When My Sister Started Kissing
Author(s): Helen Frost
From Printz Honor author Helen Frost, a middle-grade novel in verse about two sisters and the summer that changed everything
Claire and Abi have always loved their summers at the lake house, but this year, everything's different. Dad and Pam, their stepmom, are expecting a new baby, and they've cleared out all of Mom's belongings to make room. And last summer, Abi was looking at boys, but this summer, boys are looking back at her. While Abi sneaks around, Claire is left behind to make excuses and cover up for her. Claire doesn't want her family to change, but there doesn't seem to be a way of stopping it. By the end of their time at the house, the two sisters have learned that growing up doesn't have to mean their family growing apart.
In When My Sister Started Kissing, Helen Frost's beautiful poetry tells a tale about summertime and coming of age.
“[W]hile the poetic element will give the book a place in curricula, the story of summer change and growth will resonate with any kid negotiating adolescence directly or by proxy.” —Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, starred review
“For tween readers who appreciate lyrical writing and coming-of-age tales.” —School Library Journal
A Margaret Ferguson Book
“Frost deftly shows the value of openness to compassion and personal growth among parent, child, and sibling, using her mastery of poetic form to subtly introduce differences of voice in the poems of Claire, Abi, and the somewhat omniscient perspective of the lake itself. With her signature formalist touch, Frost plays with acrostics and other forms, occasionally embedding well-known lines of famous poems into her own; notes to these are in the backmatter. Frost pulls out all the stops in this heartwarming tale of family in the remaking: everything a novel-in-poems should be.” —Kirkus, starred review
"Skilled poet Frost employs several different verse forms (explained in an afterword) in poems from the viewpoints of Claire, Abigail, and the lake itself; the result is a pleasing absence of villains and an understanding of the challenges of family change and individual growth. Both Claire and Abigail are sympathetic despite and because of their flaws, and the book is particularly deft at depicting patterns of growth in one accessible step at a time as Claire negotiates her relationship with her brand new half-brother and Abigail tests the limit of her growing maturity . . . [W]hile the poetic element will give the book a place in curricula, the story of summer change and growth will resonate with any kid negotiating adolescence directly or by proxy." —Bulletin for the Center of Children's Books, starred review
“Frost, the author of Keesha’s House and Salt, uses the verse format effectively, showing the development of each of the characters in brief, well-chosen vignettes. . .An insightful portrayal of a family in transition. For tween readers who appreciate lyrical writing and coming-of-age tales.” —School Library Journal
Long-listed BCCB Blue Ribbon Award (2017), Long-listed NYPL Book for Reading and Sharing (2017)