobody hits India. Nobody even notices her. Her father is having trouble at work. Her mother is preoccupied, running a successful children's fashion business. And the au pair is a wet blanket.

I peered up at all the rockets and each time one burst into stars I made a wish.
I wish I had a real best friend!

When Treasure and India meet, quite by chance, they make friends immediately. But even with Nan on her side, Treasure is still in a sticky situation. Terry and her Mum want her back.

India is going to do all she can to help her new friend, and she comes up with a plan, based on her favourite book ...

I think you will love this story. It's sad and smiley at the same time, and it's quick to read, but that is mainly because you won't be able to put it down until you've finished it. Read it and see for yourself.

What can I read next?

Jacqueline Wilson has written lots of books, some for younger readers and some for older readers, so flick through and make sure it's right for you before you take one to read. For another story like Secrets, have a look at this one:

You might also enjoy looking at something by Anne Fine. She has written many books about real life people and their problems, again for a range of ages. Check that the title is right for you:

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