My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece takes place five years after bombs went off in London killing 62 people The story follows the aftermath of the family of the youngest victim, Rose, from the perspective of her now 10 year old brother, Jamie Jamie s parents, unable to deal with the blame and guilt they place on one another, have finally split up Jamie and Jas, Rose s twin, move with their father out into the country One benefit, according to their father, is to get away from Muslims After a My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece takes place five years after bombs went off in London killing 62 people The story follows the aftermath of the family of the youngest victim, Rose, from the perspective of her now 10 year old brother, Jamie Jamie s parents, unable to deal with the blame and guilt they place on one another, have finally split up Jamie and Jas, Rose s twin, move with their father out into the country One benefit, according to their father, is to get away from Muslims After all, Muslims killed his daughter Another benefit is the job waiting for him, something he couldn t find in London what with all the foreigners stealing jobs Never mind the bottle of vodka he empties everyday Jamie goes to his new school, where he s picked on and told to go back to London The only person who smiles at him is Sunya, the girl wearing a hijab But Muslims killed his sister and he s supposed to honor his father, who hates Muslims, isn t he A middle grade book dealing with terrorism and death Needless to say, I had my doubts However, Annabel Pitcher confronts issues like hate, loyalty, and loss in such a straightforward way that its simplicity belies its depth Evenimpressive, she confronts the pressure to grieve.Jamie grieves the loss of his family and his parents marriage, but he doesn t cry over the sister he barely remembers How can he He was 5 years old when she died His parents and various therapists, though, tell him it just hasn t hit him yet His mother once made him change a school essay on a special person from a soccer player to Rose, and the story she made him use resulted in his being teased mercilessly by the other students Poor kid Over 20 years later and parents still don t understand As much as I hated Jamie s parents, I loved this storyline because I wonder how many kids who ve prematurely lost parents and siblings and relatives are acting how they THINK they should instead of how they actually feel And I wonder how many kids know that it s okay to feel nothing Or close to nothing How do you mourn someone you barely know or remember I always hear kids being told that it s okay to cry, it s okay to cry, but it s also okay not to cry.Jamie also struggles to reconcile his father s view of evil, murderous Muslims with the bright, sunny girl who keeps extending her hand to him Sunya, seeing Jamie s fascination with superheroes and Spiderman, claims that she s a superhero too She proudly points to her hijab as part of her superhero costume I loved Sunya She s bold and fierce, loyal and kind She doesn t shy away from her identity, even as the kids call her Curry Breath and other names.While Jamie and Sunya s relationship is born of struggle, Jamie s relationship with his sister Jas is based purely on love This is the relationship that made me cry Jas is just a kid herself and she s lost her twin, but she refuses to let Jamie be hurt She tries to do the job of two parents as best as her 15 year old self can Older sisters, be sure to drain the battery on your phone beforehand so you don t end up calling your mortified younger brothers.It s sad to say that a book like this is timely and necessary, especially for a younger audience, but it is It s also hopeful and surprising A very strong debut by first time author Annabel Pitcher I received an ARC of this book from the publisher.This review appears on Young Adult Anonymous. My sister Rose lives on the mantelpiece.Well, some of her does.A collarbone, two ribs, a bit of skull, and a little toe This story follows ten year old Jamie, after one of his sisters died during a terrorist bombing, and the effects this has had within his family His mother and father are separated, mother has found another lover, father has become a fervent Islamophobe, and his other sister Jas, lives in the shadow of Rose, the one that died But Jamie meets a girl, a Muslim girl named SunyMy sister Rose lives on the mantelpiece.Well, some of her does.A collarbone, two ribs, a bit of skull, and a little toe This story follows ten year old Jamie, after one of his sisters died during a terrorist bombing, and the effects this has had within his family His mother and father are separated, mother has found another lover, father has become a fervent Islamophobe, and his other sister Jas, lives in the shadow of Rose, the one that died But Jamie meets a girl, a Muslim girl named Sunya, that is nothing like his father says, and he begins to question whether or not he can follow his father s viewsI stared up at the sky and raised my middle finger, just in case God was watching I don t like being spied onThis child is brilliant Jamie is a brilliant character When