Secrets are mysterious and alluring, but they can also be devastating. What each of the protagonists learns in this thought-provoking story is that keeping dark secrets can adversely affect not only our own life, but the lives of others as well. They also learn the importance of true friendship, loyalty, honesty and the falseness of first impressions and external appearances.
Dudi, Yoav and Aviv are in the same 7th grade class. They each have their own private secret. So does their homeroom teacher, Henia. Dudi, an overweight child who gets teased by his classmates, lies to his friends about his mother, who has left home. Yoav, a bright and diligent student, makes every effort to hide that his father is serving time in prison. Aviv, the least-favorite son of a verbally and physically abusive police officer, is ashamed of the real reason for his buckteeth: at age 12, he still sucks his thumb. His frustration at not being able to stop his habit, and at being a disappointment to his father, drives him to become the class troublemaker. He makes the life of his teacher, Henia, a misery, but he doesn't know that she too has a secret: she is extremely ill and will soon have to stop teaching.
The stories of each of these characters unfold slowly, revealing their secrets - not only to the reader, but also to each other. The relief they feel when they unload their heavy burdens teaches us that although dark secrets may seem justified, they are damaging in the long run. Sharing these secrets, the protagonists learn both the value of truth, and of compassion and friendship.
Illustrations: David Kedem