My Sister, Alicia May


Sometimes, you just want to scream.

Sometimes, your brother or sister makes you crazy. If he’s not getting into your stuff, he’s copying you. If she’s not making up big stories, she’s telling on you about something you did (or didn’t) do. It makes you just want to scream.

But most of the time (Can you admit it?) you love your brother or sister and you’re pretty glad to have him or her around. In the new book My Sister, Alicia May by Nancy Tupper Ling, illustrated by Shennen Bersani, a young girl talks about her special little sister.

Every morning, bright and early, Rachel’s sister, Alicia May, bangs into Rachel’s bedroom and wakes her up. “Rise and shine!” she yells, but Rachel doesn’t mind.

Rachel knows her sister is special because she remembers when Alicia May was born. Doctors had to fix her heart and she was so brave. But now Alicia May is like most six-year-old girls.

She loves to paint her toenails and she loves bugs.

She also likes polka dots and watching trains go round and round. And Alicia May loves animals, particularly dogs and horses and animals at the zoo. And Alicia May has lots of friends!
But sometimes, Alicia May makes Rachel crazy because she can be embarrassing and other kids are often mean to her. They tease Alicia May.

Rachel hates that.

Maybe people are mean because they don’t know how special her sister really is. Maybe everybody needs an Alicia May in their family.

Based on a true story about two real-life girls, My Sister, Alicia May is an absolute delight.

Author Nancy Tupper Ling gives voice to the love, patience and frustration that an older kid experiences when growing up with a special-needs sibling. I loved that Rachel seems so observant and grown-up but is still a little girl in the end, and I loved that the author allows this story to show a sometimes-not-so-fun side of having a differently-abled brother or sister.

If you have a special-needs child in the family, My Sister, Alicia May is a must-have for siblings, parents and friends to read. It may be a bit of challenge to find, but it’s surely a book to scream for.