Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

My Sister Rosa

Academic journal article Literacy Learning: The Middle Years

My Sister Rosa

Article excerpt

Title: My sister Rosa

Author: Justine Larbalestier

Publisher: Allen & Unwin, 2016

Che is seventeen and stranded in New York City with his casually negligent parents and possibly psychopathic ten-year-old sister, Rosa. Homesick, he longs for his friends and Sydney.

As a stranger in a strange land, there are only a few things he can count on: his boxing, his parents' preoccupation with setting up their next business, and that Rosa will find a way around her promise not to kill. Increasingly concerned about Rosa's influence on the fragile new connections he has made in the Big Apple, Che is frustrated in his efforts to try and convince his parents that there is something wrong. Wilful in their ignorance, Sally and David seem, to Che, to coast through life, content with just each other's company. Without allies and steeped in the fear that, if Rosa's true nature is revealed, he will become tainted in the eyes of those he has come to care about, Che struggles to manage the unmanageable. He knows that it has become less a question of if Rosa will kill someone, than when.

Addictive, compelling and suspenseful, Justine Larbalestier's novel is hard to put down once you have picked it up. Her characters are well drawn. Che, the point of view character, is easy to sympathise with. The reader becomes almost equally frustrated as he is thwarted at every turn in his efforts both to protect Rosa and to protect people from Rosa. …

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