Maya's Secret by Holly Webb

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Maya's Secret by Holly Webb

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Category: Confident Readers
Rating: 2.5/5
Reviewer: Louise Jones
Reviewed by Louise Jones
Summary: Maya and her friends want to host a Fairtrade fashion show. Will it be a success?
Buy? No Borrow? No
Pages: 160 Date: May 2014
Publisher: Nosy Crow
External links: Author's website
ISBN: 9780857631053

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In many respects, Maya is just like any other schoolgirl. She loves hanging out with her friends, sleepovers and clothes shopping. She also wants to save the world by going vegetarian and buying eco-friendly products. However, in one respect, Maya is very different from her school friends: her mother is international singing sensation India Kell. Maya is desperate to keep her secret under wraps because she wants her friends to love her for who she is, rather than for having a famous mother. But how long can she keep such a big secret from her closest friends, and how will they react when they find out the truth?

Maya’s secret is the first in a new series by Holly Webb about four friends who want to save the world. This book focuses on issues like Fairtrade and sweatshops as the girls investigate where our clothes actually come from and are shocked at what they discover. The girls aim to raise awareness by hosting a Fairtrade fashion show at school and a campaign to source school uniform from reputable suppliers.

The book tackles some thought-provoking subjects and is designed to make young readers aware of the issues surrounding everyday things that we take for granted. It discusses child labour and where our chocolate comes from, but it also balances the arguments by discussing the bigger picture.

The style of the book is a bit of a departure for Webb, who is better known for her animal stories. I have to admit that I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have enjoyed her previous books. It was hard to warm to the precocious main character and the whole story had a tendency to come across as preachy. It was also rather dull to read and I think that a lot of younger readers would give up after a few chapters. I also struggled with some of the messages in the book. The girls’ project was an utter failure until Maya’s famous mother stepped in at the last minute, which came across as a rather ‘Deus ex Machina’. I would have preferred it if the girls had made success of the fashion show without adult intervention.

I can appreciate what Webb was trying to accomplish with this book, but unfortunately, I don’t think it worked out as well as intended. Young eco-warriors may enjoy this book, but I fear that the majority may find it a little tedious.

If you want to see Holly Webb doing what she does best, I recommend the fantastic The Reindeer Girl, an engaging animal story with a surprise twist.

Buy Maya's Secret by Holly Webb at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Maya's Secret by Holly Webb at

Buy Maya's Secret by Holly Webb at Amazon You can read more book reviews or buy Maya's Secret by Holly Webb at


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