Home    Company    Projects    Bios    Russian    Buy DVDs

Press Release
Creative Team



"A breathtaking novel...Its spirited young heroine, Chanda, who dreams of a career and a better future, despite the secrets she must keep, is like any teenager in many ways. Her fearless fight to rescue her friend and stand up for her beliefs is a dramatic portrait of loyalty and loss, hope and courage, that will touch readers of any age."
-The London Free Press



  • U.S.A., Canada: Annick Press, April 2004 (dist.: Firefly)
  • U.K., Ireland: New Longman Literature (Penguin), school edition, 2006
  • U.K., Ireland: The Chicken House (trade), May 2005 (dist.: Egmont)
  • Germany: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag (dtv jr.), Fall 2005.
  • Korea :  Random House  Joong Ang, Summer 2005
  • Japan: Asunaro Sobo, Fall 2005
  • France, World French Rights: Bayard Jeunesse, Fall 2005.
  • Australia, New Zealand: Allen & Unwin, August 2004
  • India: The Chicken House, May 2005 (dist.: Scholastic)
  • South Africa: The Chicken House, May 2005 (dist.: Penguin)
  • China:  Hsiao Lu Publishing Co., Fall 2006
  • Slovenia:  ZALOZBA MISH, Fall 2006
  • The Netherlands (World Dutch rights): Van Goor, Fall 2007
  • Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Cambodia, Hong Kong, P.R. China, Taiwan, Korea, Brunei, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka: Allen & Unwin, August 2004


  • 2005 Michael L. Printz Honor Book for Excellence in Young Adult Literature; awarded by the American Library Association
  • Children's Africana Book Award, 2005, Best Book for the Older Reader; awarded by the African Studies Association (U.S.A.)
  • American Library Association, Best Books for Young Adults, 2005 (unanimous vote)
  • American Library Association, Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults, 2005
  • Booklist, Editor's Choice, 2005
  • ForeWord Magazine: Book of the Year, 2005
  • New York Public Library:  Books for the Teen Age, starred citation, 2005
  • Silver Stones Honor Book, 2005
  • International Readers Association, Notable Book, 2005
  • 2005 Young Adult Canadian Book Award (finalist);
    Canadian Library Association
  • "The IPPY Award", 2005:  Best Juvenile and YA Fiction; Independant Publisher Book Award (U.S.A.),
  • Snow Willow Award, 2006
    (Saskatchewan Library Association, Teen Choice Award)
  • White Pines Honour Book Award, 2005;
    Ontario Library Association, Teen Choice Award)
  • Resource Links, "The Year's Best, 2005"
  • Our Choice 2005, Starred Selection, Canadian Children's Book Centre
  • Top 10 Black History Books for Youth, 2005;
    American Library Association-Booklist, U.S.A.
  • The Children's Literature Choice List, 2005; Children's Literature, U.S.A.
  • Children's Book Award Notable Book 2005, U.S.A.
  • Leicester Book of the Year Award for Teenage Fiction 2005, (long list) Teen Choice Award, U.K.
  • Stellar Award (nominee, 2007, B.C. Teen choice Award)
  • Evergreen Young Adult book Award, nominee, 2007;
    Teen Choice Award, Washington, U.S.A.)
  • Buch des Monats Februar 2006: Jubu-Crew Gottingen (Germany)
  • Empfehlungsliste zum Katholischen Kinder- und Jugendbuchpreis 2006
    (Catholic Children and Youth Book Prize, 2006 (shortlist, Germany)



"Chanda's Secrets is a novel with the lilt of Africa in its language and the urgency of adolescent struggle in every paragraph. When AIDS isn't just a faraway acronym, but a sinister, invisible poison that threaten to steal your family, creep into your night,mares, break your heart and darken your future, how do you learn to grow up with love and courage? that's one of Chanda's Secrets. This powerful story hits home with its harsh truths, its pain and its hard-won hopefulness. No-one can read Chanda's Secrets and remain untouched by the young people who are caught in the AIDS pandemic and still battling to make sense of their lives."
-Stephen Lewis, former U.N. envoy on HIV/AIDS in Africa

"The statistics of the millions infected with HIV/AIDS in southern Africa find a human face in this gripping story... Far from case history, Chanda's immediate, first-person, present-tense narrative is neither sentimental nor graphic as it brings close the personal struggle with all its pain and loss, shame and guilt... Stratton creates an authentic sense of the community in town and in the bush, including the poverty, overburdened hospitals, struggling schools, and packed cemeteries."
            -Booklist (starred review)
            -Booklist “Editor’s Choice, Best of 2004” list

"With this book, Stratton pays tribute to the heroes who break the silence... The novel is absorbing, touching and staggering."
            - Associated Press

"Outstanding... Stratton infuses his writing with knowledge of the African terrain, unfalteringly told in the spare, clear voice of his sixteen-year-old narrator, like a clarion call across the oceans to all the others her same age."
            -The Guardian, U.K.


