Reviewer Kristi Bernard: Kristi graduated from Wichita State University with a BA in English with minors in Education and Minority Studies. She writes fiction and non-fiction children's books and was the contributing editor for the National Writing For Children Center. Kristi reviews for several sites including http://bookpleasures.com. In addition, she is a parenting expert for http://Bizymoms.com. She is also a member of the Society of Children's Book Writers and Illustruators (SCBWI), the Association of Children's Authors and Illustrators of Color (ACAIC), and the Kansas City Writers Meetup Group. You can fnd out more about Kristi by Clicking Here.
Author: Hannah Harrington
Author: Hannah Harrington
We've all crossed paths with that person who likes to gossip. For whatever reason they seem to think they can impress family or friends by telling another persons secret. They often can't wait to tell on a person they catch doing something they shouldn't be or perhaps it's simply a person is doing something in the heat of the moment. This would be a scenario that gossip girl Chelsea Knot walks into.
Chelsea Knot can't seem to keep a secret. In her mind she feels as though her friends will be impressed with what she has seen or heard. Since she hangs out with Kristin Courteau, a popular girl at school, she feels she can stay in Kristin's good graces by dumping on peers who are not like her click. At Kristen's New Year's Eve party Chelsea stumbles upon two lovers making out in a bedroom and they happened to both be male. Noah Beckett, whom she didn't know was gay, and his friend were caught in the act. Chelsea tells Kristen who then tells her boyfriend Warren and his buddy Joey, both players on the football team. These guys beat Noah so badly he ended up in the hospital and unconscious. Chelsea's guilt of this horrible secret causes her to tell her parents, therefore snitching on her friends. As a result, she now is an outcast. The entire school knows what she has done. Chelsea remembered an article she read in a National Geographic magazine about a Monk who took a vow of silence and hadn't spoken a word in sixty years. She decides to take this to heart, so she doesn't hurt anyone else, Chelsea takes a vow of silence.
Now, Chelsea is faced with the challenge of being bullied by her ex-friends and her moms concerns with her silence. But, unexpectedly she makes some new friends who appreciate her courage and strength without her uttering a single word. As fate would have it, she is befriended by Asha, Sam and Andy all friends of Noah, the boy who as beaten. And there is also Brendon Ryon, a cute boy, that Chelsea has crushed on for a long time. Another challenge is Chelsea faces the need to forgive herself for the hurt she has caused and hoping that she doesn't screw up the new friendships she's made. She also has to decide how long she will be silent and pray that Noah can someday forgive her. She is growing up and it is a long painful process.
Harrington has done an excellent job of creating a read that teens will embrace. It offers strength and courage and a realization that there are reactions to every action. The back of the book has a readers guide that has questions that groups can ponder and discuss. Also included is an author question and answer section, where readers can learn more about the author and why she wrote this story.