Brother Bother & New Man by Helen Orme & Illustrated by Cathy Brett

Reviewed by Kay Lane

These two books are part of a multi-cultural series and are definitely for girls! There are five girls who are friends – Siti, Donna, Lu, Kelly and Rachel – and they are such good friends they call each other sister. This is also the name of their group – the Sisters. The stories are about friendship and how your friends are always there when you need them.

Brother Bother is about Siti’s brother, Daudi, getting bullied by some older kids, who make him steal an MP3 player. The sisters try to help Siti help Daudi, her brother.

New Man is about Rachel (one of the Sisters) and how she tries to cope when her divorced parents start to date other people. Again, it’s her friends she turns to for help.

The publishers claim that they have been written for 10 to 14 year-olds with a reading age of 7 to 8, and they describe the vocabulary as being “tightly-controlled”, while trying to keep the stories “compelling” and “convincing” enough to keep the attention of the teenage readers.

These books are quite sweet. I think that if I was between 10 and 12 years old, I would enjoy them. They are very short – only ten minutes to read from cover to cover. They also reminded me of a series of books called the Sleepover Club, which was a very similar format.

Orme, Helen (2008)

Ransom Publishing

ISBN 10 1841676845

ISBN 13 978-184167845

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