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Bad Sister

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This middle grade graphic memoir by Charise Mericle Harper, featuring illustrations by Rory Lucey, follows a young girl who undergoes a crisis of conscience, realizing that she is a “bad sister.” Meet Charise. She’s energetic, helpful, a model pet owner and full of inventions. But she’s also a bad sister. When she goes too far and breaks little brother Daniel’s tooth, can s This middle grade graphic memoir by Charise Mericle Harper, featuring illustrations by Rory Lucey, follows a young girl who undergoes a crisis of conscience, realizing that she is a “bad sister.” Meet Charise. She’s energetic, helpful, a model pet owner and full of inventions. But she’s also a bad sister. When she goes too far and breaks little brother Daniel’s tooth, can she redeem herself? Is an accident really an accident if you could have stopped it? But most importantly... What does it mean to be a good sister?


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This middle grade graphic memoir by Charise Mericle Harper, featuring illustrations by Rory Lucey, follows a young girl who undergoes a crisis of conscience, realizing that she is a “bad sister.” Meet Charise. She’s energetic, helpful, a model pet owner and full of inventions. But she’s also a bad sister. When she goes too far and breaks little brother Daniel’s tooth, can s This middle grade graphic memoir by Charise Mericle Harper, featuring illustrations by Rory Lucey, follows a young girl who undergoes a crisis of conscience, realizing that she is a “bad sister.” Meet Charise. She’s energetic, helpful, a model pet owner and full of inventions. But she’s also a bad sister. When she goes too far and breaks little brother Daniel’s tooth, can she redeem herself? Is an accident really an accident if you could have stopped it? But most importantly... What does it mean to be a good sister?

30 review for Bad Sister

  1. 4 out of 5

    Melki

    Charise recounts the many occasions when she was mean to her little brother, until one day she goes too far. Now there is a visual reminder to be nicer. A fun read with a few AWW! moments, similar in style and tone to the works of Shannon Hale and Raina Telgemeier. It's a good thing I was an only child. I'd have been a bad sister, too. Charise recounts the many occasions when she was mean to her little brother, until one day she goes too far. Now there is a visual reminder to be nicer. A fun read with a few AWW! moments, similar in style and tone to the works of Shannon Hale and Raina Telgemeier. It's a good thing I was an only child. I'd have been a bad sister, too.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    Thanks to NetGalley and First Second Books for an egalley in exchange for an honest review. This middle-grade graphic novel/memoir will no doubt delight today's youthful readers while also triggering many memories of sibling relationships. Like the author, I was the eldest and I wasn't always nice to my younger brother either. This reminded me very much of the sister-brother dynamic of Judy Blume's The Pain and the Great One. However, I did have some difficulties with parts of it, I felt tha Thanks to NetGalley and First Second Books for an egalley in exchange for an honest review. This middle-grade graphic novel/memoir will no doubt delight today's youthful readers while also triggering many memories of sibling relationships. Like the author, I was the eldest and I wasn't always nice to my younger brother either. This reminded me very much of the sister-brother dynamic of Judy Blume's The Pain and the Great One. However, I did have some difficulties with parts of it, I felt that sometimes the parents were guilty of shaming Charise for some of her behaviour. Particularly, the episode with the visitor who took them out for a treat. That one was definitely a head-scratcher for me as an adult reader. Secondly, as other reviewers have already pointed out Charise's face blindness is mentioned in one vignette and then never mentioned again. All in all, I would recommend to young readers. Goodreads review published 07/06/21 Expected Publication Date 13/07/21

  3. 5 out of 5

    Darla

    When you are a big sister, it is so hard to use the right superpowers. That pesky little brother monopolizes the attention of your parents, wants to have everything you have, copies you, and on top of everything else seems to be nicer than you. In Charise Mericle Harper's middle-grade graphic memoir, we get a glimpse of her life as a big sister to brother Daniel. They have some really fun adventures together (like making up games while running errands with the parents) or dumpster diving next to When you are a big sister, it is so hard to use the right superpowers. That pesky little brother monopolizes the attention of your parents, wants to have everything you have, copies you, and on top of everything else seems to be nicer than you. In Charise Mericle Harper's middle-grade graphic memoir, we get a glimpse of her life as a big sister to brother Daniel. They have some really fun adventures together (like making up games while running errands with the parents) or dumpster diving next to the offices behind their house. There are also plenty of times when their wild ideas for fun end in someone getting hurt -- usually Daniel. When he gets into an accident and damages a tooth, then Charise decides to make a change. She has run out of sorries. Will her brother find his super power of forgiveness? This book is obviously set in the 70's or 80's when kids had more freedom to roam the neighborhood. Readers who have enjoyed Raina Telgemeier, Shannon Hale, and Victoria Jamieson will also want to check this one out.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Mid-Continent Public Library

