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.)Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information
Ten Ways to Make My Sister Disappearby 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 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.
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
"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
- Scholastic, Inc.
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Scholastic, Inc.
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 854 KB
- Age Range:
- 8 - 12 Years
Meet the Author
Norma Fox Mazer (1931-2009) grew up in Glens Falls, New York, in the foothills of the Adirondack Mountains. Norma was praised for her portrayal of characters with realistic problems and relationships that pull them out of struggles. Her books have received many awards, including a finalist for the National Book Award, a Lewis Carroll Shelf Award, the Christopher Medal, a Newbery Honor, and The Edgar.
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