RULES FOR SECRET KEEPING by Lauren Barnholdt

RULES FOR SECRET KEEPING

Age Range: 9 - 14

KIRKUS REVIEW

Beginning middle school with all its attendant drama feels sufficiently daunting for savvy seventh grader Samantha, but she soon finds herself in the midst of intrigue that runs the gamut from unrequited romance to shady business practices. Samantha’s successful secret-passing business, which operates from her school locker, has won her a place in the You Girl magazine’s “Tween Entrepreneur of the Year” contest. While this heralds a surge in popularity for Samantha, it challenges her long-term friendship with Daphne. A rival, Internet-based, copycat business run by the unscrupulous Olivia emerges, threatening to undermine Samantha's enterprise. In addition to this turmoil, Samantha’s struggles to address her new feelings for her old friend Jake are complicated by the arrival of Emma, who makes no secret of her affection for him. Barnholdt’s pragmatic heroine copes with these tumultuous events with a refreshing candor. When faced with Daphne’s transgression, Samantha ponders, "…honestly, who am I to judge someone when they make a mistake? I’ve gotten myself into a lot of my own messes lately.” Samantha proves to be a friend worth keeping in this engaging tale. (Fiction. 9-14)
Pub Date: Oct. 5th, 2010
ISBN: 978-1-4169-8020-9
Page count: 288pp
Publisher: Aladdin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2010




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