    When you are a big sister, it is so hard to use the right superpowers. That pesky little brother monopolizes the attention of your parents, wants to have everything you have, copies you, and on top of everything else seems to be nicer than you. In Charise Mericle Harper's middle-grade graphic memoir, we get a glimpse of her life as a big sister to brother Daniel. They have some really fun adventures together (like making up games while running errands with the parents) or dumpster diving next to When you are a big sister, it is so hard to use the right superpowers. That pesky little brother monopolizes the attention of your parents, wants to have everything you have, copies you, and on top of everything else seems to be nicer than you. In Charise Mericle Harper's middle-grade graphic memoir, we get a glimpse of her life as a big sister to brother Daniel. They have some really fun adventures together (like making up games while running errands with the parents) or dumpster diving next to the offices behind their house. There are also plenty of times when their wild ideas for fun end in someone getting hurt -- usually Daniel. When he gets into an accident and damages a tooth, then Charise decides to make a change. She has run out of sorries. Will her brother find his super power of forgiveness? This book is obviously set in the 70's or 80's when kids had more freedom to roam the neighborhood. Readers who have enjoyed Raina Telgemeier, Shannon Hale, and Victoria Jamieson will also want to check this one out. *Reviewed by Darla from Red Bridge*

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ben Truong

    Bad Sister is a graphic novel written by Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Rory Lucey. From the day baby Daniel arrives, crying so loudly that it hurts Charise's ears and absorbing her mother's attention, Charise starts growing into her role of bad sister. Charise Mericle Harper has written more than fifty books for children, including the Crafty Cat, Fashion Kitty, and Just Grace series, and The Good For Nothing Button. The layered and heartfelt vignettes comprising this graphic memoir de Bad Sister is a graphic novel written by Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Rory Lucey. From the day baby Daniel arrives, crying so loudly that it hurts Charise's ears and absorbing her mother's attention, Charise starts growing into her role of bad sister. Charise Mericle Harper has written more than fifty books for children, including the Crafty Cat, Fashion Kitty, and Just Grace series, and The Good For Nothing Button. The layered and heartfelt vignettes comprising this graphic memoir depict the delights and burdens of older siblinghood, with each section dedicated to a different sisterly superpower. Charise, who has prosopagnosia and sometimes struggles with social cues, leads little brother Daniel on adventures that indicate a pre-helicopter-parent childhood. The two wrestle and tumble, roll an inclusive set of neighborhood kids around in a giant inner tube, and search for treasure in local dumpsters. However, Daniel is often the victim of Charise’s impulsiveness and power grabs, and she experiences a mix of guilt, envy, and frustration as a result of her actions. When Charise accidentally knocks Daniel’s tooth out during a rough game of field hockey, his off-color replacement tooth becomes proof that she was bad. Resolution arrives in a subtle, realistic form, as Charise realizes her power to lead and keep Daniel safe. Just as importantly, it becomes clear that her intuitive, gregarious brother has talents of his own. Bad Sister is written and constructed moderately well. Paired with Lucey's playful Sunday comics-style illustrations, the story takes a resonant dive into the insular world of children – especially siblings. However, some of the actions that the parents take are rather questionable – even in their day and time. Furthermore, her prosopagnosia is mentioned once and never again – as it was no big deal. Regardless, readers will relate to the rivalry, ambivalent feelings, and raw honesty. By the end, they become partners, with the power to forgive. This is a powerful story of growth, self-awareness, and genuine insight into family relationships. All in all, Bad Sister is cathartic proof that childhood provides lessons for a lifetime and that change is possible.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Amy Pickett

    Is Cherise really a bad sister to her younger brother Daniel? As the oldest, her need to dominate dictates her actions. Whatever the situation, she makes the rules and he plays along. The games (spinning in inner tubes, climbing into dumpsters, playing lawn hockey) end when someone gets hurt, cries, or both -- and it usually isn’t Cherise. She wants to be good and truthful, but she continues to lie and cheat to get her way. Daniel, naturally trusting and empathetic, forgives his sister over and Is Cherise really a bad sister to her younger brother Daniel? As the oldest, her need to dominate dictates her actions. Whatever the situation, she makes the rules and he plays along. The games (spinning in inner tubes, climbing into dumpsters, playing lawn hockey) end when someone gets hurt, cries, or both -- and it usually isn’t Cherise. She wants to be good and truthful, but she continues to lie and cheat to get her way. Daniel, naturally trusting and empathetic, forgives his sister over and over again, even when she’s downright mean. But two accidents with serious, painful consequences test the limits of Daniel’s (and their parents’) ability to forgive and forget. Rory Lucey’s retro color palette and artwork perfectly represent Cherise’s childhood memories. He depicts their deep sibling bond by portraying them together in almost every panel. It’s unfortunate that the author did not better develop her experience of Prosopagnosia (“face blindness”) or include a note with more information about the cognitive disorder. That criticism aside, Bad Sister is the kind of graphic memoir that leaves the reader longing to know what happens next in the author’s life.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Melissa

