Shortlisted for Galaxy National Book Awards 2011 Children’s Book of the Year & Audiobook of the Year
Shortlisted for the 2011 Dylan Thomas Prize
Shortlisted for 2011 Red House Children’s Book Award
Five words from the blurb: boy, loss, family, heart-warming, struggle
My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is a children’s book that tackles many difficult themes. The story is narrated by Jamie, a ten-year-old boy who lost one of his twin sisters in a terrorist attack five years ago. His family are torn apart by grief, but Jamie was too young to remember much about his sister and just longs to be normal. He wishes that his father would stop drinking and that his mother would return. This book is a moving account of Jamie’s struggle to understand his family and his plans to lead a happy life.
I loved this book! Jamie was a fantastic narrator and I felt I understood his complex problems entirely.
He had an innocence that I was charmed by and he dealt with his problems with the realistic, but flawed thinking of a child.
My only problem with the book was that I felt some of the themes were a bit heavy-handed. The “not all Muslims are terrorists” plot thread was especially lacking in subtlety, but I suppose that it is a children’s book and so should be given some leeway.
David Tennant’s narration of the audio was fantastic. I can imagine that reading Jamie’s rambling thoughts in the print edition could become draining, but David Tennant added a warmth and humour to the text. He brought the story to life and I frequently found myself unable to turn the audio off, listening to the end of a section in the car after I’d reached my destination. I normally prefer audios narrated by multiple actors, but this was so well executed that it has just become my favourite single narrator audio book of all time.
Clips of the audio book are being released as part of a blog tour. The third section of the audio book and links to the other blogs taking part are below.
Chapter One, Part One: Dovegreyreader
Chapter One, Part Two: Cornflower Books
Chapter Two, Part One:
Chapter Two, Part Two: Fierce Books (clip released tomorrow)