Give Me Four Reasons by Lizzie Wilcock
Hardie Grant Egmont, 2011. ISBN 9781921541827.
(Age: 10+) Highly recommended. Paige is a quiet, shy girl who never attracts much attention. On the last day of school, she discovers no one has written in her yearbook apart from her three best friends, and as a result she starts to feel lonely and invisible to everyone. She also has some family troubles in the holidays, and no one seems to care. When she gets back to school after the holidays, she accidentally falls in with the popular crowd and she struggles to remain the quiet, kind person she always thought she'd be.
Give Me Four Reasons is a very nice book. It has lots of good messages in it, such as trying to stay true to yourself and the importance of family. The plot is complicated without becoming overly ridiculous and the characters are well-developed and believable. Little bits of humour are strung throughout to give this at-times-sad book a lighter edge. It's quite suitable for kids moving from primary school to high school, with good advice on surviving the transition, good advice on coping with the new environment and people, and good advice on friendships. Sometimes this book will come across as very dramatic, such as the last few chapters, and there is a small problem with the ending, because everything seems to tie together too perfectly. Everything is concluded too neatly. Apart from those few small flaws, this is certainly worth a read.
Give Me Four Reasons is a lovely book with great characters and a good plot. Younger readers, especially girls, would definitely like it.
I highly recommend this book.
Rebecca Adams (Student)