    Older sister, Charise is a jealous bully to younger brother, Daniel. She always puts him in danger. She can’t understand why she acts without thinking. Once they are older, Daniel shows her the way.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    Graphic Novel I received an electronic ARC from First Second Books through NetGalley. Charise tells the story of her interactions with her younger brother, other family members and her friends and community. The primary focus is her tangled feelings about her younger brother. The author offers brief hints that Charise may have some cognitive struggles (can't recognize faces, does not pick up on social cues) but never develops this information far enough for readers to empathise with Charise. Also, Graphic Novel I received an electronic ARC from First Second Books through NetGalley. Charise tells the story of her interactions with her younger brother, other family members and her friends and community. The primary focus is her tangled feelings about her younger brother. The author offers brief hints that Charise may have some cognitive struggles (can't recognize faces, does not pick up on social cues) but never develops this information far enough for readers to empathise with Charise. Also, while acknowledging this is told from a child's perspective, the parents are not portrayed as loving or supportive. They don't seem to listen or offer encouragement but instead zero in on everything that goes wrong. And, yes, things certainly go wrong throughout this book. The title sets the tone and the story doesn't veer from this one dimensional aspect. Middle grade readers will connect with the complicated family relationships and may identify with the older or younger sibling.

  9. 5 out of 5

    The Keepers of the Books

    As the oldest, Cherise has a need to dominate her younger brother. Whatever the situation, she changes the rules and he plays along. When two bad accidents happen, test her brother’s limits to forgive and Cherise becomes wracked with guilt. Is she a bad sister? The art is well done. The characters are a little underdeveloped and it would’ve been nice to know more about not being able to recognize faces. However, the memoir is fairly well-done and teaches some important lessons about family and f As the oldest, Cherise has a need to dominate her younger brother. Whatever the situation, she changes the rules and he plays along. When two bad accidents happen, test her brother’s limits to forgive and Cherise becomes wracked with guilt. Is she a bad sister? The art is well done. The characters are a little underdeveloped and it would’ve been nice to know more about not being able to recognize faces. However, the memoir is fairly well-done and teaches some important lessons about family and forgiveness. Readers who like graphic novels, memoirs, and stories about families will enjoy reading this book. 3 stars, Grades 5 to 8

  10. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic copy to read and review. Ugh - this one hit me in the heart. Told through chapters of events with her brother, a girl, Charise, feels that she is 'bad'. She learns lessons from her brother on forgiveness and how saying 'sorry' too often makes it loose all meaning. As a parent, there were many times when the story hit home. Children are so fragile and it breaks my heart that Charise felt so alone. I really hope the author writes more; she Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for an electronic copy to read and review. Ugh - this one hit me in the heart. Told through chapters of events with her brother, a girl, Charise, feels that she is 'bad'. She learns lessons from her brother on forgiveness and how saying 'sorry' too often makes it loose all meaning. As a parent, there were many times when the story hit home. Children are so fragile and it breaks my heart that Charise felt so alone. I really hope the author writes more; she is definitely one to watch.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Ms. Yingling

