The Mail on Sunday - You - - Cover story -

Mr and Mrs Sweet looked at each other with con­cern as Chloe dis­ap­peared around the cor­ner. Chloe hadn’t SMILED at them on her way to school. And that was a very wor­ry­ing first.

As Chloe slouched along the road she saw a po­lice­man. She tried to muster a SMILE for him. It must be a very dif­fi­cult job and they are so brave, she thought. If any­one needs a SMILE it’s a po­lice­man. She looked at him, but found her­self only able to stare. And the po­lice­man didn’t look best pleased. She didn’t even look at the lol­lipop lady – who snapped at a small boy dawdling as he crossed the road and made him cry.

And there was a di­shev­elled Mr Brod­er­ick, ped­alling across the play­ground ahead of her, al­ready late for the start of his day be­cause that morn­ing his car had bro­ken down be­fore he’d even backed out of his drive; and the seat of the bike he’d jumped on had fallen off, so he’d come to work on his daugh­ter’s tiny pink bi­cy­cle shaped like a It was ex­actly the kind of sight guar­an­teed to make any child – not least one as hu­mor­ously in­clined as Chloe – but…

NOTH­ING. To­day, the world stayed grey. There was no doubt about it, Chloe had lost her smile. And she hadn’t a clue how, or where. Or in­deed what ON EARTH was go­ing to hap­pen to a girl with a LOST SMILE.

This is an edited ex­tract from The Girl With The Lost Smile by Mi­randa Hart, which will be pub­lished on 5 Oc­to­ber by Hod­der Chil­dren’s Books, price £12.99*

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