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Oh Brother
Cover of Oh Brother
Oh Brother
Moving to a new city and a new school is never easy. So Lauren is relieved when Callie, Treena and Maddy welcome her into their group. But then Lauren witnesses their reaction to a first grader in a...
Moving to a new city and a new school is never easy. So Lauren is relieved when Callie, Treena and Maddy welcome her into their group. But then Lauren witnesses their reaction to a first grader in a...
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  • Moving to a new city and a new school is never easy. So Lauren is relieved when Callie, Treena and Maddy welcome her into their group. But then Lauren witnesses their reaction to a first grader in a wheelchair. That boy is her little brother, Will. But she's afraid that if she tells them, they may not want to be friends with her. Soon Lauren finds herself living a double life as she struggles with the challenges of building new friendships and trying to make it up to Will for not acknowledging him at school. At some point Lauren will have to make a decision. What is more important? Friends or family?

About the Author-

  • Sonya Spreen Bates is a Canadian writer living in South Australia. She grew up in Victoria, British Columbia, where she obtained a degree in linguistics from the University of Victoria. She then studied speech-language pathology at Dalhousie University and has spent many years working with children with communication disorders. Sonya writes for children and adults and has been published in Australia and New Zealand as well as Canada.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    December 1, 2019
    After enrolling in a new school, a girl keeps her physically disabled little brother a secret from a popular clique. When her family moves from Saskatchewan to Vancouver, British Columbia, to benefit her little brother, Will, 12-year-old Lauren is lonely--and overwhelmed. For the first time, she and Will--who uses a wheelchair and interacts via a communication board and short, spoken words--will be attending the same school. When Lauren meets Callie, a "tomboy" who dreams of playing football instead of conforming to her parents' "girly girl" stereotypes, she's thrilled to have a friend. But Callie hangs out with popular, snooty Treena and Maddy, who mock Will, calling him "spaz." If Lauren reveals that Will is her brother, will she lose her friend? Though Bates sensitively acknowledges Lauren's feelings of frustration and neglect, Lauren's relationship with Will is generally affectionate; she plays with him, reassures him, and enjoys making him laugh. Will himself is never depicted as a burden, and his friend and classmate, Blake, happily includes him in activities such as soccer, which Will's parents encourage. Unfortunately, the predictable ending abruptly reduces Will to a saccharine inspiration for another character's epiphany, and one-dimensional secondary characters render the author's exploration of peer pressure somewhat heavy-handed. Most characters, including Lauren and her family, appear white; Maddy is Asian Canadian. Patronizing disability tropes let down this well-intentioned tale of peer pressure and sibling bonds. (Fiction. 9-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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