    E ARC provided by Netgalley This graphic memoir, which seems to be set in the 1970s, given the fashions, level of supervision for children, and other clues, deals with Charise, who spends a lot of time with her younger brother, Daniel. While the two generally play well together, neither child is great about thinking through their activities, and Daniel often ends up injured. There is also some tension between the siblings caused by the parents, who often take the side of the younger child in inst E ARC provided by Netgalley This graphic memoir, which seems to be set in the 1970s, given the fashions, level of supervision for children, and other clues, deals with Charise, who spends a lot of time with her younger brother, Daniel. While the two generally play well together, neither child is great about thinking through their activities, and Daniel often ends up injured. There is also some tension between the siblings caused by the parents, who often take the side of the younger child in instances such as Charise not letting her brother use her art supplies. While the activities the children engage in would shock and horrify parents today, they were pretty standard back in the day-- playing with a giant truck inner tube and rolling it down the hill or throwing it with a child inside, climbing trees, riding bikes, dumpster diving, and running and jumping in the house with couch cushions as "safety features"-- were all quite common. On top of this, however, is a lot of deep seated anger on Charise's part that makes her feel that she is "bad" and that she means Daniel harm. Sometimes she does. One of the causes of this anger might be her undiagnosed prosopagnosia; she thinks that Daniel's ability to recognize people is a superpower, but this is not really fully investigated. When her actions (as well as Daniel's willingness to go along with them) result in graver injury, her guilt intensifies and she tries to be a better older sister. Strengths: As someone who would put on a plastic space helmet and try to jump a culvert at the bottom of a hill on a big wheel with my brother hanging on behind me, I can attest to the fact that this is an accurate portrayal of childhood activities in the 1970s! My brother and I also had a game in the care that involved balancing on our foreheads on the back of the seat and see who could stay up the longest. What sets this apart is Charise's guilt about how she treats her brother, and her exploration of their relationship and how she can improve it. Weaknesses: I would have liked to see more about the prosopagnosia, but I'm sure that parents in the 70s would have assumed a child who claimed this was lying. Just the way it was! What I really think: This will be popular with readers who like a bit of family tension with their graphic novels, like Telgemeier's Sisters, Knisely's Stepping Stones, or Jamieson's All's Faire.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karin

    Autobiographical graphic novel that churned up all the feels (and all the memories) about being a big sister. Really good.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Laura

    The thing about being an older sibling is that you dont' realize how much you can hurt your younger brother or sister. I was a middle child, and while I dont' think my brothers ever cared if I got hurt or not, I certainly cared if I injured my younger sister. And while it isn't a major point of the book, the incident where she breaks his front tooth by accident reminds me of when I broke my sister's front tooth. Let me tell you, face injuries cause a *lot* of blood. It looks as though they are dy The thing about being an older sibling is that you dont' realize how much you can hurt your younger brother or sister. I was a middle child, and while I dont' think my brothers ever cared if I got hurt or not, I certainly cared if I injured my younger sister. And while it isn't a major point of the book, the incident where she breaks his front tooth by accident reminds me of when I broke my sister's front tooth. Let me tell you, face injuries cause a *lot* of blood. It looks as though they are dying. I really thought I had killed her. But, that isn't a reason to think that you should feel guilty the rest of your childhood, as this sister seems to. It is an interesting memoir, but other than the tooth incident, and the resulting guilt, it just appears to be a series of fights and activities she did with her brother. The face blindness is brought up once, but never brought up again. The ability to read people is also brought up, but never explored. Not one that I'll probably reread, as I do with other books. But interesting one time read.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Cheriee Weichel

    Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It will be released July 27, 2021 by First Second books. This graphic memoir is the story of two siblings, an older sister, Charise, and her younger brother, Daniel. The story of their interactions leads Charise into seeing herself as a bad sister. Is she really? What makes a good sister anyway? A lot of what the two of them get up to are pretty standard fare. As an oldest child, with four younger siblings, I feel like I have an Thanks to NetGalley for the opportunity to read and review this book. It will be released July 27, 2021 by First Second books. This graphic memoir is the story of two siblings, an older sister, Charise, and her younger brother, Daniel. The story of their interactions leads Charise into seeing herself as a bad sister. Is she really? What makes a good sister anyway? A lot of what the two of them get up to are pretty standard fare. As an oldest child, with four younger siblings, I feel like I have an intimate understanding of the power dynamics in their family. It isn't easy to always be the responsible one. Are we eldest predisposed to be somewhat bossy and self absorbed? (When I was four I wondered if I could throw the newest baby - a boy - out the window and say it jumped.) Is it inevitable that we think we are bad sisters? Their story begins with pretty ordinary sibling jealousy when Daniel is brought home from the hospital. Charise has some complicated feelings that aren't addressed. There is no time frame mentioned but it feels a lot like the 1970's and 80s. That's the way it was in those days. Growing up the two children have a lot more freedom than children today. They ran wild and were generally unfettered by parent scrutiny unless disaster struck. Is Charise really a bad sister? She struggles with prosopagnosia (face blindness) and doesn't seem to get social cues. Does this make her bad? In a series of sections that all start with "The Power of..." we see Charise as someone using different strategies to manipulate and control Daniel. At the same time, she acknowledges that he has his own kind of superpower. He 'gets' people and they in turn adore him. The vignettes in these sections reveal more about the family and sibling dynamics. At times it seems like adults take Daniel's side and don't listen to Charise. Does this make her a bad sister? Charise leads Daniel into some creative and dramatic adventures in their search for excitement. It appears that both of them have wild fun together. She often tries to do the right thing, but fails. Their games and activities are complicated by Charise's desire for power, control, and her profound desire to be the winner. Sometimes she ends up being just plain mean. Inevitably Charise is wracked with guilt and remorse. When the two of them are playing hockey, Charise becomes exceptionally aggressive and breaks Daniel's teeth. This turns out to be an important turning point for her. She decides to become a 'good sister.' Change, however, isn't easy. It's a good thing that Daniel holds the ultimate super power. His honesty and forgiveness end up helping her become the kind of sister Charise really wants to be. I especially like that this graphic memoir portrays an authentic, complicated look at sibling relationships. I appreciated the honesty in it. I like that in the end, it's because of their relationship that both of them can become better people. I'm wondering what Daniel's memoir of their time growing up together would be like. I suspect he saw a lot more good in Charise than she gives herself credit for. I predict this is going to be a popular book. Elementary school librarians need to purchase at least two copies. Personally, I would purchase enough for a literature circle set. I would love to listen in one conversations between students discussing the sibling dynamics here.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Beverly

