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Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M McManus.

January 22, 2019 Comments off

9780141375656Two Can Keep A Secret by Karen M McManus. Pub. PenguinRandom House, 2019.

This is a murder mystery for teens par excellence.

It is set in a small East coast American town called Echo Ridge, a town that is obsessed with it’s tragic past. Twenty odd years ago Sadie and her twin sister Sarah went to the Homecoming Ball at Echo Ridge High where Sadie was homecoming Queen. Shortly after Sarah disappeared and has never been found. Why?

Now Sadie’s twin daughter Ellery and brother Ezra have returned to Echo Ridge to live with their grandmother and go to Echo Ridge high school as Sadie has gone into rehab for drug addiction. Five years earlier another homecoming Queen, Lacey who was Sadie’s favourite babysitter, was murdered in a horror theme park called Fright Farm. Her murderer has not been found

On their return to Echo Ridge on a rainy night, Ellery and Ezra find a teacher dead on the road and lots of ominous things are happening around the town. It is the eve of another homecoming Queen Ball at Echo Ridge High and startling as it seems Ellery has been named as one of the finalists for Homecoming Queen. She suspects a fit up and her investigative nature causes her to look into the deeds of the past.

Then one of the other candidates for homecoming Queen goes missing in the company of Malcolm the brother of Declan who has top candidate for the murder of Lacey. What the heavens is going on? Read it and find out, it is outstanding drama.

Brilliantly written in short chapters with lots of things going on. There are mean girls, football players who think they are wonderful, gay boys and girls and the whole American high school scene. The ending is thrilling. You won’t put this down once you start.

The Chocolate Box Girls Part 2 Marshmallow Skye by Cathy Cassidy

September 26, 2011 Leave a comment

Marshmallow Skye by Cathy Cassidy. Pub. Penguin Australia, 2011.

Skye has a twin sister, Summer, who she feels is better than her and she is wrong.  The twins are in those pre teen years and on the verge of big changes including discovering boys.

They are part of a family that is changing. Mother is remarrying a nice man involved in making chocolates but his daughter Cherry waltzes off with elder sister Honey’s boyfriend. There is tension in the house.

When an old trunk belonging to a girl, Clara, who disappeared decades ago, is found in the attic, Skye starts to wear all the old fashion clothes from within and the dreams start. Dreams of a dark haired handsome gypsy boy who was rumoured to have caught Clara’s fancy before she disappeared. Spooky!

Great story of family relations told in a witty and positive fashion by Cathy Cassidy. This Chocolate Box Girls series will have seven more parts and girls of primary and intermediate school age will love them. I  really enjoyed this one.

SHARP SHADES -Doing the Double by Alan Durant

August 8, 2010 Leave a comment

Doing the Double by Alan Durant, Pub. Evans Brothers Ltd, 2010.

This title is part of a series called Sharp Shapes written for boys who are struggling to read. They are high interest fiction with low vocabulary but are great stories.

Joe and Dale are twins and often pretend they are each other for a laugh and sometimes to help each other out. They are talented footballers but Joe has given the game away to play basketball.

Their father was a great footballer with a household name but after breaking a leg he hit the booze and ruined his career(shades of George Best).

When Dale starts going down the same path he asks Joe to stand in for him in an important game. Will anybody notice? and what are the ethics of doing this?

Read it and find out. Aimed at Intermediate to junior high school.