MY SO-CALLED FAMILY by Courtney Sheinmel

MY SO-CALLED FAMILY

Age Range: 9 - 12

KIRKUS REVIEW

This problem novel takes on identity issues that come with being the child of an unknown sperm donor. Thirteen-year-old Leah, who lives with her mother, stepfather and younger half brother, was conceived through artificial insemination. Because of it, she feels emotionally incomplete and separate, a sentiment that her author mother, currently writing a self-help book about child-parent communication, stoutly refuses to acknowledge. Curious about her origins and full of inchoate longings for connection, Leah accesses an online sibling registry and learns that she has four biological half siblings on her natural father’s side, including a 13-year-old “sister.” From there the novel takes off, building in suspense as Leah secretly pursues her new biological relations. Although the issue of whether or not a youngster should form semi-familial bonds with biological half siblings is multifaceted and debatable, the author comes down squarely on the side of broad familial inclusiveness, which skews the material and makes it more of a polemic and less of a story. (Fiction. 9-12)

Pub Date: Oct. 21st, 2008
ISBN: 978-1-4169-5785-0
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 15th, 2008




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