My Sister Lives on the Mantlepiece by Annabel Pitcher

The story is recounted by 10 year old Jamie. Five years previously his older sister, Rosie, was killed by a bomb planted by Muslim extremists. Jamie’s parents do not cope well with Rosie’s death and eventually split up leaving Jamie, his dad and Rosie’s twin, Jasmine (now 15) to start a new life in the Lake District. All Jamie wants is his family back, to be loved and looked after and for Jasmine to be happy.

Jamie’s voice is honest and funny; yet also achingly sad. His life was torn apart by an event that he can barely remember and his parent’s failure to cope with the loss of Rosie creates a lot of pain. The books is a study of grief and the long lasting damage it can cause to individuals and to families. Whilst it is a sad book, Jamie is a positive force and his relationship with Jasmine and his friend Sunya provide some beautiful and happy moments.

The book is written for teenagers but it is also a book for parents – one to remind them that responsibility lies with them for all their children, at all times, whatever heartache they might personally face in their own lives.

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