The Offline Diaries

Publisher: HarperCollins Children’s Books

Shanice is a loner and, since her mum died, she records her innermost thoughts in her treasured journal. She is bullied at school by two spiteful yet popular girls, known as the Double-As.

Meanwhile, Ade is unhappy that she has been forced to move to a new town for her stepfather’s job, leaving behind her dad and friends.

When the two girls meet, they realise they have lots in common, including identical diaries. Delighted to discover they will be in the same class at school, they become instant friends.

However, their friendship comes under strain when the Double-As take a shine to Ade. Although she likes Shanice, Ade finds it hard to resist the kudos of hanging out with the most popular girls in Year 8.

The two main characters, both of whom are black, are immensely likeable and their voices feel authentic. The book combines black-and-white illustrations with diary entries and social media messages, which enables readers to appreciate the tale from different perspectives and really empathise with the characters.

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