Cathy's Book

9th March 2007 at 00:00
A teen thriller and Jacqueline Wilson's memoir

Cathy's Book; Bloomsbury pound;10.99; 13-plus

From the outside this book looks traditional enough, but inside, it's a different story.

An envelope attached to the inside cover is full of authentic-looking documents: ripped photos, menu cards, even a used serviette. These whet the appetite for the story, as well as providing clues to the mystery that unfolds.

My worries that the writing might be less substantial than the props were groundless. Told in the form of a journal written by Cathy, a San Franciscan 17-year-old high school student, the story is pacy and exciting, with language well matched to the quality and variety of the illustrations.

It has the look of those journals that accompany A-level art projects: even the page numbers look hand-crafted.

Enticing and visually stimulating (there is even a YouTube trailer), but above all, a cracking thriller. If it wins more readers by its use of innovative interactive techniques, all to the good.

Jo Klaces teaches English in a Birmingham secondary

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