Chanda’s Secrets by Allan Stratton

Title: Chanda’s Secrets

Author: Allan Stratton

Publisher: Annick Press

Published Date: 2004

Chanda’s Secrets is about a young African girl who has to grow up fast. Her father and brothers died in a mining accident when she was just a few years old. After the accident her mother went through a string of marriages and men. All the while Chanda went to school and helped raise the new children. The last man that her mother married was a no good man. He was a drunkard and cheater. And like so many men, women and children in African contracted HIV/AIDS and gave it to her mother. Losing everyone she ever loved to the disease, Chanda stays stong through it all. She is not afraid of AIDs and stands up for her family, friends and loved ones. Because of her strength, her town becomes less afraid to talk about the disease and they all become a close neighborhood.

My little synopsis of the book does not due the book justice. If I were to mention even half of everything that happened in the book, this post would be two pages long. The story is fictional, in that Mr. Stratton didn’t base it on a real life event. The AIDS epidemic and the suffering in Africa are all real. This story takes real life problems and brings them home with you. As an American, the AIDS epidemic seems far off to┬ámost. For me, I have never known anyone with it. Reading about the what is happening to people due to the virus is eye opening. I’ve never been more grateful for living in America and having the education to know about diseases like AIDS.

If you are looking for a good eye opening book or want to read a beautiful story about a young girl looking to save her friends and family, then this is that read.

Happy Reading!



I don’t usually post random messages, or actually anything real about my life…BUT…today I just can’t help it.

I’ve had like 10 people from my past in the past 2 weeks get in touch with me. Now…if it had been one or two, that wouldn’t have been anything. BUT 10? What the heck? I don’t know what to make out of it. Is it that I’m a really bad person at keeping in touch and everyone is finally saying, hey…I’m still here, talk to me. Or is it that they’re the ones that don’t keep in touch with me and they finally found me again?

Honestly, it’s just plain weird. I don’t mind. I didn’t hate any of them, I just fell out of contact with them. One is actually a relative from Germany that I haven’t spoken to since my 10th Birthday party. Craziness. I’m glad they found me and all…I’m just flabbergasted at the numbers. I don’t know what to make of it. The other part is that I seem to be getting more and more as the time moves on.

Has this happened to anyone else?

Kiss & Blog by Alyson Noel

I have to say that this book surprised me. I was expecting something sort of like the A-List by Zoey Dean, and it did have some errors, but it was really good. I really enjoyed this read. Yes, it was definitely chick-lit and somewhat superficial, but omg it had a moral to the story! It was decently written. I loved the voice of Winter. It reminded me of when I was in high school and all the things I used to think about the uber-popular kids.

The story goes…two bff’s plan through an entire summer on how they will become part of the popular posse. They make charts, they read a lot of books about being popular and they practice what they will say to certain questions. The only problem is Sloane wants to be popular and Winter thinks she wants to be popular. And of course, when school starts Sloane falls in with the populars and Winter gets left in the dust.

Winter’s mom owns a local cafe that sells healthy/herbal smoothies, etc., and a new boy,Rey, comes to town that her mom hires. Winter and Rey become pretty good friends. He sits with her at lunch and pretty much takes up the role that Sloane has left. Not until another girl shows interest in Rey does she actually see him. She’s too busy watching the popular kids to even see what is in front of her. She’s started a blog telling all of Sloane’s secrets. She makes sure to disguise everyone’s name including her own. She calls herself Eleanor Rigby (after the Beatles song).

Much chaos ensues, and Winter finds that not only can she not talk to Rey about her feelings for him, but he has found himself a girlfriend. She has to find out what she wants and how to get there. Lots of mistakes are made, plus some major life lessons learned. All in all a good book this makes.

I enjoyed the perspective of Winter throughout this book. Noel did a good job of maintaining Winter’s personality throughout. Even though Winter went through a lot of changes, it was believable changes and the outcome was believable.