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2015 Nominee
Voted 7 out of 20

Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden

By Jill MacLean. Published in 2013 by Fitzhenry and Whiteside

Sigrid Sugden is a Shrike, a member of one of the toughest group of girls in school. They are experts at blackmail, extortion and bullying their terrorized classmates.
But one day, the Shrikes go too far. Sigrid realizes that their favourite victim, Prinny Murphy, is in real danger. She makes a decision that will save Prinny from danger but will turn the Shrikes anger and bullying against the former friend who betrayed them to the authorities.
For Sigrid, this is a transformative moment. She wants to be a better person and begins to reflect on the events that led to her being a Shrike. Participating in their mean pranks made her feel powerful and safe. But now, she realizes she needs and wants to turn over a new leaf – make new friends and be kinder to others. But overcoming her badgirl image is a whole lot harder to do than she originally thought. No one likes her, no one trusts her – no one is willing to give her a second chance. But then an unlikely ally comes forward to help her convince the rest of the students at school that she really does want to be a better person – her former victim, Prinny Murphy.

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5 thoughts on “Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden

  1. Alice Jamieson Girls' Academy

    This book captured our attention. It was interesting because it dealt with a topic that we see every day (bullying).

    Reply
  2. Montrose

    Out of the 5 books that read this one is my favorite. I like how Sigird Sugden tries to mend her ways after she becomes a Shriek.
    Not many people trusted Sigrid. Ok, pretty much no one trusted Sigrid and I get why but people should let people once a bully now a friend a chance.
    Bullying is wrong but mending your ways is something all bullies should try.
    I like how at the end Sigrid starts to dance.

    Reply
  3. Hillhurst School

    “I’m no Shrike. Not anymore. I’m Sigrid the Avenger.”

    The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden is third in a series of books by Jill MacLean. It is a medium-length novel perfect for anyone, youth or adult, to read. It is told from the perspective of Sigrid Sugden, a teenaged girl who is a member of the Shrikes – a group of the three meanest female bullies in the school. They blackmail their victims to get money in all sorts of ways, from threats of leaking embarrassing photos to the Internet to threats to beat up siblings – or the victim herself. But when one of their victims is put in serious danger, Sigrid realizes the real danger in what she’s doing and tries to turn over a new leaf, but it is not easy. She has turned her bully friends into enemies, and no one at school trusts her anymore. And now she is busy with family problems. Will someone step forward to comfort her?
    This wonderfully told story teaches many good lessons, and some readers may find relationships between themselves and the characters. The author uses many points of view to show the reader things like how it feels to be bullied, how hard it is to stop bullying, how hard it is to make friends after having stopped bullying, and even how it feels to be a bully. For example, Sigrid is narrating the story, but there are some stories within her story told by other characters, like the other two Shrikes or the trio’s victims. Even Sigrid’s own flashbacks during the story seem like someone else speaking, because she views herself so differently than she used to.
    A final big lesson taught in the story is what it feels like to try befriending a bully, and how that can trigger something called a “snowball effect”, where one person does something, then more and more people try it, adding to the size of the virtual snowball of people. This topic surfaces in the story because, believe it or not, Sigrid and her friends Tate & Mel are not the only bullies in the school. There is another bully, a boy, at their school. He is not part of a group, but still makes enough trouble to match the three girls. Yet, his primary victim discovers his disturbing motive for bullying, and attempts to befriend him. And the “snowball effect”? You’ll figure that out for yourself once you read the book!
    The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden was definitely worth the time to read, and I strongly recommend it to readers young and old, and maybe even for teachers to put on reading lists. I really hope this book wins the Rocky Mountain Book Award for 2015 (I voted for it!). Thank you for taking the time to read this review.

