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True Confessions of a Heartless Girl

This young adult novel by Martha Brooks won the Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature in 2002.

Martha Brooks

Noreen Stall, a 17-year-old self-proclaimed "heartless girl," is in trouble: pregnant and on the run from her boyfriend, Wesley, the only kind boy she's ever known. Now, Noreen is stranded in the local café in a tiny farming town. Lynda, the café's manager, has her own demons, having fled an abusive relationship with her young son. Against her better judgement, Lynda takes Noreen in, and the troubled girl's life starts to bleed into the town's cast of characters, from the town grandmother to the rangy cowboy. True Confessions of a Heartless Girl won the 2002 Governor General's Literary Award for young people's literature.

True Confessions of a Heartless Girl is for readers ages 15 and up.

From the book

The shoulders sagged. There were ragged moons of metallic orange on her fingernails — probably the remains of a home manicure done with cheap shiny polish, the kind that curdles quickly in the bottle. she looked to be around seventeen — a familiar age. Lynda was transported back to the English class she had taught, it now seemed a lifetime ago, at a high school in Winnipeg's inner city. There a haunted look could mean anything: alcoholic parents, hunger, an abusive boyfriend, drugs, troubles with the law, the old downward spiral. Fear clung to this girl as well, and this, too, was familiar — as though she had done something wrong and was a breath away from being caught.


From True Confessions of a Heartless Girl by Martha Brooks ©2002. Published by Groundwood Books.