The Holly Sisters on Their Own

The Holly Sisters on Their Own

by Philippa Greene Mulford
While getting to know her half-sister who comes to spend the summer, twelve-year-old Charmaine gradually discovers that she and Cissa have a lot to learn from each other.


While getting to know her half-sister who comes to spend the summer, twelve-year-old Charmaine gradually discovers that she and Cissa have a lot to learn from each other.

Editorial Reviews

The ALAN Review - Tricia Pilcher
Charmaine is used to being an "only"; but, for the summer at least, she must give up some of the attention she gets from her parents to make room for her "stuck-up," older half-sister Cissa. As a sharp-witted New York City dweller, almost-12-year-old Charmaine is expected to entertain the more sophisticated and beautiful, but not so street-wise, Cissa. She also must share her room, her friends, her parents, and even her Granny. But she and Cissa seem so different that it seems as if they will never get along, until Charmaine comes to the realization that Cissa may also have something to share. The very real problem of sibling rivalry is explored here with the quirky humor that comes from Charmaine's voice as the narrator. The main conflict between the half sisters is resolved, though some readers may wonder what happened to certain episodes that are brought up and explored for a couple of chapters but then forgotten. Despite these unfinished story-lines, young female adolescents, probably those in grades five through seven, would find something to relate to in Charmaine's very honest character and in her relationship to Cissa.
School Library Journal - School Library Journal
Gr 5-8Charmaine Holly, age 11, has a problem. Her pretty, 13-year-old half-sister, Cissa, is coming from San Francisco for the summer. Charmaine, who feels that her own flour-sack figure and her wandering eye make her ugly, is as "sour as a kumquat" about the visit. As the sisters spend time together, they learn about divorce and remarriage, family relationships, growing up, and learning to accept yourself and others. Unfortunately, the plot never rings quite true, and the characters are sometimes stereotypical. Charmaine believes that Cissa finds New York City a frightening experience and feels "more sophisticated" for having grown up there. In addition, Cissa is amazed that Charmaine actually speaks to a homeless woman every day, worries about riding the subway, and seems dumbfounded when they encounter a street performer. For those who may be suffering from Van Winkle's Syndrome, here is an update: San Francisco is a Major Urban Area and children there are well acquainted with all that city life offers, whether culture or crime. The sisters gradually grow closer to one another as the story progresses, and, in the end, Cissa wants to stay with her father's family in New York. Then, the inevitable bombshell is dropped: Charmaine's parents are divorcing and the girls lean on one another to get through this new crisis. Perhaps that's where this story should have begun. There's more story potential in that than in the previous 150 or so pages.Roxanne Burg, Thousand Oaks Library, CA

Product Details

Cavendish, Marshall Corporation
Publication date:
Accelerated Reader Bks.
Edition description:
1 ED
Product dimensions:
5.73(w) x 8.55(h) x 0.68(d)
600L (what's this?)
Age Range:
10 - 14 Years

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