Other Brother is a compelling novel from acclaimed author Simon French. Dealing with issues of friendship, fitting in and acceptance it has much to offer.
French has a sensitive, calm way of tackling issues at the core of his novel.
Kieran enjoys school. He is nearly, oh so nearly, part of the cool group. Unfortunately he can't see that his so called friends, aren't really all they are cracked up to be.
It's not the first time that we begin to question Kieran's judgement. It takes the arrival of Bon, and Julia, to really shake things up.
Bon is Kieran's cousin. Kieran really does not want him there. Bon's mum can't take care of her son - the narrative hints at the possibility of depression at the route of this. Kieran's mum, dad, nan & sister all take Bon under their wing, with Bon splitting his time between nan and Kieran's house.
Kieran isn't so sure. Bon looks different - there's that long ponytail to begin with. Then there's the fact that he acts differently too.
'Other kids say stuff about him. It's embarrassing.'
French deftly handles the way Kieran matures as his sympathy and empathy grow, and his eyes are opened to truly understand others. The characters of Bon, Julia and Kieran are wonderfully portrayed
This is a great novel for the 11+ age group. I can really see it being used in Senior schools within a topic on acceptance and understanding. A wonderful novel.
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