Diary of a somebody

20th October 2000 at 01:00
Simone's Diary by Helena Pielichaty (Oxford University Press pound;5.99) is an imaginative follow-up to Simone's Letters , which charted Simone's last few months at primary school.

Here she completes the whole of Year 7, has the predictable bust-up with friend Chlo, gets to know 14 different teachers and is given her first detention (which her mother successfully opposes).

It's the very ordinariness of Simone's existence that makes the book so likeable.

It will be reassuring to Year 6 and Year 5 readers beginning to look ahead with trepidation.

In the story, Simone's diary is undertaken to help with a student's MA, so as well as standard entries the reader is presented with questionnaires, school reports, homework sheets and parent-teacher correspondence, which all add an air of authenticity. It ends with an upbeat poem for Year 6 children about to start Year 7.

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