HOLLY’S SECRET by Nancy Garden


Age Range: 10 - 12
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Garden (The Year They Burned the Books, 1999, etc.) again traverses scantly explored territory with this earnest tale of an adopted child who tries to cover up the fact that her two moms are gay. Upset after an episode of ostracism at summer camp, Holly decides to take advantage of a move to create a new persona for herself: “Yvette,” sophisticated, non-athletic, fond of ruffles and boys, above all, with a normal family. Her hurt but loving parents agree to go along with the deception, at least when her new friends are around. But what with the domestic tension, the complicated web of lies she has to concoct, plus the self-inflicted pressure to fit in, to keep silent when she hears casually malicious references to dykes and fag hags, from the outset she doesn’t much like what she’s becoming. That web comes apart eventually, but after tears and confessions Holly discovers that her true friends are untroubled by her home arrangements. As the characters here tend to model appropriate or inappropriate behavior and to express or correct misinformation, Garden’s agenda is never far from the surface. Still, while getting a good look at a close, stable, gay household, readers will understand the source of Holly’s conflicting feelings, and feel her relief at the end. (Fiction. 10-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 25th, 2000
ISBN: 0-374-33273-8
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15th, 2000


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