    Reading for the Mock Caldecott Awards for January 2022. This was a very enjoyable read which just struck so close to home. An older sister...a younger brother...and how they got through childhood with all the typical ups and downs in their relationship.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Stephanie

    As an older sister myself, I related all too well to Charise Mericle Harper's story. I, too, had (have!) the kindest and most forgiving younger brother. Yes, he was annoying because he was younger and seemed to always have it easier. I paved the way for him! I didn't like that I had to be responsible, and I took it out on him in all the uncomfortable ways that Cherise takes things out on her brother. It's a tough terrain to navigate, the complicated landscape of siblings. I appreciated the arc a As an older sister myself, I related all too well to Charise Mericle Harper's story. I, too, had (have!) the kindest and most forgiving younger brother. Yes, he was annoying because he was younger and seemed to always have it easier. I paved the way for him! I didn't like that I had to be responsible, and I took it out on him in all the uncomfortable ways that Cherise takes things out on her brother. It's a tough terrain to navigate, the complicated landscape of siblings. I appreciated the arc and lessons of Harper's memoir graphic novel, thoughtfully illustrated by Rory Lucey. Eager to share it with students.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Fatima

    I don't think she was a bad sister I think people especially her parents expected way too much from her. They made her feel worse after all her mistakes and then they wouldn't even believe her. She was just a kid but they expected her to act like an adult. I don't think she was a bad sister I think people especially her parents expected way too much from her. They made her feel worse after all her mistakes and then they wouldn't even believe her. She was just a kid but they expected her to act like an adult.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer

    The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! A fun illustration of the ups and downs of a brother-sister relationship. It reads more like a collection of stories/memories than as a graphic novel with an overarching plot (though there is a main theme of "being bad" and forgiveness). I enjoyed it, though; and I was especially intrigued by the unique mention of the main character's difficulty in recognizing faces (prosopagnosia). (That The ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. Thank you! A fun illustration of the ups and downs of a brother-sister relationship. It reads more like a collection of stories/memories than as a graphic novel with an overarching plot (though there is a main theme of "being bad" and forgiveness). I enjoyed it, though; and I was especially intrigued by the unique mention of the main character's difficulty in recognizing faces (prosopagnosia). (That could probably be turned into a whole book!) I wonder why the author didn't illustrate this one herself since she is an author-illustrator... and I'm also curious about what her relationship with her brother is like now as grown-ups! This will be an easy sell to kids who like graphic novels.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Maria Rowe

    Graphic memoir where the older sister realizes she can learn a lot from her younger brother. Kind of depressing to read but the ending was uplifting. Materials used: “The book was penciled digitally in Procreate on a iPad, the fine lines were drawn with a Staedtler Mars Lumograph 6B pencil on Blick Hot Press watercolor paper and colored digitally in Photoshop.” Thanks to NetGalley for a free ARC in exchange for an honest review.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Dawn

    This was a tough read. I had a frustrating relationship with my brother as a child, and while I don’t think I was a bad sister, the emotions and power dynamics in this book rang true.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Michelle (FabBookReviews)

