Ten Ways to Make My Sister Disappear

Ten Ways to Make My Sister Disappear

4.3 11
by Norma Fox Mazer
     
 

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It's little sister vs. big in this fresh take on a classic struggle by a master storyteller.

Everything ten year-old Sprig wants, her older sister Dakota already has. Everything Sprig does, Dakota does better. And anytime Sprig complains, Dakota just grins and calls her a baby. It’s enough to make a kid wish her sister would disappear.

But in a year when

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Overview


It's little sister vs. big in this fresh take on a classic struggle by a master storyteller.

Everything ten year-old Sprig wants, her older sister Dakota already has. Everything Sprig does, Dakota does better. And anytime Sprig complains, Dakota just grins and calls her a baby. It’s enough to make a kid wish her sister would disappear.

But in a year when Sprig’s father is away, her favorite neighbor is ill, and the class bully is acting almost like, well, a boyfriend, Sprig discovers that allies come in unexpected shapes. Sometimes they’re even related to you.

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Like Beverly Cleary before her, Mazer catches the intense love-hate relationship that can develop between siblings in the way they separate and reconnect; she also retains a pitch-perfect ear for the way siblings today speak to each other. . . . [T]he sisters’ reconciliation at the end rings completely true." -- Horn Book

"A master at describing family dynamics, Mazer reveals the ups and downs of middle-school friendship, as well. This contemporary addition to her admirable body of work should bring new readers." -- Kirkus Reviews

"The author excels at depicting the complexity of preteens' emotions and relationships, especially sibling relationships; many readers will recognize their own feelings here." -- Publishers Weekly

Publishers Weekly

Mazer's (What I Believe) engaging if somewhat familiar novel centers on a 10-year-old girl's mixed feelings for her older sister. Sprig and Dakota used to play and giggle together, "but when Dakota turned twelve in August? Boom, just like that, something fell out of the sky and hit her on the head, she also turned bossy and know-it-all." Sprig's resentment intensifies when their father, an architect/engineer, leaves on a lengthy business trip that later extends (without so much as a quick flight home) to a month or two in Afghanistan. Dakota chides Sprig for crying when she misses their father, and when Sprig worries out loud about the dangers of Kabul, Dakota tells her she's being stupid. And why does Dakota get to talk to Dad first each time he calls home? Mazer weaves in subplots that are slightly too neat-Sprig visits an elderly neighbor (whose attention the sisters compete for) at just the right moment to save her from a stroke; a fight, also well-timed, with her best friend teaches Sprig the perils of jealousy-and she wraps up the conflicts rather tidily. But the author excels at depicting the complexity of preteens' emotions and relationships, especially sibling relationships; many readers will recognize their own feelings here. Ages 9-12. (Sept.)

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School Library Journal

Gr 4-6 Sprig's world would be great if only she could make her older sister go away. Tired of Dakota's teasing and telling her how to behave, the 10-year-old copes by imagining creative ways to rid herself of her sibling, envisioning everything from baking her like a cookie to shipping her off to the Antarctic. Further distressing to her is the fact that her best friend is starting to notice boys, and this is leading to quarrels between them. Toss on top of that a father in Afghanistan and a neighbor who falls ill before her eyes-it's no wonder Sprig frequently breaks down in tears. Captured in these trying relationships are deeper understandings of the dynamics of friendship and sisterhood. Important lessons about decision-making and age-appropriate responsibility are effortlessly delivered. Sprig learns that jealousy and anger are poor companions and that seemingly insurmountable differences can sometimes lead to surprising unions. This entertaining and true-to-life book is an excellent introduction to the world of boys, sibling rivalry, and loyalty. Mazer's telling of age-old struggles will easily find a home with reluctant readers and sisters alike.-Erin Schirota, Bronxville Public Library, NY

Kirkus Reviews
Constantly upstaged by her older sister, ten-year-old Sprig enjoys imagining the ways she might get rid of her. Once her friend, 12-year-old Dakota seems to have become her personal tormentor. Perfectly capturing the constant bickering that is part of the daily life of siblings, each chapter describes incidents that both drive them apart and bring them together. But Sprig is bothered by more than sibling rivalry. She misses her traveling father, worries about his working in Afghanistan, doesn't care for the new long-term substitute teacher, quarrels and makes up with her best friend, tries to stop crying so often and begins to think about boys. Tween readers will recognize this stage of life, though the first friendly kisses and kissing games may surprise those who feel that fifth grade is early for these activities. A master at describing family dynamics, Mazer reveals the ups and downs of middle-school friendship, as well. This contemporary addition to her admirable body of work should bring new readers. (Fiction. 9-12)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780439839846
Publisher:
Scholastic, Inc.
Publication date:
05/01/2012
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.34(w) x 7.44(h) x 0.42(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

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