Dear Brother

Dear Brother
Author(s)
Co-Authors / Illustrators
Age Range
10+
Release Date
August 08, 2023
ISBN
978-1534487086
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Diary of a Wimpy Kid gets a little sister twist in this wildly funny and highly illustrated companion to middle grade novel Dear Sister from New York Times bestselling author Alison McGhee that brings sibling rivalry—and love—to life through a series of letters.

Sister has been the overlooked younger sibling for her WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE. She knows the drill. Her brother’s banjo band is praised while no one acknowledges Sister’s bongo skills. Sister does the grunt work, but Brother gets the credit. But this time, the blatant injustice has gone too far. This time, America’s Famous Nothing has been granted the incredible power of choosing the family pet. And what does he choose? Certainly not a dog, the pet Sister has begged and pleaded for HER WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE—a pet the whole family could love. No, Brother chooses a bearded dragon.

Sister is outraged. The picture of injured dignity, she refuses to acknowledge the creature’s existence. It doesn’t matter how much it stares at her or bobs its head to her bongo-ing, Sister is unmoved. Then, adding insult to injury, Brother gets to go to summer camp, leaving Sister at home to take care of his disgusting lizard.

Sister refuses to suffer in silence. She sends Brother letter after letter detailing her disdain for the scaly burden he’s saddled her with—even if the aptly nick-named Frightful isn’t too awful. To her surprise, Brother’s letters in reply reveal camp may not be everything he thought—and as their correspondence continues, the two siblings begin to find common ground. Sister may even develop a newfound appreciation for Brother—and the bearded dragon…maybe.

Editor review

1 review
A Fun Book about Being a Younger Sibling
Overall rating
 
3.3
Plot
 
3.0
Characters
 
3.0
Writing Style
 
3.0
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
 
4.0
Dear Brother follows sister who is the overlooked younger child in the family. Her brother gets all the recognition while doing very little work and everything he wants. Sister is happy to go along with this until it goes too far and he gets to choose the family pet. Brother ends up getting a bearded dragon whom his sister now has to care for since he is going away to summer camp. Sister sends brother plenty of letters while he is away letting him know how much she dislikes this pet and he reveals that summer camp isn’t turning out as he hoped it would be. Through this exchange, they find some common ground and sister begins to appreciate her brother and his pet.

What I Liked: I was quite excited to read this book from the minute I saw the cover page since it reminded me of the mangas I read as a kid. I was drawn to the lizard in the corner and the expressions on the characters' faces which made me want to know more about the book.

While sister may not have appreciated the pet that brother chose, I certainly did. I loved that this book had a different type of pet to care for from what I am used to reading about. I appreciated how the author included some facts about bearded dragon care throughout the book and showed the importance of the light bulb and incubator.

This book does a great job of including a mixture of prose, pictures, text messages, and letters. I love that a lot of the book is told through letters the sister writes to people. I especially enjoyed the letter that sister wrote to the crickets when she gave them a taste of freedom. I appreciated how the author added humor to this book but also could return to a serious tone as needed.

I love the art style and how it reminds me of a manga. I appreciated that the story used tones of yellow and orange throughout. Keeping the story to one tone allows the reader to engage with the story without being distracted by the images. The colors in this book make it easy to follow along as you are reading and entertain younger readers who may have a harder time with reading.

Final Verdict: Dear Brother is a story that children ages 10+ will enjoy especially if they have an older sibling. This book will have adults laughing as they recall the ridiculous things they did as preteens and the shenanigans they got into with their siblings. Preteens can relate to sister's feelings as she gets left behind and is constantly told “When you’re older…”
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