A sister, a cat, Girl M and Spiderman

Starting off in London, Jamie and his broken down family are still grieving for his sister who died in the London bombings 5 years before the book starts.  Her presence is pervasive, and her ashes live on the mantelpiece.  Jamie’s father is unable to let go, and has taken to drinking.  His mother has left home and  Jamie is desperate to have her back.  Jas, Jamie’s older sister and the twin of Rose the sister who was killed, has stopped eating.   The father decides they all have to leave London, with one of the motivating factors being that he won’t have to look at any Muslims, for whom he now has a violent hatred, blaming them for Rose’s death.  All of this sounds grim, and the book is obviously sad in parts, but the voice of Jamie is lively and engaging.  He actually hardly remembers Rose, being very young when she died, and so he sometimes forgets that he is supposed to be sad all of the time.  As an outsider in their new home, Jamie befriends another outsider, Sunya, a Muslin girl.  Of course he has to keep this from his father, for fear of his reaction.  There is no really happy ending with this, but the characters do for the most part, come to a point where they can move on from their family tragedy.

The story has moments of great humour to lighten the sadness, and is an excellent book.  For ages 12 up.  Hardback, $25


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Filed under Young Adult (14+)

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