A few contemporary sibling stories to enjoy

Hi everyone, hope you enjoyed the earlier post this week. Here are a few other similar reads about siblings for you to check out. These stories all tackle some sort of serious issue in the most delicate manner thanks to some amazing writing from these authors. If anyone has come across any other contemporary stories about brothers and sisters, please let me know.

Four grid with three small on left with book cover images girl and boy in boat with dolphin in water red ibis boy sitting on chair on blue right A selection of contemporary sibling stories to enjoy!!
Sibling stories

Title: Scarlet Ibis

Author: Gill Lewis

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Oxford University Press; UK; 2014

What this book is about: Scarlet’s used to looking after her brother Red. He’s special – different. Every night she tells him his favourite story – about the day they’ll fly far away to the Caroni Swamp in Trinidad, where thousands of birds fill the sky. But when Scarlet and Red are split up and sent to live apart, Scarlet knows she’s got to do whatever it takes to get her brother back.

My review: An amazing, magical story. Every single chapter had me hooked; something kept happening and it took all of my energy to complete chores, and even sleep!! Shows you what some siblings would do for their own!! A wonderful heartwarming ending. The author’s note at the end about how there are kids in the UK who have to become primary carers for the rest of the family and miss their own childhood got me right in the gut. I love Gill Lewis’ use of imagery in this story. The idea of human migrations like the birds that take place around the world either through choice of or enforced displacement that she brings to light in this story brings home her point of belonging. Of how ‘home’ doesn’t have to be the actual house you live in but where you call ‘home’, where you belong, your place in the world. Scarlet and Red’s house is the Caroni swamp where the scarlet ibis fly to. I just loved this story and the way it was written. Just beautiful!! Inspiring and emotional on all levels.

My rating: 5 ⭐

Additional notes: This title was awarded the Little Rebels Award for Radical Children’s Fiction in 2015.

Title: How to speak dolphin

Author: Ginny Rorby

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Scholastic Press; NY, 2015

What this book is about: Adam’s crazy happy around dolphins. Lily loves her half-brother, Adam, but his autism has taken over her life. Lily can’t make friends or go out after school – caring for Adam has forced her to become as much mother as sister. All Lily wants is for her stepfather, Don, to acknowledge that Adam has a real issue, and to find some kind of program that can help him. When Adam has the opportunity to meet a young dolphin that was recently brought into captivity, Adam and the dolphin – Nori – bond instantly. Adam’s as happy as he’s ever been, and Don thinks that this is the answer to Adam’s problems. Though Lily sees how much Adam loves Nori, she also knows deep down that the dolphin shouldn’t spend the rest of her life in captivity, away from her own family. There’s got to be another answer for Adam. Can Lily help Nori regain her freedom without betraying her family? Award-winning author Ginny Rorby has created a deeply moving and important story about love, freedom, and letting go.

My review: A beautiful story. The bond and relationship that Lily and Adam have is quite special despite Adam’s autism. It had me in tears and cracking up with laughter!! A lovely story of love and friendship and standing up for what you believe in no matter the cost!!

My rating: 4 ⭐

Title: Still a work in progress

Author: Jo Knowles

Genre: Fiction – contemporary

Publication details: Candlewick Press; Somerville, MASS, 2016

What this book is about: Noah and his friends seems to have a pretty simple life in middle school. Their biggest problems are avoiding girls and figuring out how to dance. When it comes to girls, Ryan claims to know everything, while Sam doesn’t seem to know anything. But they both agree that Noah’s older sister, Emma, is perfect. Emma has always outshone Noah, and he’s mostly OK with that. It’s only in art class, where Noah is somehow able to coax beautiful forms out of blocks of clay, that he feels special. But Emma is far from perfect. The family tiptoes around the issue, afraid that the Thing They Don’t Talk About could happen again. When it does, it’s clear that nothing is going to be simple anytime soon. Noah will have to reconsider what’s important, who matters, and how to make his way in a complicated world, where it’s not only his art that’s still a work in progress.

My review: Wow!! What a great story!! Dealing with one of the most serious issues (eating disorders) that modern day teenagers have to contend with, in this story we see how it affects the whole family. Seen through Noah’s eyes as he tries to understand why his older sister would do this. Some very poignant tear-filled moments give way to hilarious scenes of drama as Noah’s school life overtakes him!! Told from Noah’s point of view, this book gave me an insight into this aspect of anorexia. A really good read!!

My rating: 4 ⭐

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