Review Detail

Middle Grade Fiction 360
The blessing of new siblings
Overall rating
Writing Style
Illustrations/Photos (if applicable)
What worked:
While not written in verse, the narrative has a poetic sound to it. The words ebb and flow as nine-year-old Jacob relates his experiences with having newborn triplet sisters. Short sentences and phrases are blended with longer ones to express his range of emotions as he adapts to no longer being the only child. “But I smile instead. I smile. Like Lizzie.” At the end of each chapter, Jacob records his observations of the Trips in a journal for a class research assignment. His reflections are listed in a poetic manner that reinforces the feeling of verse, and the presentation of his journal to the class helps form the book’s climax.
The author captures the highlights of child development as the Trips grow from newborns to Trips unleashed, the father’s term for toddlers learning to crawl and walk. Jacob first views them as one addition to the family, the Trips, all of them crying, eating, sleeping, and needing new diapers. Their sounds and facial expressions begin to differentiate them and first words and first steps are celebrated. The author captures the innocent fascination young children have as they discover the world around them.
Jacob’s character transforms as he adjusts to living with his three new sisters. Before and after their birth, he keeps asking his parents for a new puppy and saying how a puppy would be easier to care for than three babies. His attitude changes one night when he hears Lizzie crying and cuddles her for comfort. Although the Trips are identical, their behaviors slowly reveal developing personalities. Jacob realizes he’ll need to find a forever name for them since the term Trips labels them as one thing. However, each sister is a blossoming individual.
What didn’t work as well:
I’m not sure of the universal appeal of the book since babies and toddlers are the focus. Young readers may not gravitate to it, but the story is expertly crafted by the author. Readers with a passion for literature should appreciate the artistry of the narrative and the tender feelings of love and family shared.
The Final Verdict:
The book can be read fairly quickly; it depends on how long readers want to savor the language and emotions. Readers with younger siblings will especially enjoy the story as they’ll be able to share similar experiences with Jacob. I can easily recommend this book for your reading pleasure.
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