My Cousin's Keeper

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Release Date
September 09, 2014
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When the odd new kid at school turns out to be his cousin, Kieran feels embarrassed and resentful. But how far will he let the bullying go? Eleven-year-old Kieran wants to be part of the "in" group at school. He wants to be on the soccer team. He wants to fit in. But then his weird cousin Bon turns up, both at school and at home. Bon knows nothing about fitting in, with his long blond braid, babyish hand-knit hat, and funny, precise voice. Bon doesn’t play sports, and he likes to draw imaginary maps with stories about "Bon the Crusader" and "Kieran the Brave." He’s an easy target for teasing, and Kieran has little patience for him. Even more irritating, Bon’s only friend is the other new kid, a cool girl named Julia who wears cowboy boots and has a confidence that fascinates Kieran. What could she and Bon possibly have in common? With unflinching honesty, My Cousin’s Keeper takes on childhood jealousy, family secrets, and unexpected kindness.

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1 review
Touchy and Timely Novel
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My Cousin’s Keeper is about a very self-centered boy name Kieran and his relationship with his for his less fortunate cousin, Bon. Kieran has an easy life. He has supportive and loving parents; he has a good home, and is popular at school. All this becomes threatened when Bon enters the picture.
Bon is the same Kieran’s age but his life cannot be any more different. Bon is neglected and possibly abused by his unstable mother. He has moved from town to town with no real place to call home. Kieran’s, and Bon’s, grandmother agrees to raise Bon causing Kieran to get jealous.

What I found to be the best part of My Cousin’s Keeper is the realistic characters. They are so much like middle schoolers I have known. They want to fit in and be accepted. There are times when looking different is a good thing but other times is just makes fitting in that much more difficult. The characters are realistic and easy to relate to. Anyone who is in middle school or anyone who was a middle school student will be able to see the truth in this novel.

In Kieran’s case,while he desperately tries to stay in the popular crown, his cousin Bon makes everything more difficult. Kieran needs to figure out how to relate to his friends and family. He instantly feels betrayed by those around him and ends up severely bullying his cousin .

My Cousin's Keeper also examines the dynamics of family and social circles, bullying, and jealousy.
Like in real life,things aren't always what they seem and people have their secrets. People may seem to have the perfect life, but they too might have burdens they are holding back. While this book is dark at times, the story provides valuable real life lessons. These are life experiences that need to be seen and felt so that life lessons can be learned.

This is definitely a book I will tell teachers, librarians, and students about- it should be read by all.- Especially in today's society where bullying has come front and center. An important read for the right audience – readers 9 and up.
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