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The Secret Sunshine Project

Written by Benjamin Dean

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The Secret Sunshine Project Review

Books of the Month Family / Home Stories Featured Books for 11+ readers Featured Books for 9+ readers Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE) Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE) Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE) Personal Social Health Economic (PSHE)

Uplifting story of community, recovery and pride

April 2022 Book of the Month

Bea, her big sister Riley and their mum have moved from London to stay with their gran in a small country town. All three are looking for escape after the sudden death of the girls’ father. Just before he died, the family attended London Pride – Riley had just come out as gay – and memories of a colourful, joyful day have taken on a special significance. As she starts to make friends, Bea is ever more conscious of her sister’s sadness, until she suddenly realises there is a way to bring Riley out of herself. Now the only obstacle is the town’s resident busy-body and general ‘do-badder’. It’s surprising what you can achieve though when everyone accepts one another and works as a team.

As sunny and cheering as the rainbow design on its sprayed edges, this is a story that recognises the importance of standing up for what you know is right, and for others. In its depiction of grief and depression, it strikes just the right note and delivers a message of inclusivity and tolerance with the lightest touch.

Andrea Reece

The Secret Sunshine Project Synopsis

Bea's family are happy. Like, really happy. Like, kind of gross but also cute happy. So when they visit London Pride together and have the ultimate day out, Bea doesn't think her family could possibly get any happier.

But a year later, a grey cloud is following Bea's family around. Dad has passed away, and without him around they have no choice but to pack their bags and move to the countryside to live with Gran. With Bea's big sister, Riley, taking the news hard, Bea will do anything to cheer her up. So with the help of new friends, The Secret Sunshine Project is formed - Bea's plan to bring Pride to the countryside and a smile back to Riley's face. There's just one teeny tiny problem - the village mayor. A grumpy old woman who's on a mission to rain on Bea's parade.

The Secret Sunshine Project Reader Reviews

In addition to our Lovereading4Kids expert opinion some of our Reader Review Panel were also lucky enough to read and review this title. You can click here to read the full reviews.

This book touched me on so many levels. It made me laugh and cry and I read it almost non stop. It was really really hard to put down. Full review

Lily O'Dwyer (Age 13)

An exciting story about being yourself! Full review

Emily Welbourn (Age 11)

A spectacular story full of sunshine and rainbows! Full review

Prisha Yadav (Age 12)

The Secret Sunshine Project Press Reviews

Praise Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow:

'A life-affirming, must-read' - The Independent

'One of the most joyful books you'll read this year' - The Bookseller

'Joyful, funny and heartfelt' - Katie Tsang, co-author of Sam Wu is Not Afraid and Dragon Mountain

'I'd recommend this book to all middle-grade readers. A real tear-jerker!' - Steven Butler, author of The Nothing to See Here Hotel

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All versions of this book

ISBN: 9781471199752
Publication date: 31/03/2022
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback

Book Information

ISBN: 9781471199752
Publication date: 31st March 2022
Author: Benjamin Dean
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Childrens Books an imprint of Simon & Schuster Ltd
Format: Paperback
Pagination: 336 pages
Suitable for: 11+ readers, 9+ readers
Genres: Family / Home Stories, Personal Social Health Economic , Personal Social Health Economic , Personal Social Health Economic , Personal Social Health Economic
Recommendations: Books of the Month, Reviewed by Children
Collections: LGBTQI Literature celebrating 50 Years of Pride,

About Benjamin Dean

Benjamin Dean is a London-based celebrity reporter. His biggest achievement to date is breaking the news that Rihanna can't wink (she blinks, in case you were wondering). Benjamin can be found on Twitter tweeting about Rihanna and LGBTQ+ culture to his 10,000+ followers. Me, My Dad and the End of the Rainbow is his debut book and he's currently working on his second, publishing in 2022. Check him out on Instagram @notagainben

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