he was five his sister died, but he does not mourn her, because he never truly knew her, nor does he remember her How can his parents expect him to constantly suffer for someone who never had a chance to be a part of his family Does he know it is okay to not feel sad over someone you don t love It is okay to cry for those lost, but it is also okay to not cry for those we never knew How can his parents still think he is not grieving right Apart from this he has to deal with his mother s abandonment for someone else that understands her, as he is no longer part of her life And his father s ignorance, his fear and belief that all Muslims are evil bastards that commit terrorist acts He battles this view since Sunya keeps befriending him.Sunya is another brilliant character She is too young in my opinion to wear a hijab, but she wants to, and she doesn t let other s opinions of this and her culture stop her bad assery She goes by Girl M, her superhero name, and is very witty and kind, and ever so clever when it comes to taking revenge on the bullies Her hijab is an important part of the book later on, so pay attention, so sad and good I want to cry The sibling relationship was one of the strongest points of the book After their child abandoning mother and their alcoholic Islamophobic father basically abandon their children, Jas, the sister, takes care of Jamie and becomes the parent figure Their mum could not stand Jas no longer looking like an exact replica of Rose and ran as fast as she could, then their father moves them to a small town where he is going to work, but instead spends his time drinking himself into oblivion while staring at Rose s ashesIn fact she was quite bad and according to Jas she was naughty at school, but no one seems to remember that now she is all dead and perfect The parents also idolize Rose, to them she never did anything wrong, as if all she did no longer mattered, because she had died so tragically It made me feel like the parents were not really in pain, but rather pretending that they were, because they did not have much to be proud of her, so they chose to ignore it, rather than see it as what it was, part of her personality And this is not to say they did not love her, nor that they were not hurting, but that they felt somehow guilty, I din t really remember where I am going with this, so make of it what you will READ IT It is a particularly important book at this day and age Five years ago, Jamie s older sister was blown up by terrorists in an attack in Trafalgar Square The terrorists also, unknowingly, blew up Jamie s family His father worships the urn that holds Rose s remains, while drinking himself senseless to numb the pain Rose s twin sister apparently has an eating disorder And Jamie s mother She abandoned the family altogether.Jamie s dad moved the family away from the city is an attempt to distance his family from his memories of the event that he blam Five years ago, Jamie s older sister was blown up by terrorists in an attack in Trafalgar Square The terrorists also, unknowingly, blew up Jamie s family His father worships the urn that holds Rose s remains, while drinking himself senseless to numb the pain Rose s twin sister apparently has an eating disorder And Jamie s mother She abandoned the family altogether.Jamie s dad moved the family away from the city is an attempt to distance his family from his memories of the event that he blames on all Muslims So who should become Jamie s only friend in his new school Sunya a charming, smart little girl who also happens to be Muslim Pitcher handles the issues of alcoholism, racism, and bullying with sensitivity Jamie and Jasmine the twin sister who remains come to terms with their grief and loss The narration by David Tennant is excellent Recommend this heartwarming young adult novel I listened to the audio version of this book by Annabel Pitcher and it was narrated by David Tennant.When we meet ten year old Jamie Matthews, he is living in London with his family his mother, father and fifteen year old sister, Jas oh yeah, and his other sister, Rose Rose lives in an urn on the mantelpiece What we first notice about Jamie is that he is a sweet, average 10 year old boy he loves his big orange cat, Roger he loves super heroes and especially loves Spider Man and he I listened to the audio version of this book by Annabel Pitcher and it was narrated by David Tennant.When we meet ten year old Jamie Matthews, he is living in London with his family his mother, father and fifteen year old sister, Jas oh yeah, and his other sister, Rose Rose lives in an urn on the mantelpiece What we first notice about Jamie is that he is a sweet, average 10 year old boy he loves his big orange cat, Roger he loves super heroes and especially loves Spider Man and he loves his family But it s also quickly apparent that Jamie s family has become completely unglued You see, five years prior, Rose who is the identical twin to Jas , was killed in a terrorist bombing Since that time, the family has been falling apart in its grief.Finally, unable to find solace in her husband and family, Jamie s mother finds comfort in a man she met in a support group and she