By: Julia Lawrinson
Genre: YFS - School stories (Children's / Teenage)
Published by: Fremantle Press
Published: 3 Sep 2019
ISBN: 9781925815931


Maddie Lee is in year six, and she feels ordinary and dull. Her best and oldest friend Katy is head counsellor and aiming at an academic scholarship. Maddie doesn't have anything that is hers, anything that is special. Enter a mysterious new girl, Samara.

Samara is pretty, calm and before long is in the popular girls' group. Maddie wants more than anything else to become friends with her. But when she does finally engineer a friendship of sorts, Maddie realises that Samara has a secret. When Samara enlists Maddie to raise money to keep her family from being separated, Maddie finally feels important and needed. So when Samara asks her to go one step further and start stealing, Maddie makes a decision that will have consequences beyond her imagining.


Maddie and Katy are in Year 6 and have been best friends since Year 2. They have always been  inseparable. But this year, Katy is the head girl and Maddie is feeling a bit left out.

When a new girl called Samara arrives at the school, Maddie desperately wants to be friends with her. Maddie soon realises that Samara has a secret, and when she asks Maddie to steal things for her to help her family, Maddie is torn between doing the right thing and saying no, or saying yes and helping her new friend.

This is a compelling story of friendship, growing up and family. The characters are all very realistic and the feelings and emotions expressed through the story are very relatable.

Above all, it is a story of dealing with changes and challenges and accepting that you can’t go back and change your choices, but you can accept responsibility for them and learn from your mistakes.

This will be enjoyed by Year 5 and 6 students, and would also make a great discussion book for small group reading.

Reviewed by Michelle