Alana Oakley returns with her high-school mates - Khalilah, Maddie and Sofia to face new challenges as a Year 8 student at Gibson High and, as usual, Mum isn't making it easy. You'd think, after winning a song-writing contest and meeting the world's hottest rock stars, that life in Year 8 would be sweet, but no, Mum, has other ideas - like getting caught speeding on national television. Alana goes from hero to zero faster than a Ferrari! Awful? It gets worse. Alana still has to dodge Nurse Cathy, get through Shakespeare Week, survive the soccer match against the undefeated Football Academy's Bruisers, and detention with their History teacher, Mrs Snell, who has a personal collection of medieval torture artefacts. When the gypsy cousin of Alana's superstitious friend, Sofia, predicts they will meet a tall, dark, mysterious stranger, Alana doesn't know who it's meant to be - Bad-Boy Flynn who has just started school or Teen Expert, Dr Gray, who starts dating her mum. There's something dodgy about both of them so Alana sets out to uncover the mysteries. But Alana gets more than she bargains for. She gets trouble. Double-trouble. Is Flynn the serial arsonist who is setting schools alight? Is Dr Gray a modern Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde? Can Alana solve the mysteries before her birthday? And will her birthday be another Epic Fail? All will be revealed in another of the chaotic adventures that Alana calls Life. Welcome back to her world!
Poppy Inkwell was born in the Philippines and immigrated to Australia three years later. She grew up in Campbelltown and graduated from the University of Sydney with a BA in Asian Studies. She has worked as a DJ, an interpreter, PR guru and taught English to ASEAN diplomats in Brunei. Her five children inspired an interest in children and creativity which led to a Masters in Learning Innovation (Early Childhood) from QUT, the development of PicassoPlay (an art playgroup for toddlers) and a transition-to-school program which she ran at an International School. She has sky-dived - once.