    “Well, this is going to stop! Someone is going to get hurt.” ”But he’s okay.” ”I’m getting tired of this! You should know better…/…I don’t know if it’s on purpose or by accident, but you’re going to hurt him!” Written by prolific children’s author Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Rory Lucey, Bad Sister is a graphic novel memoir that follows the childhood of young Charise from the moment her parents bring home her new baby brother from the hospital. Based on the experiences and memories o “Well, this is going to stop! Someone is going to get hurt.” ”But he’s okay.” ”I’m getting tired of this! You should know better…/…I don’t know if it’s on purpose or by accident, but you’re going to hurt him!” Written by prolific children’s author Charise Mericle Harper and illustrated by Rory Lucey, Bad Sister is a graphic novel memoir that follows the childhood of young Charise from the moment her parents bring home her new baby brother from the hospital. Based on the experiences and memories of Charise Mericle Harper (and her time growing up with her younger brother Daniel), Bad Sister is an intriguing, meaningful story. Charise is an imperfect kid and she is an imperfect big sister- just like siblings can be! She makes errors in judgement, she makes huge mistakes; she is often not very thoughtful and nor considerate about her little brother’s safety; she gets envious and jealous about how thoughtful her little brother can be; and sometimes, her actions lead to her and her little brother getting hurt. But Charise, as she grows up and out of her childhood years, has huge moments of learning, of trying harder to be patient and a good leader to Daniel, and of taking the time to consider what makes a ”bad sister”- and what she might be able to do differently. Charise’s narrative and voice draw readers in immediately, and the quick-pace of the graphic novel, along with Rory Lucey’s bright and clean, retro-feeling artwork make the story’s moments of busy kids’ activity and emotional peaks even more compelling. I do wish the graphic novel has spoken more to Charise’s discovery of having propagnosia (face blindness), as well as the siblings’ parents and their respective personalities- I thought these sections and components of the story were fascinating, but were not covered as deeply as I had hoped. In all, readers who have enjoyed Raina Telgemeier’s Sisters, Jennifer L. Holm’s Sunny series, or Terri Libenson’s Emmie & Friends series might especially enjoy reading Charise’s narrative and the vignette-like dives into the deep complexities of sibling and familial relationships and dynamics. On the receiving end of a starred reviews from Kirkus and School Library Journal, Bad Sister will likely be a tremendously popular pick with eager graphic novel readers. I received a copy of this title courtesy of Raincoast Books in exchange for an honest review. All opinions and comments are my own.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Lauren

    Bad Sister is a graphic memoir about a girl who's convinced she is a bad older sister. Charise gets herself and her brother, Daniel, into trouble, sometimes leading to physical harm to him. She spins the truth or outright lies on occasion. She also always feels very guilty about her actions. To me, a lot of these actions read as a fairly normal sibling relationship. Charise never hurt Daniel on purpose, and she cared about him a lot. However, it's easy for the reader to see why she felt she was Bad Sister is a graphic memoir about a girl who's convinced she is a bad older sister. Charise gets herself and her brother, Daniel, into trouble, sometimes leading to physical harm to him. She spins the truth or outright lies on occasion. She also always feels very guilty about her actions. To me, a lot of these actions read as a fairly normal sibling relationship. Charise never hurt Daniel on purpose, and she cared about him a lot. However, it's easy for the reader to see why she felt she was a bad sister, especially given how their parents treated them differently (although it's worth noting that this is through her eyes only, so we don't know how Daniel felt about their parents or their sibling relationship). The story is told through a series of vignettes. This sometimes lead to it feeling a little disjointed, because there were points which I thought would be brought up again but weren't. For example, I thought we'd see something about Charise's prosopagnosia again, since it seemed important to who she was, but it was only mentioned once and never again. These scenes did serve the purpose of letting us know in what ways she thought her brother was better than her, and how much that bothered her. Some spoilers to follow: I also really wanted to see some sort of cathartic moment between Charise and her parents. It makes sense that this wasn't included - even though her parents caused a lot of her feelings of guilt (intentionally and otherwise, depending on the situation), the story was still about her relationship with her brother, not with her parents. Also, since it's a memoir, this cathartic moment may never have happened. It does go to show that parents can sometimes really affect their child's sense of self-worth and "badness," even if they don't intend to. Not that it's bad that Charise learned to be nicer to her brother, but she largely seemed to come to that because of Daniel's attitude towards her and how forgiving he was, not because of her parents shaming her. 3.5 stars, rounded up. Thanks to NetGalley and First Second for the eARC.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Tasha

