I'll Tell You Mine

Pip Harry

I'll Tell You Mine
University of Queensland Press
19 March 2012

I’ll Tell You Mine

Pip Harry

Kate Elliot isn’t trying to fit in - that’s the whole point of being a goth, isn’t it? Everything about her - from her hair to her clothes - screams different and the girls at her school give her a wide berth. How can Kate be herself, really herself, when she’s hiding her big secret? The one that landed her in boarding school in the first place.

She’s buried it down deep but it always seems to surface. But then sometimes your soul mates sneak up on you in the most unlikely of places. Like Norris Grammar Boarding School for Girls, where’s she’s serving a life sentence, no parole, because her parents kicked her out. So, how do you take that first step and reveal your secrets when you’re not sure that people want to see the real you?


Kate’s mother is a politician: successful, passionate and as far as Kate is concerned, totally distracted from family. After a really bad family moment, Kate is sent as a boarder to her (rather recognisable) inner-city private school while tensions simmer down. For Kate the sudden shock of shared bedrooms, doing your own laundry and boarding school food is matched by the difficulty of being a weirdo Goth and trying to fit in.

I think a lot of girls will love this book. It is so honest, so fraught, and ultimately satisfying, partly because it is not only Kate but also her parents who have to change. A great realistic novel for 13+. Not a vampire or paranormal experience in sight!

Kathy Kozlowski is from Readings Carlton

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