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!