by Shivanee Ramlochan, Paper Based Blogger
Published by Potbake Productions in 2013, K. Jared Hosein’s debut novella, Littletown Secrets, explores ideas of loneliness, peer pressure and persecution: decidedly adult themes, distilled through the perspective of young people who know what it means to be marginalized. These children take the stories of their dark, sometimes death-defying encounters to the only person who can be depended upon to keep these fantastical confessions safe: Littletown’s sole secret-keeper. The unnamed narrator listens to these terrifying and mettle-testing tales of revelation, and the more he learns, the more the reader learns about him: but will the reader ever unearth the private motivations that reside in the heart of the secret-keeper himself?
In many ways, Littletown Secrets recommends itself as an unconventional, emotionally satisfying series of stories. It is sure to appeal to each young reader who enjoys tales that aren’t afraid to swerve off the beaten track. The collection benefits from a blend of magical realism, mild to moderate horror, and no small dose of levity, Adults and younger bibliophiles alike will find resonances with the work on multiple levels: older readers can glimpse shades and hues of the juvenile adventurers they once might have been; children can delight in reading well-rounded characters who perform starring roles in their stories – they rule the narratives, and aren’t subjected to the sideline silences they often endure in adult fiction.
An endearing, morally complex debut publication from a writer of young adult fiction worth monitoring, Littletown Secrets may well spark conversation concerning the natures of good and evil; the difficult process of growing up, and the liberating happiness of slaying one’s personal demons.