On the only morning of the year that Maggie Alexander sat down to breakfast with her mother, her father and her brother, she wanted to run away. Run away from her house, from her family, from Montreal, everything. A year ago today, Maggie's younger brother was struck and killed in a hit-and-run. To make matters worse she's starting a new year at school and her friend Chloe is acting very strangely. But worst of all, Maggie has a secret—a secret she can't tell anyone, and that threatens to tear her life, and her ...
On the only morning of the year that Maggie Alexander sat down to breakfast with her mother, her father and her brother, she wanted to run away. Run away from her house, from her family, from Montreal, everything. A year ago today, Maggie's younger brother was struck and killed in a hit-and-run. To make matters worse she's starting a new year at school and her friend Chloe is acting very strangely. But worst of all, Maggie has a secret—a secret she can't tell anyone, and that threatens to tear her life, and her family's lives, apart. Set against the gritty background of inner-city Montreal, A Terrible Secret is suspenseful story about a young woman who can't escape her past.
Maggie is sixteen years old and is having the usual teen growing pains. Maggie's younger brother has died within the past year, leaving her and her family adrift, as only these tragedies can. The mystery of how he died hangs over Maggie and the story until its conclusion. Maggie, her older brother Luke and her mother and father go through the routine of life making few emotional connections. Most of Maggie's energy is tied to her relationship to her best friend, Chloe. Maggie admires Chloe's love of danger and her willingness to try alternative clothes, hairdos and views about life and love. Written in the language and outlook of today's teens, the story follows Maggie and Chloe as they encounter school gangs, parents and love interests. Fears, jealousies, yearnings and hopes are bantered back and forth between Maggie and Chloe as they encounter life in the twenty-first century. Much of the story revolves around Maggie's interest in Ben, the new neighbor who is her age but seems to be interested in a girl that Maggie has a mysterious aversion to. In the end, she wins Ben and is able to move on with her life by putting the death of her disabled brother in proper perspective. The tone and the language of the text will appeal to young teens, but the fact that sex is an accepted and sought after passage may be objectionable to parents. 2000 (orig. 1991), Firefly, $6.95 and $4.99. Ages 13 to 18. Reviewer: Meredith Kiger
This is a fast-moving story about sixteen-year-old Maggie Alexander, whose older brother was killed in an accident. Her school is typical, with cliques, skinheads and gangs. Maggie is not only struggling with mundane things like having a best friend, she has a secret that is tearing her apart. This is a story of struggling with real issues: sex, sexually transmitted diseases, and death. The author is a native of Montreal and this short book is a translation. KLIATT Codes: S—Recommended for senior high school students. 2000, Orca/Lorimar, 108p, 18cm, $4.99. Ages 16 to 18. Reviewer: Sherri Forgash Ginsberg; Chapel Hill, NC, May 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 3)
School Library Journal
Gr 7 Up-On the surface, Maggie Alexander seems to be pretty normal. She has two preoccupied parents, a rude brother, and a home in a working-class neighborhood. She spends her days with her friend Chloe, writing articles for the school paper, and dodging the gangs that terrorize the school hallways. However, something is wrong. Her new neighbor, Ben Mitchell, can see that. The more he tries to get to know Maggie, the more he falls for her and the more she pushes him away. He suspects that her defenses have something to do with the death of her brother who had Down's syndrome. Ben patiently begins to break through Maggie's layers of armor and reach the heart of the person within. Doing so eventually gives the 16-year-old the closure she needs to deal with the loss of her brother and the ability to let others into her life. A Terrible Secret is a brief, intense look at a girl who has walled herself off from the people around her. The mystery keeps the pages turning, and the characters, especially Maggie, keep readers involved. YAs will be relieved when she lets go of her secret.-Heather Dieffenbach, Lexington Public Library, KY Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Le Journal de Montreal
"Troubling, endearing, touched with suspense, this book will be read straight through at once..."