My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece


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Narrated by ten year old Jamie, a stunning debut novel about the tragedy that tears apart his family after a terrorist attack, and how they rebuild their lives.

About the Author

Annabel Pitcher studied English at Oxford and has since worked as a script writer and an English teacher. She lives in Yorkshire with her husband. MY SISTER LIVES ON THE MANTELPIECE was her first novel. She is a full-time writer.


I loved this book because it is one of the few books that have made me cry. Yet it still has an uplifting theme of hope which carries you through the sad moments. I couldn't put this book down but not because it is action packed, not because it is frightening and not because it's exciting just because you can't stop reading until you know Jamie will be OK. [READING ZONE - Rosie, Age 13](cont) Another thing I love is how contemporary issues such as racism, divorce and terrorism are explored through the eyes of a family Affected by all of them. A really great book and I can't wait for the next book by this new writer. [READING ZONE - Rosie, Age 13]I think that the book is very interestINg because it shows how some people cope, or fail to cope with difficult situations... this book stirs up the emotions we face when challenged by split loyalties betweens friends and families. [James, Age 12]I thought the plot was really clever. I like the way that the plot was based around true events that occured... also it is based on things that happen in life in this age... [Ruhaan, Age 12]it is fantastic. Sad but fantastic - I loved it! [READING ZONE - Tonicha, Age 12]

In this powerfully honest, quirkily humorous debut novel, first published in the U.K., 10-year-old narrator Jamie and his family are still dealing with his sister Rose's death in a terrorist bombing five years earlier. After Rose's twin, Jas, stakes her independence by dying her hair pink on her 15th birthday, the family falls apart-their mother runs off with another man, and their alcoholic father moves from London to the Lake District with the children, where he lavishes attention on Rose's urn. (In one of many heartbreaking details, Rose's parents cremated part of their daughter's remains and buried the rest, a devastating metaphor for the family's ongoing inability to handle the tragedy.) Jamie's pivotal friendship with a Muslim girl, Sunya, is a standout. Pitcher tackles grief, prejudice, religion, bullying, and familial instability through the unsentimental voice of a boy who loves Spider-Man and Manchester United, misses his mother, and-truth be told-doesn't remember his dead sister all that well. The adults in Pitcher's story may be a mess, but the kids are all right. Ages 12-up. Agent: Catherine Clarke, Felicity Bryan Literary Agency. (Aug.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.

Gr 7 Up-Five years ago, Jamie's sister Rose was killed in a terrorist bombing, and his family has since crumbled. An urn containing Rose's ashes is an ever-present reminder of the tragedy. Jamie, 10, doesn't remember Rose, and would rather play football or watch Spiderman than dwell on her death. Looming larger are his mother's absence, his father's alcoholism, and his sister's disorder. At his new school, Jamie becomes the target of a cruel bully. The one bright spot in the boy's life is his friendship with classmate Sunya, a delightful Muslim girl who sticks up for him and shares his love of superheroes. But even this causes conflict, because weren't Muslims responsible for the bombing that killed his sister and shattered his family? Jamie chooses to see past his father's unrealistic prejudice with the hope of having his first loyal friend. The ending isn't perfect, but Jamie's family does learn to better manage their grief and face other problems that have been tearing them apart. Annabel Pitcher's compelling tale (Little, Brown 2012) authentically presents death, friendship, prejudice, and other complex issues as experienced through a child's unique-and sometimes naive-perspective. Situations ring painfully true, and the characters are exceptionally well-drawn, particularly Jamie and Sunya. Narrator David Tennant sounds too mature to portray young Jamie, and he does little to vary his voice for other characters. Tinkling piano music between chapters distracts from the story. The print version of this book is a must-have, but skip the audiobook.-Alissa Bach, Oxford Public Library, MI (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

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