"Allan Stratton's unforgettable Chanda's Secrets grips from the moment 16-year-old Chanda arrives at Bateman's Eternal Light funeral Services to pick a cheap casket for her infant step-sibling... Chanda's Secrets doesn't patronize by pulling punches. As Stratton's heroine sees that no miracle of foreign science is going to save her mother, she remains brave -- but not unconvincingly so. We leave her with 'dreams, dreams, dreams' of more AIDS centres and more openness. 'Dying is awful,' she says. 'But even worse is dying alone in fear and shame with a lie.'"
-The Daily Telegraph, U.K.

"Finely nuanced, beautifully articulated."
            -The Globe and Mail

"Allan Stratton paints a devastatingly poignant portrait of a sub-Saharan teen's world torn apart by AIDS... A particularly wrenching reading experience... Stratton has eloquently given a voice to the voiceless."
            -Quill and Quire

"Immensely readable... It inspires compassion -- perhaps even activism -- by putting a precise, human face on sorrow."
-The Toronto Star


"Powerful... The strong, respectful writing makes this crucial and broadly relevant story unfailingly human."
-Kirkus Reviews


“A book of great hope that features one of the most inspiring heroines to be found in teen literature today.”
-Woman’s Day Magazine


"A powerful novel that inspires hope."
-The Age, Australia


"This is a searing book on an important subject... Stratton neither overplays nor underplays the tragedy or the hope here, and there is not a maudlin moment in the novel, just genuine grief and understanding as the epidemic assumes some of its many human faces."
-The Bulletin (Center for Children’s Books, U.S.A.)


"Stratton brings the despair, overwhelming poverty and the impact of AIDS/HIV to life while at the same time depicting the strength of human character when faced with adversity. The audience can see and feel the power of this terrible disease on the physical body and are moved to look beyond mere statistics. They are also inspired to be enlivened by the triumph of the human spirit. Courage, honesty and commitment to oneself are qualities that are fostered in this fantastic text"
-Resource Links

"A breathtaking novel...Its spirited young heroine, Chanda, who dreams of a career and a better future, despite the secrets she must keep, is like any teenager in many ways. Her fearless fight to rescue her friend and stand up for her beliefs is a dramatic portrait of loyalty and loss, hope and courage, that will touch readers of any age."
            -The London Free Press


“In this moving story, Chanda must first admit a problem exists and then deal with it through her own resources, making one small break in the cycle of secrecy.”
-Horn Book Guide


“In this heartfelt, powerful novel, author Allan Stratton depicts the emotional and physical ravages of AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. This is a tough book to read, but one that brings home to readers the human result of the AIDS epidemic in  Africa.”
-Pittsburgh Post Gazette

“Not often does a reviewer admit to crying after reading a book, but this one left me in tears... It is a story of ordinary heroism and heroic compromise as chanda finds a way to exist in the almost impossible social and economic situation of her small African town. Highly recommended.”
-Reading Time,  Australia (starred review)

“Confronting in its raw humanity... You can’t be untouched by Chanda’s fear, courage and determination -- and the fact stories like hers are true, thousands of times over.”
-Illawarra Mercury,  Australia

"Painful and powerful in equal measure -- as it should be. An extraordinary literary achievement."
-Michael Morpurgo, Children's Laureate (Great Britain)

"Smart and determined, Chanda is a character whom readers care for and believe in, in spite of her almost impossible situation. The details of sub-Saharan African life are convincing and smoothly woven into this moving story of poverty and courage."
School Library Journal (starred review)

"'Chanda's Secrets' by Allan Stratton is one of those novels that grab attention by its use of clear, direct language... Stratton shows the pain of all those affected by HIV, as well as the enormous strength of individuals. A must-read!"
            - Berliner Zeitung


"Information on political issues is indispensable, but stories focusing on real people and their fates have a more lasting impact. This is especially true when they glow with the power and strength of Chanda's story.  The novel's intelligence and energy both touche and encourage."
- Suddeutsche Zeitung

"Free from social kitsch, the novel manages to address bitter issues while providing amusing descriptions of everyday life. The little quarrels at home between Chanda and her younger brother and sister, Soly and Iris, form islands of normalcy in the midst of family disaster, and a delicate contrast to the violence and threats present in the district."
- Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ)

"Chanda's story, full of pain and strength, is authentic, and shows us that as dangerous as the virus, are the taboos surrounding it."
- Rheinischer Merkur