________________ CM . . . . Volume XVI Number 8. . . .October 23, 2009

cover

Trail of Secrets.

Brenda Chapman.
Toronto, ON: Napoleon, 2009.
135 pp., pbk., $9.95.
ISBN 978-1-894917-76-6.

Subject Headings:
Best friends-Jevenile fiction.
Children of divorced parents-Jevnile fiction.
Self-reliance-Jevenile fiction.

Grades 7 and up / Ages 12 and up.

Review by Dana L. Coates.

**** /4

   

excerpt:

Ambie studied me for a moment until she seemed satisfied. "Martin Donaldson," she paused dramatically, "...is my real dad."

I took a second to absorb what she’d just said. Ambie’s mom had left Ambie’s dad when Ambie was a baby - under mysterious circumstances - and had refused to tell Ambie anything about him, even down to his name. If Ambie’d been in touch with her biological dad, this could turn the Guido family upside down. She was staring at me, waiting for my reaction. "Nobody else knows we’re e-mailing each other," she said, as if reading my thoughts, "and you promised you wouldn’t tell."

Trail of Secrets is an interesting young adult novel. It is the forth novel in its series. This novel has been well planned out as the plot is unpredictable. Chapman does well writing descriptions. The characters are believable because Chapman provides vivid descriptions of the characters as well as their personalities. Also, her descriptions of the setting are lifelike. The main character, Jennifer Bannon, embarks on a journey as she is entering grade eleven. Jennifer finds herself surrounded by secrets from people she cares about. Her boyfriend is starting university, and Jennifer fears he will find a new girlfriend. Then her best friend is secretly e-mailing her biological father, someone she never met before. Apart from Jennifer’s being faced with keeping secrets to herself, she is also faced with changes. Her mom, who lives with her new husband a distance away, wants her sister to move out with them. Then Jennifer gets to know the new boy in her school despite the rumours about him.

     Overall, the novel is an easy read. Chapman cleverly captures the events in a not-so-crammed timeline, but perfectly written out story that has enough action. The story covers three main themes: belonging, friendship and loss.

Highly Recommended.

Dana L. Coates is a grade 6 teacher in Norway House, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

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Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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