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My Sister lives on  the Mantelpiece by Annabetl Pitcher

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Teenage Book of the Month

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
Published by Orion, 2011.

Jamie Matthews is ten years old. His sister has been killed in a terrorist attack on London five years earlier and only ten bits of her body have been recovered. Lucky it was an even number Jamie says because Dad got to cremate five and Mum got to bury the other five in the cemetery which she vows to visit but doesn’t.

Rose’s death has understandably torn the family apart and moving from London to the Lake District instead of being a fresh start is a continuation of the same.

In her debut novel this author successfully captures what are unfortunately common concerns of teenagers and how they cope with them. Divorce, bullying and alcoholism are not light issues by any means and the way in which they are presented and subtly handled is a tribute to the writer.

Sad and tragic events are juxtaposed with examples of bravery and courage and the unusual capacity for a book like this to also make you laugh.

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece is an excellent story with memorable characters and will strike a chord with readers of all ages.