Tag archives for Siblings
BOOK NAME: Mockingbird
AUTHOR: Kathryn Erskine
When Caitlin Smith, a 10 year old girl who suffers from Asperger’s Syndrome, experiences the tragedy of her brother Devon being murdered in a middle school shooting, she is desperate to find closure. Yet as she looks for closure, she realizes that this is not something simple to grasp. Her father, a widower, is still in terrible depression and grief over the loss of his son. Although Mrs. Brook, the school counselor, has sessions with Caitlin and tries to help her through this tough time, Caitlin still feels like no one understands her.
Before his tragic death, Devon was an eagle scout. He was working on making a chest as part of this position. The chest remains unfinished in the living room of the Smith home, and Caitlin’s father even puts a sheet over it. Caitlin tries to convince her father to finish the chest, yet he is still not ready.
In school, Caitlin has trouble with friends. No one wants to befriend her because of her syndrome and because they do not want to create an awkward situation after the loss of her brother. Caitlin doesn’t think she will ever find a friend, until she meets Michael, the son of the principal of Devon’s middle school, who had also been killed in the shooting. Could Michael be her first friend?
Throughout the book, Caitlin tries to deal with the troubles of her life. She works hard to adapt to life without her brother. Towards the end, Caitlin begins to understand what finding closure is all about.
I really enjoyed this book. It is a little tough, so I would recommend it to anyone ages 10 and up. Caitlin’s story is inspiring. I learned so much from the way she deals with the challenges in her life.
BOOK NAME: Tall Story
AUTHOR: Candy Gourlay
This book is about a boy named Bernardo who was very short for much of his childhood and then magically grew to be eight feet tall when he was teenager. When he suddenly grew that tall, the earthquakes mysteriously stopped on the island in the Philippines where he lived with his aunt and uncle. When he was told he could move to England to live with his mother, step-father and half-sister, Andi (who are all pretty short), the people on the island begged him to stay because they were afraid the earthquakes would return with him not there. Bernardo’s sister was both surprised and disturbed by how tall he was. She was an exceptional basketball player, and wouldn’t let her below-average height bother her because she never missed a single shot. Meanwhile, Bernardo could just stand there and tip the ball into the hoop without trying. Life became very hard for Bernardo in school and at home, including his relationship with his sister. He eventually told her the story of how he became so tall and she found it very thrilling. You’ll have to read the book for yourself to find out how he grew so fast.
I liked how the book was written from both Bernardo’s and Andi’s perspectives. Every other chapter was from the other’s perspective, which gave it a lot more voice than if the author hadn’t done this. It was better than just writing it in the third person.
BOOK NAME: Tangerine
AUTHOR: Edward Bloor
Paul Fisher is a pretty nerdy-looking kid. It’s mainly because of the thick, Coke-bottle like glasses he has to wear since he lost some of his eyesight in an accident as a child. Paul was perfectly happy with his home in Houston, Texas, having friends he enjoyed spending his time with. However, all that changed when he moved to Tangerine, Florida, in the 7th grade. Florida was quite different from Texas with its muck fires and sink holes. But Paul really doesn’t mind all of those things though. What does bother him is his older brother, Erik. Erik is a high school football star and his dad has plans from him to join the pros one day. In fact, the family is so focused on the “Fisher Football dream” that they don’t see what Erik is really like. Erik has a dark side and to get what he wants, he will do anything. He puts on a nice act when adults are around, but even then he is scheming. Ever since Paul was a child he has been in constant fear of Erik. As Erik’s actions become more and more terrible, it is up to Paul to show his parents what sort of person Erik really is.
Paul finds that the one good thing about moving is that he can look forward to soccer at his new school. At his old school he didn’t make the team, so moving presents an opportunity to do what he loves instead of being overshadowed by Erik. Along the way, Paul learns lots of life’s lessons from his new classmates.
There is a lot of symbolism in this book, so try to think about the actual meaning of the text and how the symbols enhance the story. I was impressed with the action and how intense the story was. This is one of the best books I have read in a long time and it will engross you from start to finish.
BOOK NAME: Dork Diaries: Tales from a Not-So-Fabulous Life
AUTHOR: Rachel Renee Russell
Dork Diaries is a charming book that accounts the story of a “dork” trying to survive middle school, which just about anyone in middle school (like me) can appreciate. It recognizes the very hard lives of tweens everywhere. No character type is overlooked in this book: mean popular girls, embarrassing parents, annoying little sisters, dorky best friends, and let’s not forget those heart -throbbing crushes.
