Northwood: Secret Ballot
Jean Free, a library consultant, is a retired public-school teacher and
librarian in Whitby, Ontario.
Secret Ballot is based on the characters and episodes in the
“Northwood” television series. Jennifer McBride decides to run for
the office of student council vice-president, hoping to improve
ecological responsibility among her peers at Vancouver’s Douglas
Heights Secondary School. The campaign gets complicated, with former
summer boyfriend Rory acting as manager and Jennifer’s best friend,
Maria, working for a rival candidate. Broken romances and an insightful
look at varying reasons for other candidates’ and supporters’
involvement in the election make for a fast-paced teenage novel. The
plot examines hierarchical relationships among young men and women,
cheating on exams, and high-school friendships.
Secret Ballot is a well written, believable story about teenage
friendships and events in high school, and should appeal to
intermediate-grade students. Its brevity—along with its
conversational, breezy, easy-to-read style—should especially appeal to
young people who watch the TV series.
Weir is the Kamloops author of several plays for young people, as well
as several award-winning novels.