- 3,99 €
- 3,99 €
What's the good in keeping secrets?
Secret Friends is a heartbreaking story about friendship and bullying from the multi-award-winning Elizabeth Laird.
Rafaella doesn't find it easy to make friends. She looks and feels different from the others at school. And Lucy is the first to tease, the first to call her 'Earwig', until they get to know one another and Lucy sees that Rafaella is full of hopes and ideas, just like she is. Lucy loves keeping her own secret friend, until tragedy strikes and secrets can't be kept any longer.
Shortlisted for the Carnegie Medal and the Children's Book Award and reissued with gorgeous illustrations, more than twenty years after first publication, Elizabeth Laird's moving and unflinching novella brings home the crucial importance of cultivating empathy in young people.
'[A] humane and honest story. It conveys so much, so simply and so well' Scotsman
'[A] fine weepy with a moral, about the dangers of playground cliquishness and cruelty' The Sunday Times
The characters and situations in this novella will likely be painfully familiar to teenage readers. On her first day at Dale Road Middle School, narrator Lucy meets Rafaella, a girl who is shunned by the rest of the class ("What you noticed straight away was her ears. They were large, and stuck out away from her head like bats' ears"). Lucy, on the fringe of the popular crowd, invents the nickname Earwig--and foreshadows subsequent tragic developments ("I'm going to regret that moment till the day I die"). When Rafaella invites Lucy home for tea, Lucy is too shocked to decline the invitation. In spite of herself, Lucy enjoys Rafaella's company and is intrigued by her exotic family ("Rafaella's parents seemed like magic people to me, and their house was an Aladdin's cave, full of treasures whose meaning I couldn't understand"). The aura of impending doom grows as the camaraderie between the girls strengthens. Rafaella's brother accuses Lucy of being "one of those stuck up kids"--another sign of what lies ahead. In 10 brief chapters, Laird (Kiss the Dust) crystallizes the mixture of insecurity, grief and guilt suffered by a young teen sensitive enough to understand another child's pain, but not strong enough to stop the chain of events. Although readers may wish for more details about the family lives of both girls, the few unanswered questions are surmounted by the author's ability to keep the novel within Lucy's purview--and by its realistic resolution. Ages 10-up.