Cover image for Totally confidential
Totally confidential
Warner, Sally.
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : HarperCollins Publishers, 2000.
Physical Description:
195 pages ; 22 cm
After dispensing good advice to her clients, professional listener Quinney finds herself in need of advice for dealing with her weird family and changing relationships with her best friends.
Reading Level:
600 Lexile.
Program Information:
Accelerated Reader AR MG 4.4 5.0 41127.

Reading Counts RC 6-8 4.6 10 Quiz: 25275 Guided reading level: NR.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
X Juvenile Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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After dispensing good advice to her clients, professional listener Quinney finds herself in need of advice for dealing with her weird family and changing relationships with her best friends.

Reviews 3

Booklist Review

Gr. 4^-7. Twelve-year-old Quinney, perpetual peacemaker for family and friends, thinks that if she can keep her identity hidden, she can turn her talents into a summer job. But clients--from the woman considering divorce to a child wanting friends to the guy she secretly likes at school--want advice as well as a sympathetic ear, which makes Quinney wonder if she's in over her head. Then an ethical dilemma forces Quinney to confront some difficult truths about others and herself. This lively, engaging novel sympathetically portrays some familiar themes: adjusting to changes in friendships, family, and oneself; the difference between appearance and reality; and the challenge of figuring out what's right and doing it. Children may not relate to the adults' problems, but they'll find that most of Quinney's advice is insightful and reasonable, and come away with the idea that wisdom doesn't depend on age, but on experience and perspective. As Quinney discovers, even advice-givers need counsel sometimes. --Shelle Rosenfeld

Publisher's Weekly Review

"Where do I fit in?" Warner's (Sort of Forever) earnest heroine asks herself, adding, "Maybe I'm like the invisible part of a machine that keeps everything else running smoothly." Bright, articulate and entirely likable, 12-year-old Quinney manages to keep this thoughtful novel running quite smoothly and briskly. Weary of her role as peacemakerÄshe is constantly refereeing her spirited five-year-old twin brothers, as well as her two squabbling best friendsÄQuinney decides that she may as well get paid for her efforts and decides to launch a summer job as a "Professional Listener." The ad she places in a local advertising flyer brings a handful of responses and, though things don't go exactly as Quinney had planned, all of her customers eventually benefit from her insightful suggestions. Warner neatly weaves together strands of Quinney's life with the circumstances of her advisees, only occasionally straining credibility in terms of the girl's level-headedness and perspicacity, the depth of which goes far beyond that of an average soon-to-be sixth grader. And the ending, in which Quinney overhears her mother saying that she plans to respond to the ad for the "listener," is a bit of a stretch. Those willing to look past the improbable premise will find this an otherwise tight and well-told story, full of empathy for kids' anxieties and concerns. Ages 8-12. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-7-Quinney, 12, has a talent for listening to other people's problems, so she runs an ad in the local newspaper offering her services as a professional listener, charging $1.00 for 15 minutes. Much to her surprise, people do respond and thus begins the summer of her professional listening business. Her "customers" run the gamut from lonely hearts, frustrated wives, and friendless children to a certain Cree Scovell, 14, whom she secretly admires. At first the job seems effortless, but as her clientele increases, the issues brought to her begin to affect her personal life, especially when Cree unwittingly confides that Quinney's precocious friend Marguerite may be in over her head with the high school crowd. As if her work life weren't complicated enough, the young entrepreneur feels like she's taken for granted at home, and her two best friends no longer get along. By the end of the story, she has not only helped to solve some of her patrons' problems, but has also found someone to listen to hers. The characters are not developed deeply but children will empathize with Quinney's dilemmas. A light summer read with just enough tension to keep even reluctant readers involved.-Victoria Kidd, Gwinnett County Public Library, Lawrenceville, GA (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.