June's Room

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece

My Sister Lives on the Mantelpiece - Annabel Pitcher This is published as a children's book, but it deals with some very dark issues. I wouldn't recommend it for my 8 year old, but perhaps in a couple of years time it'd be fine.
The premise of the book is that a child has been killed in a terrorist bombing in London.It is her ashes that live on 'the mantelpiece' of the title. The story is told through the eyes of her ten year old brother Jamie, and looks at how the family cope, or more pertinently, fail to cope with the grief and loss.
The father moves the family away from London to somewhere'where there are no Muslims' as he puts it,because, as he says.. 'Muslims killed my daughter'. Ironically then,our narrator, Jamie forms a friendship with the only Muslim girl in the class, a friendship he keeps secret from his father,for obvious reasons.
Ultimately only time can heal this family. The book was moving,sad, but also funny in parts.. and not just for children