Monday, March 8, 2010

The Little Secret

Kate Saunders
Feiwel and Friends 2006

Something about those Brits---they sure can spin a fantastic tale! Kate Saunders is no exception. Her story has all the mystery, oddity, humor, and charm I've come to expect from that camp.

Staffa, the new girl at Jane's school, may talk funny, sit and drink coffee at recess, and dress like a grandmother, but kind-hearted Jane sticks up for her anyways. Jane isn't exactly thrilled when Staffa immediately claims her as a best friend, at least not at first. It turns out that Staffa's mother is disgustingly rich, and Jane soon finds herself showered with presents and invited to posh afternoon teas. To top it all off, Jane is eventually invited to spend a few weeks of summer holiday at Staffa's country home, a real castle in northern England.

It's a fairy-tale come true for Jane. And I mean that very literally. And not one of those nice little Disney fairy tales either.

I loved this book from the beginning, knowing there's something odd about Staffa and her mother, and being drawn along by not knowing quite what it was. Kate Saunders handles Jane's reactions and decisions so well, I believed every bit of it. I had the chilling conviction that in Jane's shoes I would have put my foot right in the very same trap. A very fun read for ages ten and up.

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