Sequins, Secrets, and Silver Linings

( 3 )


When they meet a Ugandan refugee girl who's an amazing designer, three trendy London teens combine their talents to create some kind of wonderful. A hip, cute, multiculti fashion fairy tale!

Nonie's a freak for fashion. Eco-conscious Edie blogs to save the world--and get into Harvard. Starter-starlet Jenny just landed a small part in a big Hollywood blockbuster. But when these trendy London besties meet a Ugandan refugee girl named Crow, sketching a dress at the V&A Museum,...

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Sequins, Secrets, and Silver Linings

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When they meet a Ugandan refugee girl who's an amazing designer, three trendy London teens combine their talents to create some kind of wonderful. A hip, cute, multiculti fashion fairy tale!

Nonie's a freak for fashion. Eco-conscious Edie blogs to save the world--and get into Harvard. Starter-starlet Jenny just landed a small part in a big Hollywood blockbuster. But when these trendy London besties meet a Ugandan refugee girl named Crow, sketching a dress at the V&A Museum, their worldview gets an extreme makeover. As they learn about the serious situation in Crow's homeland, they decide to pool their talents to call attention to the crisis of the Night Walking children. A catwalk show featuring Crow's designs--quelle chic way to raise awareness! to "make it work"?!

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Bennett's high-energy debut, which won the Times of London/Chicken House writing contest, is as fast-paced as the world of fashion. Celebrity-obsessed 14-year-old Nonie loves little more than talking fashion with her two best friends: confident and gorgeous Edie, who dreams of working for the U.N., and insecure budding movie star Jenny. All three girls are wrapped up in their privileged lives until they meet 12-year-old Crow, a Ugandan refugee who lives with her aunt. When Nonie discovers that Crow is a talented seamstress and designer, she invites her to use their extra room as a workshop, and Nonie's ex-model mother and fashion-loving grandmother practically adopt Crow, encouraging her to enter an Yves Saint Laurent competition. Nonie is initially self-centered and jealous, but she and her friends combine their passions to make a positive difference. "It's about the things that have inspired you, and how you've put them together in a new way," Nonie says. Studded with descriptions of chic outfits and references to designers, this outing will whet appetites for the next book in the trilogy. Ages 12–up. (Jan.)
VOYA - Mirta R. Espinola
Three fourteen-year-old best friends, Edie, Jenny, and Nonie, undergo a rite of passage in Sequins, Secrets, and Silver Linings when they meet and help Crow, a twelve year old, realize her dreams of clothing design. The girls discover that Crow is a refugee from Uganda who was sent to the London by her family. A diehard blogger and activist, Edie raises awareness for global causes, and Nonie is an eclectic dresser aspiring to work in the fashion industry. An actress with self-image issues, Jenny—who is plastered in the media—soon discovers her confidence when Crow designs a dress for her. Combining their talents, the teen girls pull off a fashion show of Crow's clothing designs and successfully raise money for the invisible children in war-torn northern Uganda. Readers will devour this dish of literature written to entice teenage female readers with helpings of fashion, friendship, and angst amidst global plight. Appropriate for teens, the language delivers the book's poignant message of global trepidation while treading lightly on issues teens struggle with, like acceptance and self-image. Bennett writes notes of fashion and fabric that ring tunes of art, expression, and passion. Overall, the author challenges readers to be unique in fashion and in life, where anyone, in this case teenage girls, can make a difference. Her next book, Beads, Boys, and Bangles, will be released in 2012 and will be the second edition in this trilogy. Reviewer: Mirta R. Espinola
Children's Literature - Amanda Ledbetter
Best friends Nonie, Edie, and Jenny are as different as night and day. Nonie adores fashion, a subject she has learned much about from her mother who is a former model. Edie is politically savvy and environmentally conscious, sharing her passion with others through her popular blog. Jenny is a budding movie star, having just completed a movie with some very prominent and beloved stars. Despite their differences, the three fourteen-year-old girls pool their resources to help Crow, a Ugandan refugee who designs the most beautiful dresses theyve ever seen. As the girls learn more about Crow's life and family back in her home country, they set out on a mission to help others like Crow, the "invisible children" who are innocent victims of the violence that has plagued Uganda for years. This delightful Cinderella story speaks of teen empowerment and the impact that youth can make on the world when they look outside themselves and their own lives. Bennett's characters inspire readers so they will want to see them succeed, and her treatment of the Ugandan situation is handled honestly and diplomatically. As the first book in a planned trilogy, the characters have been well-defined, and readers will want to cheer them on in future adventures. Reviewer: Amanda Ledbetter
School Library Journal
Gr 6–9—Girls who have dreamed of walking the runway or designing clothes, as well as those who want to help humanity, will enjoy this book. Nonie, the fashionista; Edie, the greenest of them all with her campaign to save the planet; and Hollywood starlet Jenny, who is premiering in her first movie with a bit part, meet 12-year-old Crow, a talented designer from Northern Uganda who has been sent to London to avoid being a war victim. The 14-year-olds befriend her and help her develop her line of clothing and also help the Invisible Children campaign for her country. Crow is quiet about the situation and eventually the friends learn that her brother, Henry, was captured and she doesn't know if he is alive. With the help of Crow's friends, Henry joins his sister in London, leading to a happy ending. The author has done a good job of balancing the story between campaigning for the children in Uganda who are stolen from families and expected to kill others and fashion on the runway. The book leaves readers with an awareness of the problem in Uganda but doesn't over do it.—Karen Alexander, Lake Fenton High School, Linden, MI
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780545242417
  • Publisher: Scholastic, Inc.
  • Publication date: 1/1/2011
  • Pages: 304
  • Sales rank: 1,055,289
  • Age range: 12 years
  • Lexile: 800L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.70 (w) x 8.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Sophia Bennett won first place in the second annual LONDON TIMES/Chicken House Children's Fiction Competition with her debut, SEQUINS, SECRETS, AND SILVER LININGS, a novel that combines her long-standing obsession with fashion with her keen desire to write for young readers. Sophia lives with her husband and children in cosmopolitan London, England. Follow her on Twitter @sophiabennett and visit her at
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 2 Customer Reviews
  • Posted September 22, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Jennifer Rummel for TeensReadToo

    Three best friends come together to change one life and make fashion history. Nonie loves fashion, but lacks the talent for design. Jenny just wrapped up a Hollywood movie. She's hitting the red carpets, where she's forced to wear hideous dresses. The fashion world is ripping her to shreds. Eddie wants to save the world. She writes a blog and posts fashion news about Jenny to gain more followers. She's also tutoring a young girl from Uganda. Crow loves fashion and sketches designs all over her papers. Eddie uses fashion to help with her reading - as Crow will read if she's interested in the subject. When Nonie meets Crow, she's determined to help her achieve her dreams. She'd never expect that helping Crow would make fashion history. Crow's uber-talented, and soon begins selling her clothes at a stall. Before long, she has a waiting list for her items. Suddenly, great fashion opportunities loom in front of her. Can the three friends help solidify Crow's fashion career? I'll admit, it took me most of the book to care about the characters. In the beginning I couldn't connect with anyone, but then things changed. I began to like the girls and thus the story. I enjoyed learning more about Crow and her life in Uganda. I loved the fashion show and how it all came together, and am glad SEQUINS, SECRETS, AND SILVER LININGS is the start of a trilogy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 1, 2011

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