Monday, October 31, 2011

Marvelous Middle Grade Monday: The Sorta Sisters

I don't have anything with creep or scare for you today, but since it's Halloween, you may be on the prowl for that, so I'll refer you to my review of The Owl Keeper which you can find here. What I do have for you today is a book about finding where you belong, something at the heart of middle graders (as well as the rest of us).

The Sorta Sisters, written by Adrian Fogelin and published in 2007, is the story of two girls, neither of whom has a steady place to call home. Mica lives on a boat with her father and travels from place to place. Anna has hopped from foster home to foster home. In the course of this story, the girls become friends (and sorta sisters) through letters, and though their lives are different, they are also sorta the same.

The premise: Mica leads an exciting life, at least she's always thought so. Following her father on his ocean adventures and homeschooling have kept her happy. Anna's life, on the other hand, has kept her in limbo--until she met Miss J, who actually wants Anna to live with her, for good. When Mica's father gets a research grant, Mica has to go to school, the first of many changes for her. For Anna, life with Miss J is better than she ever dreamed, except Anna fears that good things don't last. And then Miss J starts spending time with a guy, and Anna knows she'll be the one left out.

What keeps readers reading: The friendship that develops between Mica and Anna. Led to one another by brothers, who both girls know, the boys suggest that the girls write to one another. Through pitch perfect voicing, alternating points of view, and letters between the girls, Adrian Fogelin shows how Mica and Anna grow, share their fears, make mistakes, and learn just what a friend is. The Sorta Sisters covers issues that both boys and girls are intrigued by (finding your place in the world, friendship struggles, problems with parents--to name a few), but it's girls who will truly identify with this story.

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Happy middle grade reading!


  1. Sounds like a great book, especially the part about Anna's life living in foster care. Thanks for sharing this.

  2. Why have I never seen this book?? Great review, Barbara. I love alternating points of view and books written in letters.

    (And I'm not fond of scary books myself, so it's nice to have something else to think about on Halloween!)

  3. Hmmm... interesting. This sounds like something I would've enjoyed when I was 12. I'm adding it to my list asap. Thanks for the feature :)

  4. Oh my,this books sounds so good! And love the title and the cover. thanks for letting us know about it! to check out Owl Keeper!

  5. I haven't heard of this one, but it sounds wonderful. Thanks for reviewing it, Barbara!! :-)

  6. I hadn't heard anything about this one either but found it while browsing my library's shelves earlier this fall. And knowing how hard it is to nail ONE voice while writing, the fact that there's TWO so right on is amazing.

  7. Sounds interesting. I always like reading a book with more than one point of view and how the author intersperses them.

  8. Sounds cute. Like Joanne and Jennifer - I appreciate altering points of view (done well). How to Disappear Completely and Never be Found is a recent MG review of mine that does it as well.

  9. I love MMGM and review like this that feature books I haven't heard of. You did a great job, Barbara, pointing out what makes it work so well. Thanks.


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