A Librarian Reads…

I Have No Secrets by Penny Joelson

Jemma is very happy with her life. She loves her parents, who have been fostering her since she was two, and her brother and sister. And her aide, Sarah, is the best in the world. Jemma only wishes she could tell everyone how she feels. But her severe cerebral palsy makes it impossible for her to communicate. She’s never minded all that much–until Sarah’s boyfriend Dan comes around. He’s charming with everyone else, but Jemma sees the real Dan, cruel and dangerous. And when he confesses murder, Jemma needs to tell someone. There’s an adaptive communication device that might work for her, but will she have a chance to tell someone about Dan before it’s too late?

Told through Jemma’s eyes, this novel balances the horrors the world can throw at you with Jemma’s optimism and pure joy at simply being alive. Sensitive and realistic portrayals of differently-abled people and family types add another layer of humanity. Highly recommended for readers in middle school and up.

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