My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

By Annabel Pitcher

Genre: Juvenile Fiction

Curriculum Subject: Family Life: Parents/Siblings/Babies, Personal Development: Self-Discovery, Personal Development: Loss

Grades: 7-17


My sister Rose lives on the mantelpiece.

Well, some of her does.
A collarbone, two ribs, a bit of skull, and a little toe.

To ten-year-old Jamie, his family has fallen apart because of the loss of someone he barely remembers: his sister Rose, who died five years ago in a terrorist bombing. To his father, life is impossible to make sense of when he lives in a world that could so cruelly take away a ten-year-old girl. To Rose’s surviving fifteen year old twin, Jas, everyday she lives in Rose’s ever present shadow, forever feeling the loss like a limb, but unable to be seen for herself alone.

Told with warmth and humor, this powerful novel is a sophisticated take on one family’s struggle to make sense of the loss that’s torn them apart… and their discovery of what it means to stay together.


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-An ALA 2013 Notable Books for Children Pick

-A Kirkus Best Children’s Book List Selection

-“Most Deftly Handled” Atlantic Wire 2012 YA/Middle-Grade Award


* “[A] striking debut. Realistic, gritty, and uplifting.” –Kirkus (starred review)

* “Straddles that fine line between funny and tragic… As a study of grief’s collateral damage, it deals with the topic realistically without losing sight of hope.” –Booklist (starred review)

* “In this powerfully honest, quirkily humorous debut novel…Pitcher tackles grief, prejudice, religion, bullying, and familial instability.” –Publishers Weekly (starred review)

* “Compelling and believable…by turns heartbreaking and hysterically funny… This is an important book that could be used in classes and book-discussion groups. Don’t let it fall through the cracks.” –School Library Journal (starred review)

“It lives off the page. It has a warmth you can bask in; an honesty you can cut with a knife.” –The Guardian UK