Thursday, September 29, 2011

Dirty Little Secrets

Title:               Dirty Little Secrets
Category:       Realistic
Grade:            7-12
Author:          C.J. Omololu
Publisher:       Walker & Company
Date:               2010
Pages:             210
Lucy has a secret, and she lives in fear that her high school friends will discover her mother is a compulsive hoarder, and that Lucy lives surrounded by trash and junk.  When her mother dies under a pile of her own garbage, Lucy hesitates to call the paramedics for fear that the police and the media will discover the condition of their home and that both her social life and her mother’s memory will be destroyed in the ensuing circus.  Desperately, Lucy attempts to clean up the years of filth, learning much about her mother and herself along the way.
A fascinating read about a little-known disorder, Dirty Little Secrets earns nothing from this reviewer except praise.  Omolulu has carefully and sensitively researched the lives of compulsive hoarders and their children and written a powerful and thought-provoking book that also happens to be a good story.  As Lucy struggles to dig through the garbage, Omololu takes her through the full gamut of emotion from fear to anger to regret and sorrow.  She also brings out several less-considered consequences of hoarding on children, and ends the book with a twist that was both unexpected and satisfactory.  Lucy is an extremely “real” young lady that will garner sympathy from her readers.  A highly recommended read.


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