Monday, 15 October 2018

True Sisters by Keren David (Young Adult, Reading Age 8, Dyslexia Friendly, 10E/10E)

August 2018, Barrington Stoke, 104 pages, Paperback, Review copy

Summary from Barrington Stoke 
Ruby has had a lot of foster siblings over the years, but none of them have been anything like Clara. After growing up in almost complete isolation, Clara is distraught at being separated from her mother and overwhelmed by life in a world she doesn’t understand. But the more Ruby tries to help Clara fit in, the more she realises she has to face up to some struggles of her own.

Nayu's thoughts
Please be aware I'm heavily biased because I've enjoyed Keren's books in the past, and as expected this one is no different! I love Barrington Stoke reads because they are jam packed fairly short stories, proving that short is sweet when it comes to books. I enjoy watching the BBC series The Dumping Ground based on the books by Jacqueline Wilson, which is about a children's care home. This has me interested in stories about fostering, which is why I was intrigued by Keren's latest book. It was fascinating finding out what life was like on both sides of the fostering system. Ruby may be used to having strange children in her house because her mum is a foster carer, but Clara enters her heart in a way unlike anyone else. 

There was certainly a lot of mystery about Clara's circumstances which had me gripped, I loved seeing her slowly enjoy life learning about the vast world around us. I like finding out what schemes are in place at schools for children like Clara, and just how valuable the foster system is. Fostering isn't for everyone, and a foster family isn't problem free, especially if they already have children living there. 

Ruby's personal trials were hard to read about. In one dilemma she wanted to keep Clara's confidence about a certain someone, yet she wrestled with whether to tell her mum because she wanted to keep Clara safe. I promise it ends happily, and that Clara's new beginning at the end of the book is less harrowing than the beginning. Ruby's biggest secret surprised me, I hadn't seen it coming at all, not that it mattered, and I cheered when she had to face up to the issues surrounding it. Clara helped Ruby gain courage to do that (even if some of it was out of her hands). 

Switching the point of view between the two girls helped increase the tension in the book, with the true story being teased out every few pages. It's horrifying to know that Clara's tale sadly does happen in real life, I only hope that every Clara has a Ruby to look out for them. 

Find out more on Keren's website

Suggested read
Be sure to check out Karen's other books like her first series including When I Was Joe by Keren David (Young Adult, 10E/10E) 

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