Dear Sister

In Dear Sister by Alison McGhee the relationship between a brother and his younger sister is told through a series of letters and endearing illustrations. At first the older brother is feeling resentful about having a baby sister, but over the span of 10 years his feelings change as they both grow up.

Teacher Thoughts:

  • Did you know that a novel written in the form of a series of letters is called an epistolary novel? I didn’t! I learned something new!
  • Students created an “Epistolary Novel” bin and put this book in it along with the 43 Old Cemetery Road series by Kate Klise, Middle School is Worse Than Meatloaf by Jennifer Holm, and Unusual Chickens for the Exceptional Poultry Farmer by Kelly Jones.
  • The illustrations by Joe Bluhm are not to be missed. They make this book the kind that you want to read over and over again. I’ve read it multiple times–and every time I find something in a drawing that makes me smile.
  • .This book is the perfect mentor text for letter writing. Several students went on to write and illustrate their own “Dear Sibling” books.
  • Does the last page hint at a sequel? Readers in Room 213 want to know if there’s a Dear Brother book on the horizon!

Kid Thoughts:

Dear Reader,

I liked this book because the brother writes how he feels about his sister in letters. The illustrations are really good. They help tell the story. My favorite one is when the brother writes his sister’s first birthday card on the back of a receipt. I think someone else should read this book because it is short, funny, sweet and cool! It’s a great book about growing up and changing.

Happy Reading,

Kyrsten

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