The Secret of Haven Point by Lisette Auton, illustrated by Valentina Toro


Alpha was the first to arrive on the shores of Haven Point. A baby in a soap flake box, she was the first of many Wrecklings that would come to live safely under the watch of their faithful Cap’n in his lighthouse. Legends of mermaids singing their siren songs, luring ships inland are told around the fire to the younger members as they learn, unaware of the truth the stories hold and the myths that bind their community together.

It’s a harmonious life for Alpha, her best friend Badger, the mermaids and all the Wrecklings, until she sees a glint on the coastline, a shimmer of something that doesn’t belong there. A feeling of unease and ‘being watched’ follows her around until the unimaginable happens – there’s a stranger on the cliffs!

Alpha has no recollection of her mum, a faceless shape that haunts her dreams (that are more like nightmares) as memories of that fateful night take over her sleep once again. Scars cover her face, a constant reminder of the fire that nearly ended her life when she was a baby. Could this stranger be her mum? Could the shimmer be a signal? A communication – she tries her best not to hope, that questions that have kept her awake into the night as she has wondered about her family may now be answered. As Badger and Alpha investigate the interloper, their world is thrown upside down when secrets unfold that not only threaten their very existence but also reveal their underworld friends to an unforgiving world.

Can Alpha find out who has endangered her friends? Can she even trust them when she learns there’s a mole in the camp? Everything she does spirals out of control and she must stop her world from falling apart if she and her friends are to survive!

Lisette Auton’s enthralling novel will have the reader on the edge of their seat as they follow Alpha on her tense yet thought-provoking quest to find out the truth. Seamlessly weaving clues through the chapters, Lisette will have you guessing until the very end.

With stunning illustrations from Valentina Toro, ‘The Secrets of Haven Point’ will never be far from your thoughts, even after you turn the last page.

As you will see from her acknowledgements (one of my favourite parts of a book), Lisette is a disabled writer, as are all the characters in this book. They are all children going on adventures I can only dream of doing one day. Her lived experience and the research she has done, make this book one of the most important and much-needed MG novels I have ever reviewed. Her sensitive and honest attention to detail ensures the reader will look beyond the characters disabilities and consider how awesome these young people are, on the page and beyond. I wish this book had been around when my brother was young, it would’ve shown him that having wheels (his words) or using BSL (British Sign Language) is a positive thing and that he could see himself in a book and be transported to another world too.

Thank you for writing this book and to Puffin who published it. In my opinion, education and inclusivity are what drives change. I hope this book paves the way for many more published stories filled with such hope and diversity.


Lisette Auton
Valentina Toro
Puffin Books

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