    This graphic novel memoir explores what happens when you are an older sister with far too many creative ideas. Charise and Daniel love spending time together, even though Daniel often gets hurt. Charise has a lot of powers, like the power of the trick where Daniel ended up eating cat food. She used the power of games to get her way a lot, though Daniel could also use them to bother her. There is also the power of lying, when Charise let Daniel take the blame, at least at first. When Daniel ends This graphic novel memoir explores what happens when you are an older sister with far too many creative ideas. Charise and Daniel love spending time together, even though Daniel often gets hurt. Charise has a lot of powers, like the power of the trick where Daniel ended up eating cat food. She used the power of games to get her way a lot, though Daniel could also use them to bother her. There is also the power of lying, when Charise let Daniel take the blame, at least at first. When Daniel ends up breaking his tooth though, Charise decides she has to do better as a big sister. Luckily, she has a younger brother willing to forgive her and let her try to be a good sister. Though that may be more complicated than she realizes. It is so refreshing to see a complex and layered depiction of being siblings. Here, there is clearly a lot of love between the two siblings. That foundation is what lets them take a lot of risky behaviors together, making their bond even tighter with the secrets they keep from their parents. When Daniel ends up getting bashed, banged, thrown and more, the two continue to spend time together, showing how much they actually enjoy one another. Through her memoir, Charise shows that change is possible, even if it still means that Daniel might still get hurt. It’s her intentions and responses that mature along the way. Lucey’s illustrations are perfect. They unflinchingly show the build up towards near disasters and true disasters that we will all recognize from our own childhoods whether egged on by a big sister or not. The illustrations also show the huge grins as the siblings plot together about what to attempt next and the changing dynamic between them as Charise learns to be less of a bad sister. Full of laughter, gasps and accidents, this is a great graphic novel memoir. Appropriate for ages 9-12.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Carin

    Cherise didn't mean to be a bad sister. In fact, she played with her little brother David a lot. From car games to playing outside, they were always together and always having fun. Except when she was making sure that she won, manipulating him into things he didn't want to do, and occasionally hurting him. Once, really, really hurting him. After that, it took a while, and a second injury (that she by no means caused, and in fact she got him help) for her to realize that maybe, just maybe, she wa Cherise didn't mean to be a bad sister. In fact, she played with her little brother David a lot. From car games to playing outside, they were always together and always having fun. Except when she was making sure that she won, manipulating him into things he didn't want to do, and occasionally hurting him. Once, really, really hurting him. After that, it took a while, and a second injury (that she by no means caused, and in fact she got him help) for her to realize that maybe, just maybe, she wasn't a very good sister. Not only as a big sister, did I really identify with Cherise, but I even caught myself defending her actions at times! Although it's a little hard because David's such a genuinely good kid. But boy, those birth order issues are deeply ingrained, and in some ways universal. Cherise seems to have mended her ways, and I'll bet she and David are good friends as adults. Anyone with a sibling will see themselves in at least some of this book, whether it's eating more of the pie and blaming your brother, to making sure the cat loves you most, and kids in particular will hopefully find this book eye opening about their own sibling relationships while they're still in the heat of them.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Karrie S

    This book was weird. It was obvious the Sister lived in a dysfunctional family situation. Absent Father, looked like they grew up in the 70s (clothing and being able to free-range in the city, and the ways they played), and the Mother was kinda emotionally distant. She was blamed for things that weren't her fault, and then she was overwhelming guilty a lot of the time. I feel like basic communication was the main problem. Like her brother was hurt, and instead of looking at herself for getting ann This book was weird. It was obvious the Sister lived in a dysfunctional family situation. Absent Father, looked like they grew up in the 70s (clothing and being able to free-range in the city, and the ways they played), and the Mother was kinda emotionally distant. She was blamed for things that weren't her fault, and then she was overwhelming guilty a lot of the time. I feel like basic communication was the main problem. Like her brother was hurt, and instead of looking at herself for getting annoyed at the kids and forcing them to play outside UNSUPERVISED, the oldest got in trouble. I am 42. The exact same thing happened when my 7 yo cousin was supposed to be watching us, and my toddler sister fell down the stairs....even though our Dads were playing foosball like 5 feet away. We bring up that story a lot, and we KNOW it's the adult's fault. Also, I read this last week, and don't remember why I was so turned off by it. But it's not a feel-good book. She's not a Bad Sister, I get why it's called that. It's just normal behavior. She feels guilty, so she's not a sociopath. Kudos!

  26. 5 out of 5

    TheNextGenLibrarian

    “Daniel’s greatest power was unspoken. But I felt it. The power of forgiveness.” 👧🏻 Charise is a typical kid: she loves her cat, has lots of energy, is a fan of pie, games and TV. But she isn’t a very good big sister. When Charise ends up knocking out her brother, Daniel’s, tooth she must face her actions head on. This MG graphic novel explores what it means to be a good sibling. 👦🏻 This book really resonated with me. I was this sister. Charise’s actions were my actions growing up as the older sist “Daniel’s greatest power was unspoken. But I felt it. The power of forgiveness.” 👧🏻 Charise is a typical kid: she loves her cat, has lots of energy, is a fan of pie, games and TV. But she isn’t a very good big sister. When Charise ends up knocking out her brother, Daniel’s, tooth she must face her actions head on. This MG graphic novel explores what it means to be a good sibling. 👦🏻 This book really resonated with me. I was this sister. Charise’s actions were my actions growing up as the older sister. I was horrible to my little brother. It’s a running joke in the family that kills me every time it’s brought up because of the guilt I feel at how I behaved when we were younger. The author’s dedication could have been my words to my brother. I think so many kids will really connect with this book and hopefully learn from our mistakes and treat their siblings better. This story also discusses face blindness, something I think needs more attention. Overall I adored this book and highly recommend it!

