I did not begin my career as an older sister on a very positive note. In fact, it is difficult to find an video of my brother’s infant years without having the footage interrupted by a bouncing three-year-old who springs into the frame to sing out some variation of “Look at me!”
Happily, despite some rough patches, my relationship with my brother is one of the most stable and significant aspects of my life. He’s my friend, fellow sci-fi television & folk music fan, joint owner of favorite childhood books, cooking idol, and one of my all around favorite people on the planet. Consequently, I have a soft spot for stories featuring siblings. Just as there are many different kinds of families and individuals, so too are there many different kinds of sibling relationships and all are complex & fascinating.
Personal Effects – E.M. Kokie (2013 Best Fiction For Young Adults; 2013 Rainbow List)
Since his beloved big brother T.J. was killed in action in Iraq, Matt has been moving through his quickly collapsing life in a daze. Between failing classes, getting in fights at school, and trying to avoid his dad’s anger and disappointment, Matt feels like his purpose disappeared with T.J. But when his brother’s personal effects are finally delivered, Matt is convinced that he might finally be able to understand T.J.’s death. But T.J.’s possessions contain certain shocking revelations that force Matt to wonder how well he really knew his brother.
Imaginary Girls – Nova Ren Suma (2014 Outstanding Books for the College Bound)
It isn’t uncommon for younger siblings to believe that their elder sisters are extraordinary, but Chloe knows she’s far from the only person to recognize that her sister Ruby’s someone special. Ruby is the girl that everyone longs to touch–the girl everyone wants to be. When Ruby wants something to happen, it does. She’s untamable, unpredictable, and almost unbelievable. But after a night out with Ruby & her friends went horribly wrong, Chloe was sent away. Now, two years later, they’re reunited–but Chloe can’t help wondering exactly how far Ruby was willing to go to get her back. Continue reading We Are Family: Sibling Stories in YA Lit
Glee is a wonderful show that comprises a plethora of teen issues portrayed in both dramatic and comedic ways. I’ve watched the show for years, but there is one thing that has always bothered me. Why don’t any of the Glee kids read? There is not one member who discusses a favorite book comments on what he or she is currently reading. One of the few times the library gets any attention is when a small group of the Glee members sing M.C. Hammer’s â€œYou Can’t Touch Thisâ€ in the library in hopes of getting into trouble. Sure, Stephenie Meyer’s â€œTwilight Sagaâ€ is mentioned, but only in reference to Tina’s clothes and Principle Figgins’s fear of vampires. So I’ve decided to take it upon myself to educate the Glee club on books. They’ve been taught about acting, dental hygiene, Spanish, and several other topics. It’s about time that they opened a book.
Finn Hudson â€“ I understand that due to devastating real-life circumstances (the tragic death of actor Cory Monteith), Finn is no longer on the show. However, I would still like to include the character in this experiment of Reader’s Advisory because the character is still important to the show. Finn is an interesting character to analyze. He was the first of the jock/popular crowd to join the Glee club. While at first, viewers may see him as a dumb jock, a deeper, more thoughtful Finn has been revealed over the course of the show. I would recommend Knights of Hill Country by Tim Tharp. The plot of this title can be compared to the relationship between Finn and Rachel. Knights of Hill Country tells the story of a football hero, Hampton, who begins to see more than the football in a town that eats, sleeps, and breathes football. He begins to notice Sara, a girl who usually would not speak to and would definitely not consider dating. Knights of Hill Country is a thought-provoking story about creating your own identity instead of living the character created by others. The death of his father has always been something on Finn’s mind. He might be interested in reading a book about war and the effect it has on those left at home. For a fiction title, I would recommend Personal Effects by E.M. Kokie, which discusses a teen whose brother died in Iraq. If Finn preferred something from the non-fiction shelf, I would give him Ghosts of War: The True Story of a 19-year-old GI by Ryan Smithson. In Ghosts of War, Smithson talks about his experiences in Iraq.
Continue reading What Would They Read?: Glee