Bad Sister by Charise Mericle Harper, illustrated by Rory Lucey

Published by First Second

Bad Sister: Harper, Charise Mericle, Lucey, Rory: 9781250219060:  Books
Bad Sister

Summary:  Charise tells the story of her childhood with her younger brother Daniel, from the time he comes home from the hospital through the next several years growing up together.  Each chapter is entitled “The Power of _____” (The Power of the Trick, The Power of Seeing and Knowing).  At first, Charise enjoys her unfettered power as the older sibling, and doesn’t care if Daniel gets hurt or upset.  But as she grows older, she begins to experience more guilt about abusing her power, culminating with an accident in which she breaks Daniel’s tooth.  Her parents blame her, and she considers herself a “bad sister”, but the truth is more nuanced, with parental dynamics and regular kids’ play/roughhousing playing a part.  The final chapter, “The Biggest Power”, reveals Daniel’s power to forgive, allowing Charise to admit to the traits that she admires in her younger brother.  Includes a photo of the real Charise and Daniel as kids.  240 pages; grades 3-6.

Pros:  This graphic memoir deserves a place alongside Raina Telgemeier’s, Jennifer and Matthew Holms’, and Shannon Hale’s books, and will undoubtedly be enjoyed by a similar audience.  Anyone who’s ever had a sibling will recognize the friendship, torment, guilt, and forgiveness that are all part of Charise’s and Daniel’s relationship.

Cons:  Young Charise was awfully hard on herself.

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