11th August 2011, Puffin
224 pages, Hardback
Children's, 9 years +
Themes: Starting new school, growing up, bullying, ups and downs of friendship, isolation, discovery, not caring, family life, confusion, secrets, puzzles, love, fun, a lot of humour, lots of tissues needed.
Summary from Puffin
Before I used it, the key had infinite possibilities.
Eleven-year-old Elise feels stuck. Her school locker-buddy squashes her lunch and laughs at her, every day. She doesn't want to go to school - and her best friend Franklin just makes things worse.
Now I was ready for something to be different. Anything, really.
One day Elise discovers an incredible secret. A secret that might just help her unlock her past, and take a chance on the future.
I decided that tomorrow I would see what that key opened up. It had my name on it, after all . . .
Nayuleska's reasons for loving Elise...she discovers her place in life and who she wants to be when life gets tough, her voice is funny and like me she eats cake for breakfast! Although her milk is in a glass rather than in a lake around the cake in a bowl (cake island!)
Is there another character who deserves a mention? All of them, but most especially Caroline who sticks with Elise even through her crabby moments. Friends like that are precious.
How evil/nasty is the enemy? Never underestimate the power girls have over each other. Words are almost always more hurtful than being physically hit
Are there plety of plot twists and surprises? The feelings Elise has are ones i related to, I was too engrossed in the story to try and guess what was coming next. Some parts were very sweet.
One of my favourite parts was....when Elise's aunt and uncle begin helping her achieve her goals. Contrary to believe often people can't handle problems on their own as they don't have experience or perspective
Elise's revelations had me weeping at lots of places. This is a special book, one I'm going to treasure for a long time, and is worth much more than 10/10
Find out more about Suzanne on her website
Another inspiring book about a girl growing up is The Taming of Lilah May by Vanessa Curtis