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Secret Scribbled Notebooks by Joanne…
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Secret Scribbled Notebooks

by Joanne Horniman

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This is a very well written and thoughtful book. It is a very serious and thought provoking book. It is a definite page turner! ( )
  alexcirasuolo | Oct 11, 2012 |
I really didn't enjoy this book. I read it - and finished it - only because it was assigned via book club.

The voice did not feel authentically Australian. I feel this is the work of an older author who has spent much time reading British literature. Maybe a character like Kate O'Farrell would write in a similar fashion due to the heavy influence of British novels she's reading but even so, I would rather read a book written in an authentically teenaged voice.

Nothing seemed to happen. There was no real conflict. Reading this girl's diary was about as exciting as reading my own diaries from that time: exams, books being read, details of the minutiae of daily life. The mystery of the missing parents didn't serve to heighten the tension - not for me - this is a familiar trope in YA and children's literature: missing parents, feelings of abandonment. Nothing was even resolved there. Non-issue.

I don't know why the girl needed three notebooks. The switch was just annoying.

I feel this book was written to 'turn young people on to reading the great works of literature'. It was a book about reading. Meta-reading, in other words. Might as well just read those books rather than read about another girl reading those books. The characters just seemed to lie around reading all day. Not interesting. Besides, it's preaching to the choir, isn't it? Preaching about reading in a book?

That said, someone thought it was good. It was short listed by the children's book council of Australia.

And I read it in an evening.

Thank god. ( )
  LynleyS | Apr 18, 2010 |
Yr 11 - Yr 12.
Preparing to leave school and making choices about your future direction are challenging for any seventeen year old. But for Kate, this is an especially confronting time. Abandoned as a child, with her older sister Sophie, she has never abandoned the hope that her father might one day come back and reclaim her. In her final year of school she has become discontented with her life in Lsimore, where she lives in a big boarding house with Sophie and Lil, the old woman who has cared for both of them since their father left. When Sophie's baby, Anastasia, arrives, Kate buys herself three notebooks and begins to write about her hopes and her fears. More than diaries, these notebooks trace her path through the troubled months around her final exams, as she helps Sophie with the baby, prepares for her exams, and develops a relationship with a boy called Alex.

The style of the book - part diary, part random thoughts and part retrospective, flows well. Kate writes in different styles in her three different coloured notebooks and later adds in type-written commentary which binds the various sections into some sort of order. This mixture does not, as it might sound, make the book disjointed, but rather makes it feel real, as if it really is written by a seventeen year old Kate rather than by an omniscient author.

( )
1 vote mcgarry | Nov 26, 2007 |
Kate writes all her dreams and hidden thoughts in her secret scribbled notebooks as she helps to care for her sister's baby, makes friends with Alex, thinks about her lost parents, and yearns for the future. A beautifully written portait of a young girl in her last year of school.Abandoned by their father into the care of a boarding house owner, Kate & Sophie struggle to make sense of their lives. Sophie has just had Anastasia (soon to be known as Hetty) and is recovering from the breakup with the baby’s father. Kate scribbles in her notebooks as she studies for her Yr 12, moons over her “Russian prince” Alex and worries how he imminent departure for uni in Sydney will impact on Sophie, Lil & Hetty.
p.74 Example of the ordinariness of Kate & Sophie’s lives – the catalogue game…p74 “Sophie opened “ to p.75 “do without’. ( )
  nicsreads | Apr 25, 2007 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 174114406X, Paperback)

Seventeen-year-old Kate writes all of her dreams and thoughts in a set of three secret notebooks. In each of these journals, she records her daily life, from caring for her baby niece and making friends to dealing with the loss of parents and yearning for the future. Through reading, writing, and experiencing teenage life, Kate discovers love, friendship, and her own ambitions. This beautifully written portrait of a girl in her last year of school explores the universal stresses, joys, confusions, and observations of life as a teenager.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:00:04 -0400)

Seventeen-year-old Kate writes all of her dreams and thoughts in a set of three secret notebooks. In each of these journals, she records her daily life, from caring for her baby niece and making friends to dealing with the loss of parents and yearning for the future. Through reading, writing, and experiencing teenage life, Kate discovers love, friendship, and her own ambitions. This beautifully written portrait of a girl in her last year of school explores the universal stresses, joys, confusions, and observations of life as a teenager.… (more)

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