Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Sisters Club: Rule of Three

Middle sister Stevie Reel knows that there really is a rule of three. Everything seems to come in threes. There are three sisters in her family, and that’s not all. As she says, “Think about it: Red, white, blue. Snap, crackle, pop. Bacon, lettuce, tomato.” (p.1) Sometimes Stevie is a bit jealous of her friend Olivia who doesn’t have to live in the midst of a three sister family, since she is an only. She doesn’t have to worry about living up to the idea of herself just because that’s who people think she’s supposed to be.

For example, Stevie’s older sister Alex is the actor of the family. The Reel’s are all dramatic in their own ways, but Alex typically gets the lead in every school play. Her whole existence seems so scripted that she even acts out dialogue with her Sock Monkey in order to work through her personal drama.

Little sister Joey is a bit of an instigator as well as a list maker, a girl with a cause (Locks for Love), and currently is obsessed with the book Little Women. She is also in the unique position as the secret keeper, since both older sisters come to her to complain about each other!

Stevie is the baker. Her frustrations and worries get channeled through the creation of such recipes as “Don’t-Bug-Me-I’m-Baking” cupcakes, or “I-Hate-My-Sister” cupcakes. She likes baking so much that she is hoping to enter her local cake off, and maybe even win a prize.

So there they are: three sisters, with three roles to play.

But identities have a way of shifting, and when the new school play is decided to be Once Upon a Mattress, Alex decides she is sick of musicals, and Stevie, who loves to sing, thinks that this might be the time that she wants to stick her toes in the waters of acting. After all, she does have the voice, if she doesn’t have the acting skills. When Stevie decides to go out for the play, and Alex decides that she wants to audition after all, the family will be facing sibling rivalry like never before!

Megan McDonald has written a fun and breezy read for tweens. Chapters alternate and highlight each sister’s unique voice. Alex’s voice is shown in script form, Joey’s is lists, diagrams and statistics, and Stevie is given the voice of straight prose. There are all kinds of magazine style fun facts throughout (like the fact that a bunch of gnus are called an implausibility), and Little Women related quizzes. It’s a quick read, and the age range of the sisters mean that readers will most likely find somebody to identify/sympathize with.

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