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The Insiders

Book Synopsis

Secrets. Lies. Promises. Sometimes keeping things inside is dangerous.

Callie, Ted, Zara, and Nico are best friends. More than friends – they’re like family to each other. But since being embarrassed at school in a practical joke gone wrong, Ted has stopped talking to the rest of the gang.

And when Callie, Zara and Nico discover that someone has been living in their school, and sleeping in the building at night, they decide to investigate – without Ted.

A wise, heartwarming story of friendship and family, from the highly-acclaimed author of Ella on the Outside, Not My Fault, and How to be Me.

Our Review Panel says...

Another brilliantly honest and empathy-boosting book by the author of Ella On the Outside, Not My Fault and How To Be Me. True to form, this new story explores relatable themes of growing up, friendships, feeling alone and dealing with school worries.

Meet Callie. Callie is super lucky. Her mum is a childminder and her house is filled with children, some of whom have become her best friends. Ted lives next door, and because his mum works, he has been going to Callie’s house every day after school. Callie loves to hang out with her ‘nearly-brother’ and is truly upset when the arrangement comes to an end. But money is tight in Ted’s house, and so he offers to stay home alone.

Without the companionship, however, Ted is left alone with his own thoughts. While sitting up in a tree (watching Callie’s garden), he dwells on the fact that not only is he shy and nervous, but he is also small in stature. Billy at school has been bothering him a bit lately too, so you can imagine his dismay when he sees Billy making himself at home in Callie’s garden room. First Billy humiliates him in front of the entire school and now he has stolen his best friend. Ted vows to get revenge.

What Ted doesn’t know is that Billy has a really tough time at home, and is sleeping at the school while his mum is on holiday. He doesn’t feel comfortable at his dad’s and has built a web of deception that Callie gets dragged into. The catastrophic climax will leave readers on the edge of their seats, and when Callie sees it all unfold in front of her eyes she realises that it really is time to tell the adults everything that she knows. Because sometimes keeping things inside is dangerous.

This is a gripping story told from the different perspectives of the three main characters, and will appeal to children who have enjoyed Cath Howe’s books.

Reviewer: Emma Hughes

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