I first heard of this book because it was a nominee for Favorite Book Series for the Kids Choice Awards. Since I was running out of book ideas, I gave it a try. Looking at the cover and format I initially thought I was holding a bad version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid. But it actually turned out to be an amazing book that was very unique from Diary of a Wimpy Kid. Since the main character of this book, Nikki Maxwell, is female, the target audience is mostly girls. But I think guys should read it too! I fell in love with Nikki and I could relate a lot to what she said. It is a real page turner that will have you charmed and waiting for the next one. I love the adorable drawings that they since the really help you visualize the story a lot better. I read at the end of the book that the author has daughters that help her with the pictures and story, so no wonder it is so good! I like the idea that the story is coming from real tween dorks! After reading these books, I hope you will enjoy being a dork too.
BOOK NAME: Fudge-a-Mania
When Peter Hatcher and his family want to go on vacation, Peter does not expect it to be right next to his enemy, Sheila Tubman. Not only were their houses near each other, but when he got to Maine, Peter found out that their houses were CONNECTED! How would he survive living next to the entire Tubman family? His family was enough to have to deal with!
In Maine, Peter meets Mrs. A and Mitzi, who he later finds out are wife and daughter of Big Apfel (only the greatest baseball player ever)! Peter goes through many weird times, including the time where his little brother Fudge’s bird escapes, and he has to go find it. Fudge was so weird. So weird, that he even wished to marry Sheila! But at the end of the book, Sheila and Fudge don’t get married, someone else does!
I really liked this book. I think Judy Blume is a great author. She has a great sense of humor. My favorite character in the book was Mitzi. She doesn’t have such a big part in the storyline, but she’s just so cute! I wish I had a little sister just like her! I also liked the way Judy Blume portrays Fudge’s character. It’s such a typical five year old! I could think of many five year olds who are just like Fudge. Just as annoying, and just as crazy! Fudge-a-mania is a great book! All the characters are great!
Want another opinion? Read Isabel’s review.
BOOK NAME: Rules
AUTHOR: Cynthia Lord
This story is about a 12 year old named Catherine who longs for a normal life. But she has a brother, David, with autism and the spotlight is on him constantly. There’s always something that needs to be done for him: go to therapy, go to the doctor, etc… She thinks he makes her look bad in front of her friends all the time. That’s why she teaches her brother rules like “no toys in the fish tank,” “if it’s too loud cover your ears or ask the other person to be quiet,” “sometimes you got to work with what you got,” and other things to keep her brother in order. She learns never to trust a sibling unless your parents tell you to.
I would recommend this book to anyone because you can relate to the emotions being expressed in it. Its emotional scenes draw you right into the book. I also liked this book’s humor and easy style atmosphere. I thought the cover was very attractive too. I can relate to this book because I also have two siblings. They are not as predictable as Catherine’s, but can be just as annoying. In the end, she learns that just because David has autism, it doesn’t mean he’s not smart. Kind of reminds me of the saying “you can’t judge a book by its cover!”
BOOK NAME: Fudge-a-mania
AUTHOR: Judy Blume
This book is about two families that live in New York City, the Hatchers and Tubmans. The parents from each family like each other but the kids from each family do NOT like each other. The parents of the families decide to go to Maine for the summer. The kids think they are going live in houses next door to each other, like neighbors. This would be bad enough, but they actually have to live in the SAME house for the summer.
The main person in the story is Peter. He is the oldest kid in the Hatcher family and Fudge (not his real name) is the youngest. Sheila is the youngest kid in the Tubman family. Sheila and Peter are enemies. This makes for a lot of trouble during summer vacation. What makes it even harder is that Peter and Sheila are both given the job of taking care of Fudge during the summer and Fudge is a lot of work!
But it goes from bad to worse when Grandpa Tubman (Sheila’s grandpa) and Grandma Hatcher (Peter and Fudge’s grandma) decide to get married. This means Peter and Sheila, although they are sworn enemies, are now related and in the same family. But they made a promise that even though they are related, they will always hate each other!
I really liked this book. I tried to read it all at one time, but my parents told me I had stop reading and turn off my light since it was a school night!
BOOK NAME: Superfudge
AUTHOR: Judy Blume
is a fun book about a regular a boy named Peter and his brother named
Fudge. Fudge is going into kindergarten but he’s a little out of
control. Peter absolutely wants to have nothing to do with Fudge but
when he finds out that their mom is going to have another baby things
only get worse. On top of that, they are planning on moving for a year
out of the city. Peter tries to handle moving, two crazy siblings and
staying cool all at the same time, but things tend to get a little
I LOVED reading Superfudge! It was so much
fun to read all the wacky things that Fudge ends up doing. I am
definitely planning on reading the sequels to it. It was an easy read
so I could take a break from all of the other much harder books I have
for school. The book reminds me of my own life in a way that I am in
6th grade and Peter is too. My youngest brother Brady is SO the Fudge
of the family. He and Fudge are like wild childs. We really do have a
lot in common with them.
I rate this a FIVE out of FIVE! It
is a great read for people who like humorous fictional types of books
or Judy Blume’s others in the series. If you have a ‘Wild Child’ in
the family, tell me about it.