Gr 4-6-The Sisters Club consists of three girls, ages 8, 10, and 12, whose family is heavily involved in local theater. The Club dissolves and reunites through episodes of family life over four "acts" (in place of chapters) and an intermission. The narrative is carried by Stevie, the middle sister, in conventional type, but the other two siblings contribute through interesting graphic formats. Alex, the eldest, writes plays about their family, and Joey, the youngest, offers handwritten, illustrated journal entries on lined paper. These short entries, along with small pages, plenty of white space, and painted toenails on the hot pink cover, should appeal to most girls. The packaging will probably be enough to make up for details that don't always ring true, such as an 8-year-old saving for a cornhusk doll kit or a 12-year-old inviting her crush to a family dinner when she is just getting to know him.-Laurie von Mehren, Cuyahoga County Public Library, Parma, OH Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Being in the middle is like being invisible.
Especially when you're the middle sister in a family with three girls.
Think about it. The middle of a story is not the beginning or the end. The middle of a train is not the caboose or the engine.
The middle of a play is intermission. The middle of Monkey in the Middle is a monkey. The middle of Neapolitan ice cream is . . . vanilla.
"I'm vanilla!" I shouted one day to anybody who would listen. Plain old boring vanilla.
Nobody listened.Alex, my older sister, ignored me. She just kept writing stuff in the margins of her play script (what else is new!) and muttering the lines under her breath.
Easy for her. She's strawberry.
I was sick of it, so I told my family how I hate being the middle. Middle, middle, middle.
"Hey! The middle of 'Farmer in the Dell' is the cheese!" Joey, my younger sister, reminded me.
"The cheese stands alone," I reminded her back. Alex looked up. "There's a book about that, you know. I Am the Cheese."
Yeah. My autobiography, I thought. "Wait. You think you're cheese or something?" Joey asked.
I ignored her. They just don't get it. I mean, the middle of a year is, what, Flag Day? The middle of a life is a midlife crisis!
I told my dad I was having a midlife crisis.
"You're going to give me a midlife crisis if you don't get over this," Dad said. I asked him to name one middle that is a good thing. Dad had to think. He thought and thought and didn't say anything. Then finally he told me, "The middle of an apple is the core."
"Um-hmm. The yucky part people throw away," I said.
"How about the middle of the night? That's an interesting time, when people see things differently." I pointed out that most people sleep through the middle of the night.
Then he shouted like he had a super-brainy Einstein idea. "The middle of an Oreo cookie is the sweet, creamy, best part. You can't argue with that." He was right. I couldn't argue. If I had to be a middle, that's the best middle to be.
"See? You're the peanut butter in the sandwich," said Dad. "You're the creamy center of the cookie that holds it all together. You're the glue."
I'm the glue?
Maybe Dad's right. After all, I'm the one who came up with the (brilliant!) idea for the Sisters
Club, back when I was Joey's age. Alex gets to be the Boss Queen, of course, so she runs the meetings. Joey (a.k.a. Madam Secretary/Treasurer) takes the notes and collects dues (if we had any money). I keep the peace. I am the glue!
The Sisters Club Charter by Joey Reel
CLUBHOUSE: Alex's room
MEMBERS: Reel sisters only
UNIFORM: Pj's are good. Plaid is bad. Except when it's pj's.
MASCOT: Alex's sock monkey, named Sock Monkey (I wish it was Hedgie, my hedgehog.)
LOGO: Three sock monkeys arm in arm
ALTERNATE LOGO: Troll doll with the "no" sign over it
SECRET SIGN OR HANDSHAKE:
Hook pinkies together while saying, "Sisters, Blisters, and Tongue Twisters."
SECRET KNOCK: I don't know how to write it!
I just know how to do it. Sounds like:
PASSWORD: Shakespeare (Shh! Don't tell!)
ACTIVITIES: Tell secrets and scary stories, eat popcorn and ice cream, stay up late, have sleepovers in Alex's room (I mean the clubhouse!).
DUES: Only if we need popcorn or ice cream and we're out of them.
RULES: No throwing pillows or other objects, except in an official pillow fight.
No putting crumbs in Alex's bed on purpose.
No using Alex's brush to brush your hair .
No taking stuff from Alex's room (especially anything with glitter).