Chanda's secrets / Allan Stratton
Like many people in her neighbourhood, Chanda, a sixteen-year-old girl in Sub-Saharan Africa, knows many people who have died in recent years. She suspects that AIDS is the cause of many of these deaths. However, because people infected with HIV or AIDS are shunned, no one talks about the disease. Ignorance about HIV and AIDS is common, with some people believing that it is caused by the devil or by a persons sins. People with AIDS live in fear of being discovered even upon their deathbeds. When Chandas baby sister dies, her family begins to fall apart. Her mother is stricken by grief and her stepfather disappears. Soon her mothers health deteriorates, and Chanda suspects that she may have AIDS as well. Meanwhile, she has the challenge of taking care of her younger siblings, worrying about her best friend, and finishing high school.Allan Stratton has written a sensitive novel about a very difficult topic. He presents a slightly hopeful ending to the story, but does not downplay the struggle that Sub-Saharan Africans continue to face. A free teachers guide that offers a program of classroom study for this novel is available at <http://www.annickpress.com/forteachers/chandassecrets.html>.
Ages 14 - 17 / Grades 9 - 12