leaves her family behind Jamie s father, wishing to get away from London, takes Jamie and Jas and moves to the countryside to a little village by the sea called Ambleside Jamie s father assures them that they will have a fresh start but upon arriving, he once again deposits the urn on the mantelpiece and Jamie and Jas realize that this change in scenery will NOT be a fresh start after all For the past five years, on the anniversary of Rose s death, Jamie s father has attempted to take her ashes to the beach and scatter them at sea.Each time, he is unable to let go and returns her urn to the mantelpiece The family ambles on Jamie s father seeks solace in the bottom of a vodka bottle Jas dyes her hair pink and pierces her nose and Jamie well, he starts his new school feeling alone and bewildered and even feeling guilty because he can t even REMEMBER Rose He wears the same Spider man t shirt day after day , telling himself that he won t change it or even wash it until his mother comes home But as sometimes happens, Jamie s life takes an unexpected turn he makes a friend a girl named Sunya What Jamie first notices about Sunya is that she wears a hijab so he realizes she is Muslim He also knows that his father would never understand or approve of his friendship with Sunya After all, his father tells him repeatedly that Muslims killed his sister But all Jamie knows is that in addition to their shared love of super heroes, this girl has the most amazing, expressive dark eyes they sparkle And Jamie discovers that he can make her laugh and that making her laugh makes him happy and it makes her eyes flash and smile He knows that she looks at him with understanding and for the first time, in a very long time, he doesn t feel so alone.Perhaps this story seems a bit simplistic and childish in the solution it presents to this boy s grief and loneliness but I have thought a great deal about this book since I finished it and I think that sometimes the best solutions are INDEED the simplest ones and sometimes that simple answer can be seen only through the eyes of a child a child who isn t bogged down by a lifetime of prejudices and outdated ways of looking at the world This story was told in Jamie s voice and it was one not only of loss and grief but also one of an unlikely friendship, which allowed him to cope and heal and which inspired him to hope that his family would survive Through Jamie s friendship with Sunya, he was able to see with his heart and through her compassion and understanding he came to believe that the strange and wonderful ties which had pulled his family apart might one day pull them back together again This story was heartbreaking but also incredibly hopeful It explored the power of human connections and human beings capacity for compassion.David Tennant did a wonderful job in giving Jamie a voice My sister Rose lives on the mantelpiece Well, some of her does A collarbone, two ribs, a bit of skull, and a little toeTo 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 aloneTold 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 You would expect a book written about a family who lost a child in a terrorist attack would be a tearjerker, possibly to the point of being manipulative It s what I expected But that isn t what Pitcher was writing about In some ways, it s the exact opposite Pitcher isn t writing about the rawness of new grief This isn t about Jamie s grief over losing his sister, because he doesn t really feel grief He doesn t remember her, never really knew her, and only misses her because of the hole her You would expect a book written about a family who lost a child in a terrorist attack would be a tearjerker, possibly to the point of being manipulative It s what I expected But that isn t what Pitcher was writing about In some ways, it s the exact opposite Pitcher isn t writing about the rawness of new grief This isn t about Jamie s grief over losing his sister, because he doesn t really feel grief He doesn t remember her, never really knew her, and only misses her because of the hole her death cut in his family There are so many books and movies meant to help children grieve, and so few that tell them that it s ok if they don t feel the grief their families want them to It s also about friendship and loyalty, revolving largely around Jamie s friendship with the absolutely delightful Sunya She s smart, bubbling with energy, clever, and wonderfully confident And she s a Muslim girl who wears a hijab This isn t a problem for Jamie so much as it is for his father Because, as he says so often, Muslims killed his daughter So yes, there s a thread of bigotry here, as Jamie struggles with his warring impulses to be a good son and a good friend But mostly, it s about a family crumbling under the strain of losing a child Jamie s mother has left the family His father drinks and is so caught up in his memories of his dead daughter that he can t really see his living children Jamie s lovely sister, Jasmine, is trying so hard to give Jamie the love, support, and nurturing that he needs But she s fifteen, and she has issues of her own It s Jamie s bland acceptance of his family situation as is