  27. 4 out of 5

    Laurie Hnatiuk

    Appreciated this realistic memoir of the relationship between older sibling Charise and her younger brother Daniel. The recall of her interactions with her brother growing up is portrayed in a manner where she feels that she was a bad sister and that Daniel could read and interact with people better than she could in addition to having the power of forgiveness. There is a mention of prosopagnosia (Charise having trouble with facial expressions) and I would have liked to know more. This reminded m Appreciated this realistic memoir of the relationship between older sibling Charise and her younger brother Daniel. The recall of her interactions with her brother growing up is portrayed in a manner where she feels that she was a bad sister and that Daniel could read and interact with people better than she could in addition to having the power of forgiveness. There is a mention of prosopagnosia (Charise having trouble with facial expressions) and I would have liked to know more. This reminded me much of my childhood, being the eldest of two younger sisters and I could relate to some of Charise's feelings and the memories of the various games we would invent and play. I think fans of Raina Telgemeier, Shannon Hale, Lucy Knisey and Victoria Jamieson's books will find connections with Charise and Daniel and the antics that they get into and day-to-day family life.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Tressa

    The story is a wee bit disturbing, to be honest. I can't believe that the main character (the "bad sister") repeatedly (and it seems, knowingly) put her younger brother in dangerous situations. As an older sister myself, there were definitely a few things that I could relate to in the story but, still. It kind of bothered me that the main character had so much reckless disregard for her younger brother's safety...and this was based on the author's own childhood! I was expecting something more li The story is a wee bit disturbing, to be honest. I can't believe that the main character (the "bad sister") repeatedly (and it seems, knowingly) put her younger brother in dangerous situations. As an older sister myself, there were definitely a few things that I could relate to in the story but, still. It kind of bothered me that the main character had so much reckless disregard for her younger brother's safety...and this was based on the author's own childhood! I was expecting something more light-hearted but this title hit a little harder than expected and made me reflect on my own childhood and role as the big sister in my own family. I'd love to find out what the kids of today (especially big sisters) think of this book.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Marwah Haji

    I loved this book because it is somewhat to what my life was like a few years ago. I still live with my, "brother", but he isn't the same anymore. He used to be so fun, but not anymore. Back to my review, 1 out of 5, my review is a 5. At first, I didn't really like the book, but as I was getting deeper and deeper into the book, it seemed interesting. As I turned the pages of the graphic novel, I loved it. I would recommend this to graphic novel reader that likes a little bit of drama but also se I loved this book because it is somewhat to what my life was like a few years ago. I still live with my, "brother", but he isn't the same anymore. He used to be so fun, but not anymore. Back to my review, 1 out of 5, my review is a 5. At first, I didn't really like the book, but as I was getting deeper and deeper into the book, it seemed interesting. As I turned the pages of the graphic novel, I loved it. I would recommend this to graphic novel reader that likes a little bit of drama but also seriousness. Just letting you guys know, every chapter, she is a year older. Also,the book is a life a a little girl starting from a todler, to a 12 year old (I think. If she isn't, then she is somewhere around 12 when the book ends).

  30. 4 out of 5

    Mary

    What a great graphic memoir. We all have regrets about the way we've treated siblings as we grew up, I'm sure of it. I'm sure kids today do and say things to their siblings they wish they hadn't. This book isn't about regret but about trying to be a better sibling and person. The dynamic Between Charise and Daniel may change but at the heart of it is Charise liking being around her brother and trying to be nicer. Daniel is a forgiving and loving person, just wanting that relationship with his ol What a great graphic memoir. We all have regrets about the way we've treated siblings as we grew up, I'm sure of it. I'm sure kids today do and say things to their siblings they wish they hadn't. This book isn't about regret but about trying to be a better sibling and person. The dynamic Between Charise and Daniel may change but at the heart of it is Charise liking being around her brother and trying to be nicer. Daniel is a forgiving and loving person, just wanting that relationship with his older sister. I really liked the art as well. Great book for 9 and up looking for character-driven books. Great for fans of Raina Telgemeier. (Read a digital ARC from Netgalley.)

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