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Whatever Happened To My Sister by Simona Ciraolo

Funny. Sensitive. Charming. 

There's a bond between sisters that is unexplainable. I spoke about this when I represented Saleema Nawaz's Bone & Bread at CBC's Appel Salon event on March 8th. That book was meant for an older audience. Now, I've stumbled upon another book that will appeal to the younger audience, and it is delightful and heartwarming. 

Told from the perspective of the younger sister,  Whatever Happened To My Sister by Simona Ciraolo evokes genuine emotions packaged in a straightforward conversational manner. The crux of the story is how while becoming a teen can seem like it will change things between sisters, it doesn't have to. The bond evolves and is strengthen with new behaviours that are just as strong as the previous ones.

The plot begins with the younger sister explaining the issue at hand. She is honest with her observations; something is different and she really doesn't know when it was "that someone had replaced my sister with a girl who looked a lot like her". 

"My sister was never so tall. Did it happen overnight? I am rather observant, yet the moment of the switch must have passed me by."

She supposes that there were signs, as she goes on to explain the flaws of her older sister. Every time she wanted to do something, her sister would say no. The side-by-side illustrations (younger sibling to older) do a great job of bringing clarity to the issue. 

She did realize that her older sister didn't show any sense of fashion, and suddenly became very secretive, kept her bedroom door shut. Her sister also started to have secret conversations with her mother, while her dad was all mum about it. 

She's a bit sad as she remembers how much fun they used to have playing and laughing together. Her sister used to tell her everything. Are those days over? Will they never ever be "sisters" like they used to be? 

She realizes that she misses her and as a tear rolls from her eye, her sister finds her. And, just like that their bond is restored. 

What Happened To My Sister is published by Flying Eye Books and distributed in Canada by Raincoast Books.  

Blog post by @ShilpaRaikar (Creative and Social Media strategist, decor enthusiast and book lover, who also writes for a branding blog:, as well as a lifestyle blog: T: @SukasaStyle) 

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