My Sister's Keeper

Author: Jodi Picoult

Publisher: NewYork: Atria 2004
ISBN- 978-0743454520
pages: 432
Author's website

Classification: Adult Fiction
Genre: Contemporary life
Topics: issues, siblings, coming of age, emancipation
Media Type: Book

Grade level: 8-adult

Reader's annotation:
Conceived to become a bone marrow donor for her leukemia-stricken sister Anna decides that she has had enough and it is time for her to take a stand and take control of her own life.

Summary: The story takes place when Anna is a teenager, but through flashbacks and memories from all the characters involved in this dilemma we get a complete picture of all the issues and a bigger story about family, loyalty, love and responsibility - to ourselves and to others. Anna was conceived to help her sister Kate, who was diagnosed with leukemia when quite young, it seems certain she will die without this drastic measure taken. It was just supposed to be for the use of some stem cells and then when that didn’t work the doctors started on more aggressive measures. By the time Anna is thirteen, she is ready to hire her own lawyer to take control of her life. Kate seems to understand but her mother is devastated with this turn of events and does whatever she can to stop her. Their brother is no help and he has problems of his own and the father tries to stay calm and supportive of everyone. A riveting story that includes several surprise twists.

Picoult writes books about ethical dilemmas and this one is full of them. Told from several viewpoints this book makes the reader think about right and wrong and what is morally correct. Good book to start a discussion about a variety of issues including loyalty and responsibility versus free will and personal needs.

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I grew up outside of Boston, went to college in western MA and lived in NYC dancing for several years before getting my teaching credentials and unintentionally moving to Santa Cruz CA. Married and divorced with two kids almost grown, a daughter in college and a son in high school, I am thrilled to be a librarian now, something that I should have done years ago. I love the applications of technology and realize that I have been interested in that since my first computer class back in 1986 - a new requirement for teaching degrees. Finally I can combine my love of curriculum, educational resources, working with adults and children, and technology applications.