Five tricksy things about starting secondary school, according to Karen McCombie

Published on: 26 Awst 2019 Author: Karen McCombie

Right, let's start with the GOOD stuff about starting secondary school...
  1. You get to go somewhere brand new. Yay!
  2. You have lots of new teachers, instead of just one. Yay again!
  3. You learn lots of new subjects, and you might love some of them.
  4. There are lots of new people to get to know – how exciting!
  5. Old friendships can change. But that's okay, change can be positive.
Now let's take a look at the TRICKSY things about starting secondary school...
  1. You get to go somewhere brand new. Eek!
  2. You have lots of new teachers, instead of just one. Eek again!
  3. You learn lots of new subjects, and some of them might be hard.
  4. There are lots of new people to get to know – how scary!
  5. Old friendships can change. And that could be unsettling and upsetting.
I think everyone starting in Year 7 can relate to these two lists, or at least a mash-up of both!

But that particular point about old friendships changing... I started thinking about it when my neighbour talked to me about her daughter, and how loyalties in her friendship group had shifted during the switch from primary to 'big' school.

I thought how true that was for my own daughter, a few years ago.

I thought how true it was for me, LOTS of years ago!

Karen's diary

My best friend at primary school was Kay. Kay and I were SO tight. We liked the same bands, the same books, the same funny TV shows. We made up our own comedy sketches that we recorded and performed to our class. (Oh, how I'd love to listen back – and cringe – to those now!)

But things did change when we left cosy Skene Square Primary School and went to the huge and stern-looking Rubislaw Academy. Skimming back through my diary from Year 7, I realise I began to mention Kay less and less over the first weeks and months. Nothing bad happened, Kay and I didn't fall out. I guess both of us just slowly gravitated towards new friends, friends we each had more in common with. For example, I got MADLY into art, drama, youth club discos and trawling around charity shops every Saturday for vintage and interesting clothes I could alter on my mum's old sewing machine, and seemed to have new friends who loved all this stuff too.

Inside Karen's diary

The nice thing is, when our school had a reunion 20 years after we left, Kay and I bumped into each other at the airport in London – we didn't realise we'd both moved here! – and had a brilliant catch-up on the flight to Aberdeen, reminiscing about our schooldays. We didn't even mention how our friendship drifted apart... it seemed a small factor in that time for both of us.

Still, remembering all this made me start the story of 'The Lost Diary of Sami Star' with a fading friendship. Hannah's been best mates with Zadie and Robyn for forever, but suddenly Zadie and Robyn are really into fashion and boys and social media. They're so into this exciting new world of theirs that they don't really notice or understand that Hannah is having a bad time at home, feeling invisible while her big sister Vix argues non-stop with their parents.

Then one day, in the park, the three girls find a lost diary. Zadie and Robyn don't think much of it, but Hannah is determined to track down its owner...a girl she has never met but suddenly feels she has such a connection with.

If you pick 'The Lost Diary of Sami Star' as your BookBuzz choice, I hope you enjoy following Hannah's search for Sami, and the surprises and shocks in store!

Pages from Sami Star

Find out more about Karen and her books at www.karenmccombie.com