I Have No Secrets

I Have No Secrets

Penny Joelson,

I Have No Secrets

Electric Monkey, 2017

ISBN 9781405286152

11-14 Shortlist 2018

 

On this shortlist:

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out of 5
 

 

 

Who Wrote It?

Penny Joelson was born in London where she still lives with her husband and two children. She began working with disabled people when she was a teenager, which gave her inspiration for this novel and its insights. Penny runs 'Creative Writing for Children' workshops at City Lit and is currently working on her next novel.

What's It About?

Jemma knows who did the murder. She knows because he told her. And she can’t tell anyone. Fourteen-year-old Jemma has severe cerebral palsy. Unable to communicate or move, she relies on her family and carer for everything. She has a sharp brain and inquisitive nature, and knows all sorts of things about everyone. But when she is confronted with this terrible secret, she is utterly powerless to do anything. Though that might be about to change...

Fact File

Penny has also worked as a primary school teacher, a leader on holidays for severely disabled children and as a magician.

Read an interview with Penny here.

Follow her on Twitter: @pennyjoelson

Your Reviews

Bethany from Crashaw Academy:

I think that this book was: interesting, strange, weid, lovely,

Bethany gave I Have No Secrets 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Ink by Alice Broadway.

Sam from King James's School:

The book "I have no secrets" is an inspirational one. You can feel Jemma's (the main character) emotions and understand how frustrated she is and the feeling of being invisible.

I think that Penny Joelson has done an amazing job of writing this book as most people don't know anyone with severe cerebral palsy and wouldn't know what it is like to live with it, and this book gives you a brilliant insight into it.

Sam gave I Have No Secrets 4 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare by Zillah Bethell.

olliver from king James's School:

In my opinion this is one of the best standalone books I have ever read. It makes you want to shout at some of the characters, from time to time. But It also gives you an interesting view of the world which rarely gets wrote about. The writing is predictable but at the same time not what you expected.

Over all I think this book is a great, interesting read that is basically faultless and could be a very good contender.

I recommend this book to anyone.

olliver gave I Have No Secrets 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird.

Jem from King James's School:

I think this book is very different from other books I have read as the main character cannot communicate and thus has very different relationships with people she knows. She seem to be looking out through one way glass on the dilemmas in the story and that glass is not shattered until she is given means of talking with others. It gives a unique perspective into the life of someone with a disability and makes you wonder what you would do in the situation.

Jem gave I Have No Secrets 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare by Zillah Bethell.

William from King James's School:

This book is one of the most thought-provoking and inspiring books I have read in a long time. I enjoyed it for many reasons but the main one was that until the last %20 of the book, your perspective was constantly locked inside 4 transparent walls, which made Jemma's voice much more loud and clear. It is only when Jemma is able to communicate that actual conversations are formed between Jemma and the other characters.

I also enjoyed the way the book built up a tension between Jemma and Dan, and although Dan was the main person Jemma was worried about Richard and Olivia play major parts in warping your perspective on the book. In my opinion, the characters felt very real, especially Finn and his need to rock where he was sat, flap his arms and bang his head when he was stressed removed the need to describe the atmosphere at times as it gave a clear picture of how everyone was feeling.

I didn't dislike it in any way and was able to enjoy it easily.

This book is one of the only books I've ever read that has kept me up until about 2 in the morning trying to finish it. It was so good and is a real page-turner.

I recommend this book

William gave I Have No Secrets 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Dragon's Green by Scarlett Thomas.

Edith from Roundhay:

it was really good, and had such a sweet ending, which i loved. it was amazing to see how much technology developed, and how incredible and imaginative the sniffer thing was.

Edith gave I Have No Secrets 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Girls Can't Hit by T S Easton.

dee from roundhay school:

i love this book so much and i love the whole book and i just felt what the character was feeling. it shows the friendship of 2 sisters and i love the ending!!!!

dee gave I Have No Secrets 5 out of 5 and now plans to read The Extraordinary Colours of Auden Dare by Zillah Bethell.

Ella from Benton Park:

It's fair to say i think it's going to be one of my favourites. It was so eventful, full of foreshadowing and clues, just like a perfect mystery book. But there was also the loving and nurturing side to it as well, also showing you should never give up on anything because some people can have it so much worse than you. It's a great book for everyone, but probably sided more towards tweens (hence the 11-14 category it is in for the LBA). The only slight problem I'd say about this book is that a lot happens for only 300 pages. I think that sometimes things got a little repetitive. I love the book because it's an emotional roller coster for the main character Jemma, but sometimes it was very up and down, and it would have been nice to see a couple of chapters with the same mood in her mind. That being said, I absolutely love this book and would recommend it to my friends in an instant

Ella gave I Have No Secrets 4 out of 5 and now plans to read Girls Can't Hit by T S Easton.

Miss Busby from Corpus Christi Catholic College:

I really enjoyed reading a book from a totally different perspective to anything that I've ever read before.

I love the main character (Jemma) and although she can't communicate with her foster family in the story, her voice is loud and clear in this beautifully written book.

I cried at the start of chapter 42. Isn't technology wonderful!

Miss Busby gave I Have No Secrets 5 out of 5 and now plans to read Welcome to Nowhere by Elizabeth Laird.