    Reply
  4. Hillhurst School

    “I’m no Shrike. Not anymore. I’m Sigrid the Avenger.”
    The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden is third in a series of books by Jill MacLean. It is a medium-length novel perfect for anyone, youth or adult, to read. It is told from the perspective of Sigrid Sugden, a teenaged girl who is a member of the Shrikes – a group of the three meanest female bullies in the school. They blackmail their victims to get money in all sorts of ways, from threats of leaking embarrassing photos to the Internet to threats to beat up siblings – or the victim herself. But when one of their victims is put in serious danger, Sigrid realizes the real danger in what she’s doing and tries to turn over a new leaf, but it is not easy. She has turned her bully friends into enemies, and no one at school trusts her anymore. And now she is busy with family problems. Will someone step forward to comfort her?
    This wonderfully told story teaches many good lessons, and some readers may find relationships between themselves and the characters. The author uses many points of view to show the reader things like how it feels to be bullied, how hard it is to stop bullying, how hard it is to make friends after having stopped bullying, and even how it feels to be a bully. For example, Sigrid is narrating the story, but there are some stories within her story told by other characters, like the other two Shrikes or the trio’s victims. Even Sigrid’s own flashbacks during the story seem like someone else speaking, because she views herself so differently than she used to.
    A final big lesson taught in the story is what it feels like to try befriending a bully, and how that can trigger something called a “snowball effect”, where one person does something, then more and more people try it, adding to the size of the virtual snowball of people. This topic surfaces in the story because, believe it or not, Sigrid and her friends Tate & Mel are not the only bullies in the school. There is another bully, a boy, at their school. He is not part of a group, but still makes enough trouble to match the three girls. Yet, his primary victim discovers his disturbing motive for bullying, and attempts to befriend him. And the “snowball effect”? You’ll figure that out for yourself once you read the book!
    The Hidden Agenda of Sigrid Sugden was definitely worth the time to read, and I strongly recommend it to readers young and old, and maybe even for teachers to put on reading lists. I really hope this book wins the Rocky Mountain Book Award for 2015 (I voted for it!). Thank you for taking the time to read this review.

    Reply
  5. Hillhurst School

    You are a former bully, you totally regret your actions, and so far, nobody is giving you a second chance.
    Sigrid Sugden is a member of the Shrikes, a group of female bullies. However, every time the Shrikes torture their classmates, Sigrid feels guiltier. One day, when the Shrikes almost drown their main victim (yes, literally), Sigrid realizes that if she stays a member of the Shrikes, her future may not be what she wants it to be. Therefore, Sigrid musters up the courage to quit the group. Sigrid tries to make new friends and stick up for more people, but no one is giving her a second chance. Nobody is going to trust her and they are still afraid of her. Also, Sigrid is afraid to admit to her only friend (who moved away) that she is a member of the Shrikes. To make things worse, Sigrid is having family issues. On top of that, Mel and Tate (the other group members of the Shrikes) start bullying Sigrid. Soon, things start to get violent. Can things get any worse?
    My favourite part of this book was AFTER the Shrikes almost drown their victim:
    “Standing by the window, I watch them walk down the path. As Tate heads east and Mel west, they vanish into the fog.
    Please, Prinny, be safe…”
    This was my favourite part because without this, the story wouldn’t form. This was when Sigrid realizes that she should “turn over a new leaf.” When I read this part, I could almost feel the pressure that Sigrid would have. I could imagine that scene in my head. Also, Sigrid wanted Prinny (their main victim) to be safe.
    I believe that this book is conveying the harmful aspects of being a bully. It appears that the author is also trying to tell us to give people a second chance. This is because you would have to give Sigrid a second chance as a friend, and not a bully.
    I really enjoyed this book because it shows how sometimes even a bully will feel weak and defeated. However, sometimes this book was a bit sad because nobody would give Sigrid a second chance. This book also dealt with a topic that is a big problem for many students: bullying.
    I strongly recommend this book to kids from the age of 8-16 who would like a good book to curl up with. This can also be for anyone who is a bully that regrets their actions. Of course, this would be a good book for anyone, including adults.

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