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Glover, Bonnie J. The Middle Sister: A Novel.

GLOVER, Bonnie J. The middle sister; a novel. (One World.) Random House. 192p. c2005. 0-345-48090-2. $12.95. SA*

Life is hard for Pamela and her two sisters, but her world takes a dramatic turn for the worse when her parents separate. Her father, proud, strict, and hardworking, provided structure and balance within the family, but when he leaves, so does any sense of normalcy. Yet, Pam does have one person she can count on--Kwai Chang Caine, from the 1970s television series Kung Fu, an imaginary friend. Set in New York, The Middle Sister is a gritty, urban, coming-of-age novel about a teenage girl who is trying to come to terms with the plight of her family spiraling out of control, and with the struggles of growing up. Her imaginary friend, Kwai Chang, offers her the strength and support her family cannot give.

This debut novel invites us to follow Pam as her mother loses touch with reality, as her older sister Theresa takes on the role of family caregiver and breadwinner, and as her younger sister Nona deals with her own sexuality. Glover presents readers with a cast of colorful and memorable characters, such as Danny, Theresa's grossly overweight boyfriend; Monique, Nona's needy girlfriend; and the Zombie Sisters--Pam's aunts.

Although they seem to be faced with one tragedy after another, the sisters demonstrate the power of redemption and family, redefined. The novel is more appropriate for older teens and adults because of some explicitly graphic language. Robin Dasher-Alston, Ph.D., Philadelphia, PA

S--Recommended for senior high school students.

A--Recommended for advance students and adults. This code will help librarians and teacher working in high schools where there are honors and advanced placement students. This also will help extend KLIATT's usefulness in public libraries.

*--The asterisk highlights exceptional books.
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Author:Dasher-Alston, Robin
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Jul 1, 2005
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