that s so heartbreaking At one point, his father hugs him, and he somewhat proudly refers to it as the first ever hug from his father in his life My heart felt a littledented after that.If you re looking for a tearful exploration of grief, you ll probably be disappointed As for me, I was happy to find something so different, with such an achingly authentic narrator Which is why Jamie will stick with me long after aordinary,manipulative book would vanish after a few days.While I m here, I ll admit that this book really only ended up on my TBR because the audiobook is narrated by David Tennant Obviously, that was a good choice because it is a great book But it was also wonderful to hear him reading it to me He has a very nice voice under any circumstance, and especially so when he s able to use his natural Scottish accent I don t doubt that many Doctor Who fans will listen to this book solely to hear his voice, and I think they ll be very glad they did so Wow I laughed, I cried dammit What a wonderful book I can not believe it is a debut novel The writing is fantastic.The book is narrated by Jamie, a 10 year old, and the narration feels very real , like he is simply sitting across from you telling you his story, with such innocence And his story deals with some heavy topics terrorism, racism, alcoholism, bullying and the deterioration of the family unit This is an author worth following I m hooked Next book please I was almost finished writing a review for this when I pressed a button that made it all disappear SO now I m mad.So now I m writing a simplified version.This book snuck up on me I didn t know if I d like this book because it s told from a ten year old boy s perspective But at the end, I was emotional and trying not to cry I did succeed but it was tough for me.The last quarter of the book was written so well and was HEARTBREAKING Something happened that ripped my heart out and made Jamie th I was almost finished writing a review for this when I pressed a button that made it all disappear SO now I m mad.So now I m writing a simplified version.This book snuck up on me I didn t know if I d like this book because it s told from a ten year old boy s perspective But at the end, I was emotional and trying not to cry I did succeed but it was tough for me.The last quarter of the book was written so well and was HEARTBREAKING Something happened that ripped my heart out and made Jamie the narrator realize why his father is finding it so hard to deal with the death of his sister, Rose.That part of the book was amazing It s what made it a four star book in my eyes.Also, the friendship, possibly budding first love between him and a girl named Sunya was adorable and fresh.And finally, his relationship with his sister Jasmine twin of Rose was beautiful Very beautiful The love they have for each other was beyond sweet.I recommend it It dealt with some sad subjects in such a beautiful way A really easy, quick and enjoyable read The title of this book is what attracted me to it It sounds really intriguing and it gave me high expectations The premise of the book was fantastic The book actually deals with quite a few issues racism, alcohol abuse, grief, family break ups through they weren t all so obvious I found it a little difficult to get into the childish nature of the writing The narrator is 10 year old Jamie , but after I gotused to it, I found it quite charming A really easy, quick and enjoyable read The title of this book is what attracted me to it It sounds really intriguing and it gave me high expectations The premise of the book was fantastic The book actually deals with quite a few issues racism, alcohol abuse, grief, family break ups through they weren t all so obvious I found it a little difficult to get into the childish nature of the writing The narrator is 10 year old Jamie , but after I gotused to it, I found it quite charming and the humour was wonderful This novel is all about seeing problems and prejudices through a childs eyes and in this, it succeeds A rather simple yet effective book I don t usually read MG I don t usually love a book I decide to randomly pick up so much But this book, is so so relevant even though it is now a backlist title I loved that all of the characters have their complexities and issues they need to work through I love Jamie, the main character Such a honest, true voice like a child would have That title is very clever and admittedly I picked it up for that title The morals and messages in this story of forgiveness, friendship and family I don t usually read MG I don t usually love a book I decide to randomly pick up so much But this book, is so so relevant even though it is now a backlist title I loved that all of the characters have their complexities and issues they need to work through I love Jamie, the main character Such a honest, true voice like a child would have That title is very clever and admittedly I picked it up for that title The morals and messages in this story of forgiveness, friendship and family as well as pain and heartbreak are so striking Annabel Pitcher has definitely woven this story well and carefully, and her writing shines.It s a recommend from me