The Super-secret Diary of Holly Hopkinson

The Super-secret Diary of Holly Hopkinson
Charlie P. Brooks, illustrated by Katy Riddell
Harper Collins Children’s Books

Having survived the move to the countryside following her Dad’s job loss, Holly (with volume 1 safely stashed in a time capsule) shares volume two of her memoirs with readers.

Four months have now passed. Mum is still commuting to her old PR job in London while Dad is busy with his Chequers bistro pub project that her Aunt Electra might or might not become general manager of, and her niece aka Holly is assisted by the magic pocket watch given to her as a 10th birthday present by said aunt. She’s just got to get the hang of how to use it properly and then all will be fine.

As the account opens the school Christmas holiday is a couple of days away and life for Holly promises to be hyper-hectic. First though she sneaks a preview look at the reports her class teacher has left in her desk drawer while she has a coffee break. Did I hear the word ‘tamper’ just then? Oops! magic pocket watch disaster number one.

Followed soon after by disaster number two and that one well and truly messes things up for her dad at Chequers. Maybe she can help Mum instead … sounds as though another disaster is imminent. Beware the cloud of doom.

Then there’s the formation of The Cool to deal with, followed shortly after by band management duties. Can she possibly cope with a stay-over visit from London bestie (ex?) Aleeshaa with all this, not to mention keeping an eye on what Grandpa is up to. Then there’s the arrival of a film director looking for a location for his next blockbuster. Talk about chaotic Christmas holiday.

Annoyingly, the chances of Holly getting that i-pad she so much wants seem to be diminishing.

Like this reviewer, readers will likely find themselves giggling at almost every turn of the page: try this for a taster: ‘My bum now looks like two raw steaks being marinated overnight and the way I’m walking you’d think I was auditioning for a cowboy film. I’ve even had to put the loo paper in the fridge.’ (entry following a fall from Declan as Holly prepares for the Chequers Xmas Pony race).

When countryside catastrophes are mixed with comical capers you can be sure Holly Hopkinson is involved one way or another in Charlie P. Brooks’ altogether different, fun family drama with highly appropriate visual jottings by Katy Riddell.

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