The Sorta Sisters

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Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Pat Trattles
Mica sent a janthina shell in her first letter to Anna, explaining how the shell drifts along the ocean currents, washing up on shore wherever the winds and waves take it. Both Anna and Mica have been adrift most of their lives, just like the janthina. Mica lives aboard a sailboat, traveling from port to port with her alcoholic father and going to school by mail. Anna has drifted from foster home to foster home never staying in one place long enough to develop lasting friendships. Though the two girls have never met, they quickly develop a pen pal relationship, discover they have a lot in common, and become best friends. Plus, it looks like this may be the year it all turns around and they both find some permanency in their lives. Though it is not final yet, Anna hopes to be adopted by her current foster mom, Ms. J., and Mica and her dad have moored at Bert's Marina for a year thanks to a research grant he just received. Told in multiple points of view alternating among Anna, Mica, Ms. J., and marina owner, Aunt Emma, this is a wonderfully told story exploring the universal theme of searching for one's rightful place in the world. Hand drawn sketches of the nature items each sends with their letters add to the text. Reviewer: Pat Trattles
Joy Frerichs
Two girls, two worlds, but so much in common. Mica lives on a houseboat in southern Florida with a marine scientist father, and Anna lives in northern Florida with a foster mom who is a science teacher. Both girls love science and are hoping to find a true friend. They become pen pals and share much of their lives. Each letter includes a token from nature that they think is interesting. Their friendship brings both girls joy and sorrow, but we see the girls' lives change as time passes. Life does not always have perfect answers, but it can provide challenges and resolution. Students can identify with so many aspects of this book—dysfunctional families, alcoholism, loneliness, friendship, and rejection. This book will find many eager readers. Reviewer: Joy Frerichs
School Library Journal

Gr 4-8
This third book in Fogelin's "neighborhood" series can stand alone, and the ending makes it clear that this enjoyable saga will continue. Mica, 11, is living with her marine-biologist father on a boat in the Florida Keys when she begins to exchange letters with 12-year-old Anna, who lives in Tallahassee with her latest foster mom, science teacher Miss Johnette. The correspondence was suggested by a mutual friend, Ben, whose family visited the marina where Mica lives, and who felt that the girls shared much in common. The pen pals, who sign many of their letters "Your (sorta) sister," form a friendship that sustains them through unsettling times. Anna has been bounced around between friends and family since she was two. She hopes to be adopted by Miss Johnette, yet struggles with the budding romance between her "almost mom" and clumsy Mr. Webster. Mica is nervous about starting regular school for the first time (she has been homeschooled) and is troubled by her father's alcoholic binges. Because of the girls' love of nature, each letter contains a specimen native to the sender's environment, along with its background, Latin name, and an accurate pencil-and-ink illustration.
—D. Maria LaRoccoCopyright 2006 Reed Business Information.

Kirkus Reviews
Anna lives in Tallahassee, Fla., with Miss Johnette. She has lived in a string of foster homes since her parents's death, but she hopes Miss J will become her adoptive mother. Mica lives on a sailboat in the Florida Keys with her alcoholic father, whom she calls The Captain. The two girls become pen pals and their bond strengthens as they discover their similarities: They share a love of science, they both move around a lot and have only one parent. They call themselves "sorta sisters." Their friendship endures some bumps as Mica is distracted by a new friend and Anna struggles with sharing Miss J with a suitor, Mr. Webster. The two girls finally meet when Mica comes to stay with Anna while her father enters rehab. Fogelin offers a readable combination of narrative and letters that are infused with details about science, as the girls send seed pods, shells and other specimens to each other. Readers will appreciate the pen-pal friendship and the hopeful ending. (Fiction. 10-14)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781561454242
  • Publisher: Peachtree Publishers, Ltd.
  • Publication date: 10/28/2007
  • Pages: 279
  • Sales rank: 1,394,033
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 760L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 6.61 (w) x 8.83 (h) x 0.90 (d)

Customer Reviews

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