After Iris

by Natasha Farrant

Each member of thirteen-year-old Blue's family is dealing with the death of Blue's... read more

Each member of thirteen-year-old Blue's family is dealing with the death of Blue's twin sister Iris three years before in different ways. For Blue's parents, it's absence and arguing: Blue's mom has gone back to work in a high-pressure job for a beauty company that has her traveling all over the world. Blue's dad is spending most of his time working out of town, too, leading Blue's older sister, Flora, to believe he's having an affair. But when the two are both home, they fight. Zoran is a doctoral student who's been hired to stay with the kids, who range from eight-year-old Jasmine to sixteen-year-old Flora, with Blue and ten-year-old Twig in between. Wonderful moments of levity and over-the-top humor are infused into a novel grounded in so many real feelings as the grief of this family is slowly revealed. The story is told through Blue's first-person written diary and scenes describing her video-diary, and as the narrative progresses there are revelations about all of the characters, including Zoran, who came to England at the age of six as a Bosnian refugee. The deft balance of zaniness and deep emotions is reminiscent in the best way of the work of author Hilary McKay. (Ages 10-13)

© Cooperative Children's Book Center, Univ. of Wisconsin - Madison, 2014

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