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Review: My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

June 5, 2015

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

Ten year old Jamie has just moved with his father and older sister Jas.  Jas had a twin sister, Rose, who was killed in a terrorist bombing five years before and that horrific event has changed their family forever.  Jamie’s mom has left the family and his dad is mainly absent, so Jas is helping Jamie as much as she can.  Still, Jamie longs to see his mother and wants to please his father.

Jamie really doesn’t remember Rose or the bombing and he doesn’t want everyone at his new school to know about it.  He meets a wonderful new friend, but knows his dad won’t approve of her so he’s not quite sure what to do.

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher is a wonderful YA book that is full of heart and soul.  Jamie’s life has been forever changed by an event that he barely remembers.  He’s sad about what happened, but he’s ready to move on, even if the rest of his family is not and he works hard to blend in at his new school.  That’s not always easy but his new friend helps and it hurts him that he has to keep her a secret.

I adored Jamie!  He’s earnest and sincere and wants to be known as someone other than the kid whose sister died in a terrorist attack.  He hopes to be like everyone else at his school so he tries to keep his past hidden from his classmates.  I thought Pitcher nailed the voice of a young boy going through such struggles and I rooted for him as I read his story.  David Tennant does a marvelous job narrating this wonderful book and I thought he brought Jamie to life.

There’s a lot to discuss in My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece including friendship, prejudices, grief, and relationships so I think it would be a terrific book for a book club discussion.  I know I talked about it a lot as I read it.  Because of some of the topics the book touches on, I’d recommend this book to older teens on up.  In fact, I think it’s a must read!

kid konnection newI will link this up to Booking Mama’s Saturday feature, Kid Konnection. If you’d like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children’s books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, leave a comment as well as a link on her site.

My friend Julie sent me this book.  I am an Indiebound Affiliate.


21 Comments leave one →
  1. June 5, 2015 4:56 am

    I’ve read reviews do this book for a long time. I always thought it must be a bit too sad for me.

  2. June 5, 2015 6:34 am

    Sounds like a wonderful book for older teens.

  3. June 5, 2015 6:42 am

    My niece is still a little young for this, but I’d like to read it myself.

  4. June 5, 2015 7:08 am

    Thanks for putting this one on my radar!

  5. June 5, 2015 7:44 am

    I remember hearing about this one awhile ago, it sounds like a terrific book.

  6. June 5, 2015 9:05 am

    This sounds fantastic. I cannot imagine how hard it would be to move on from such a tragedy…and when you don’t remember it well, it might be easier, though you still have to be wary of other family members’ feelings. Great review.

  7. Patty permalink
    June 5, 2015 10:50 am

    It sounds very soulful!

  8. June 5, 2015 3:29 pm

    Wow a must-read! Sounds really great.

  9. June 5, 2015 3:38 pm

    thank you for your thoughts.

  10. June 5, 2015 4:28 pm

    Hmmm, sure maybe

  11. June 5, 2015 6:18 pm

    I picked this book up based on the title. Need to dig it out of the stacks.

  12. Diane permalink
    June 5, 2015 7:47 pm

    Oh wow — very cool title and story.

  13. June 5, 2015 7:51 pm

    Kathy, this really does sound compelling. Excellent, brief review!

  14. Beth F permalink
    June 6, 2015 7:53 am

    I remember loving the audiobook of this. Tough issues, some very sad moments, but in the end redemptive.

  15. June 7, 2015 9:28 am

    This sounds really good, although also kind of sad. I think lots of us can relate to the idea of having life impacted by something we hardly understand or remember, although certainly not this extreme.

  16. June 7, 2015 2:30 pm

    Interesting. I don’t think I;ve read a story about the after effects of a terror attack on a family.

  17. June 7, 2015 7:57 pm

    I think this book sounds terrific! I will have to give it a try.

  18. June 7, 2015 9:15 pm

    When I first saw this book a few weeks ago, I was intrigued by the title alone. Yours is the first review I have seen and I definitely want to read it now!

  19. Literary Feline permalink
    June 8, 2015 3:19 pm

    Like Stacie, the title itself is quite a draw. Your review of this one has me very curious about the book, Kathy. It sounds like a worthwhile read.

  20. June 9, 2015 9:40 am

    Now of course, I have to read this!

  21. bookingmama permalink
    June 12, 2015 7:39 am

    I am so glad you finally got around to this one. I knew you’d love it. Such a special book with so many thought-provoking themes!

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