Face the Truth

A Review of Chanda's Secrets

Chanda's Secrets is a book written by Allan Stratton that talks about AIDS. It is based on Chanda, a 16-year-old girl that realizes very quickly that something is wrong with her mother, but she is afraid to admit it. She is scared that her mother will die and that she'll have to take care of her siblings alone. Also, she has a bestfriend, Esther, who lost her parents to AIDS and has turned to prostitution to earn money.

Chanda is strong for her age and she will fight all through the novel for the people she cherishes the most. The novel deals with very sensitive topics, such as prostitution, alcoholism, abuse, death, but most importantly AIDS. Allan Stratton showed that Chanda has a humongous strenght of loyalty. She loves her momma so much. At some point, she doesn't care what people think of her family. In fact, she doesn't understand why the lives of others, like her grandma are centered upon the neighbourhood's opinion.

I think she's right. People shouldn't worry about their collegue's opinion. If today, I feel like I want to wear comfortable clothes to work, why can't I? What's wrong with that? At the end of the day, I'm still getting my work done as much as someone who's wearing tight skirt in high heels that gets blisters on her feet. I simply think that people want so badly to fit in that they forget who they are. Once Chanda realizes that in the novel, she completely ignores her neighbours' comments.

The book also talks about the impact of loss and fearlessness. The reader understands that dying alone in fear and shame with a lie is worse than dying itself. It is indeed better to die in peace with no regrets with the ones you love than dying alone.

The book was acclaimed by readers when it was published in 2004. In 2010, they made it into a motion picture Life Above All.

Chanda's mother has used the best weapon that ever existed against AIDS through this day, she has accepted it.  


  1. Stratton, Allan. Chanda's Secrets. Toronto : Annick Press, 2004. Print
  2. Jill, Bianca. A Review of Chanda's Secrets. Goodreads. N.p., 16 Feb. 2011. Web. 21 Apr. 2014.
  3. Link for the picture: http://www.allanstratton.com/chanda_adult_na.JPG

Watch Life Above All  in DVD now!

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