When I heard that Ann M. Martin, author of my favorite childhood series The Babysitters’ Club, had just come out with a new book, I was very excited to read it. However, I did have my doubts about the age that this book was written for. At first it seemed somewhat childish and peculiar, although the title, Ten Rules for Living with my Sister, was amusing enough to get me interested.
I have to say, I enjoyed Ten Rules for Living with my Sister more than I thought I would. It is written from the point of view of Pearl, the youngest daughter in her family. Pearl is young and sweet, but there is nothing she enjoys more than torturing her older sister, Lexie. Lexie is everything Pearl wishes she could be – popular, pretty, smart, friendly, and interesting. Ten Rules for Living with my Sister follows these two sisters throughout their crazy lives, where normality is rare and little acts of kindness go far.
Every moment in this story feels honest and completely relatable, from Pearl driving Lexie crazy by disregarding the “No Underwear Visits” sign on Lexie’s door to Lexie confiding in Pearl about her friendship issues. What I enjoyed most about reading Ten Rules for Living with my Sister was the fact that I could absolutely imagine Pearl as my younger sister, storming into my room in just her undies, so I grew closer to the characters than I usually would.
This is nowhere near an “action packed adventure” or a “heart wrenching tragedy,” but rather a light and cheerful family tale that subtly and consistently analyzes human life and relationships in a way that rings true. Even though the plot is not dramatic or complicated, it is original because it seems to fit perfectly into everyday life. The best way to describe Ten Rules for Living with my Sister is entirely sweet and utterly human. It had me smiling and laughing knowingly because it is so true.
This book is enjoyable and well-written but, like most middle grade fiction, it doesn’t deal with any really serious topics or make the reader feel any very strong emotions. It’s just what you’d expect; lighthearted and sweet.
Ten Rules for Living with my Sister is a book for the whole family to read, the kind of book that brings back happy memories and creates more. Though you aren’t in for a particularly deep or moving read, when it comes to capturing the moment in a touching and realistic way, Ann M. Martin is truly a genius.
Morgan Smith is a 13 year old living with her family and cat, Holly, in a small house in Pennsylvania. She loves pretty much every genre of books, from cheesy romance novels to dry nonfiction stories, but her favorite books are historical fiction. She has loved to write and read for as long as she can remember, and she also loves to swim, sew, cook, and so much more.