Cover image for What they don't know
What they don't know
Horrocks, Anita, 1958-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
Toronto : Stoddart Kids ; Etobicoke, Ont. : Distributed by General Distribution Services, 1998.
Physical Description:
240 pages : illustrations ; 20 cm
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR UG 4.2 7.0 32723.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Young Adult Mass Market Paperback Central Closed Stacks

On Order



On Saturday night I lost my girl, and where do you think I found her?

When Hannah was little she used to make her father repeat the nursery rhyme over and over. But she isn't a little girl any more, and she isn't truely lost. No one, especially her dad, can't reach her.

To her older sister, Kelly, Hannah's terrible anger is a cry out for help as well as a source of shame and frustration. What could a science fair project have to do with Hannah's sudden destructive behaviour?

Clues lie hidden in Hannah's secret box and Kelly must piece the puzzle together quickly because time is running out. Through her frightened eyes we watch as a struggling, loving family draws closer to disaster.

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

Gr. 7^-12. Seventeen-year-old Kelly watches with helpless despair as her 14-year-old sister, Hannah, moves into a cycle of violent anger and destructiveness. Hannah falls in with a bad crowd at school and starts drinking, taking drugs, and stealing. What her family doesn't know is that Hannah's dark mood stems from her unwitting discovery of a family secret: Dad is not her biological father. Kelly pieces together the source of Hannah's troubles by going through her sister's secret box, filled with stories, notes from friends, and police and school documents that are reproduced in the text. This psychological drama, set in a small Canadian town, is earnest and tender. Kelly and Hannah's relationship is beautifully portrayed. Kelly's frustration and protectiveness ring true, as does Hannah's stubborn refusal to accept help, especially from those who love her. The handwritten notes are a nice touch, lending further verisimilitude to this realistic family portrait. --Debbie Carton

School Library Journal Review

Gr 7-9-Is a family defined more by biology than by love and caring? It never occurred to Hannah to ask such a question until her science-fair project on blood unwittingly reveals a family secret. As she struggles to find her identity, she alienates her older sister, Kelly, and heads down a path of self-destructive behavior that involves alcohol, drugs, and crime. With her family on the verge of collapsing, Kelly must figure out what has radically altered her sister's behavior and get help for her before Hannah ends up hurt or in jail. Horrocks handles contemporary teen life in a realistic and meaningful manner, showing the negative effects of peer pressure and self-alienation. Interspersed with Kelly's first-person account are reproductions of notes from classmates, police reports, and other documents that add an interesting element to the story. A novel that is filled with ragged emotion and memorable characters.-Jeanette Larson, Texas State Library, Austin (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.