My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece by Annabel Pitcher
Author: Annabel Pitcher. Website, Twitter.
Published: 29 September 2011 (Indigo; Mass Market Paperback edition)
Buy: Amazon, Kindle, Waterstone's
Source: Borrowed from library.
Plot Summary: (from Goodreads)
Ten-year-old Jamie hasn't cried since it happened. He knows he should have - Jasmine cried, Mum cried, Dad still cries. Roger didn't, but then he is just a cat and didn't know Rose that well, really.
Everyone kept saying it would get better with time, but that's just one of those lies that grown-ups tell in awkward situations. Five years on, it's worse than ever: Dad drinks, Mum's gone and Jamie's left with questions that he must answer for himself.
This is his story, an unflinchingly real yet heart-warming account of a young boy's struggle to make sense of the loss that tore his family apart.
This book is all about Jamie and follows his life after he moves away from London following the death of his sister. It's a really sweet, poignant book that deals with some pretty tough issues, but it's absolutely wonderful.
Jamie as a main character is everything you want. He's coming up to his tenth birthday and loves Spider-Man and his pet cat Roger. He likes drawing and hot Ribena. He's literally adorable! The book is told from his point of view and you get his perspective on everything which is so effective. The book deals with such strong issues such as terrorism, bullying, racism and eating disorders but all told through Jamie's eyes, with that childlike innocent view kids have on things. I sometimes have problems with child POV when the writing doesn't feel realistic, but this absolutely does.
It honestly made me want to reach inside the pages and give Jamie a massive hug which shows how attached to the story I got! I know not everyone likes reading books dealing with so much sadness but this book is aimed at readers of all ages, including younger children, so it's not too daunting or miserable.
A really charming, beautiful read. I'm giving it four stars because I don't think it's the kind of book I'd read again and again, but it's definitely a book that everyone should read at least once.
What to read next: Ketchup Clouds by Annabel Pitcher, released November 2012.
Books like this: Small Change for Stuart by Lissa Evans.