Recommended Age, Grade, and Reading Levels
- Age: 12 to 18
- Grade: 8 to 12
- Reading age: 12 to 18
Dot, whose name reflects her stature, has always had big dreams—but her dreams have to be put on hold while she searches for the truth about her parents. She gets a job as a seamstress at a lakeside resort in rural Ontario and falls hard for Eddie, a charming local boy who is equal parts helpful and distracting as Dot investigates her past. Searching for answers to questions about her birth, Dot learns more than she ever wanted to about the terrible effects of war, the legacy of deceit—and the enduring nature of love.
Part of the SECRETS—a series of seven linked novels that can be read in any order.
About the author
VICKI GRANT left her career in advertising and television to write her first novel, The Puppet Wrangler, in 2004. She has written many books for young readers, including Not Suitable For Family Viewing, winner of the Red Maple Award, Quid Pro Quo, winner of the Author Ellis Award for Best Juvenile Crime Fiction, Betsy Wickwire’s Dirty Secret, Pig Boy and B Negative. She lives in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
- Commended, CCBC Best Books for Kids & Teens
"In a witty and believable 1964 Ontario, a foundling teen investigates the circumstances of her own birth...The novel has an eerie, slow build, with a sense of danger increasing with each secret unearthed...Clues come at just the right pace for the readers to crack the puzzle right along with the protagonist in this mystery."
"[Dot] is a strong if naïve character who gradually comes to understand that she may never know who her parents really are...There are some interesting historical references to pop culture in the 1960’s, as well as the lives of the veterans of World War II. Teenage girls will appreciate this story of summer love and an orphan’s quest for the truth about her life."
"Instantly captivating and readers will be unable to put it down. Full of mystery and deceit, the story flows effortlessly in Dot's journey to find her parents. Romance, mystery, humor, and great writing await readers, who will be looking forward to the rest of this truly unique series."
VOYA, Teen Reviewer
"Enjoyably light, linear and buoyed by a solid concept and striking retro packaging, this is what Don Draper’s daughter would have read at 13."
The Globe and Mail
"Punctuated with nuggets of fresh and surprising description...In the hands of talented writers, a set of rules can lead to some highly enjoyable and varied reads."
Quill & Quire
"Grant 'salts' her plot with clues, some genuine and others appropriately misleading...[She] also effectively recreates the social dynamics displayed by the residents of a small town...Recommended."
"Grant weaves a loaded story about a pregnancy that was kept hidden and a birth that was obscured from small-town gossip...Dot is able to piece her story together from a patchwork of details, and..it is heart-warmingly trimmed with a happy ending or two. In fact, Vicki Grant, with her light-touch and say-it-straight writing manner, makes sure that it’s 'Better than any fantasy' (pg. 239) that Dot could ever have imagined."
CanLit for Little Canadians blog
"Dot's tale is part of the Secrets series: seven books that tell the stories of the girls who leave the home and travel in search of their identities. If this volume is any indication, they will be effective mixtures of historical fiction, mystery, and romance—and good fodder for high/lo readers as well. A smart graphic design and dedicated website should further interest in the concept."
"With their accessible themes, these short titles [in the Secrets series] are great for reluctant readers interested in the 1960s...Highly readable historical fiction."
School Library Journal
"Dot is motivated to discover who she really is. Her relationship with Eddy is rocky but real, and both the main characters and the supporting casts are well rounded and fully developed. The setting is fascinating, and the dynamics of small town resort life are well explored. Fans of romance and mystery will appreciate this book."