cover image Sister of the Quints

Sister of the Quints

James Cross Giblin, Stella Pevsner. Clarion Books, $13.95 (177pp) ISBN 978-0-89919-498-1

It's quite believable that an eighth grader, the stepsister of toddler quintuplets, would have trouble getting her father and stepmother's attention. Natalie wants to be known for herself, not just for her troublesome siblings. She wants to get to know a new boy in town and to excel in soccer, but both goals are waylaid by her ongoing duties at home. And she's still adjusting to her real mother's move from Chicago to Colorado. After the news media makes a big deal of the quints' first birthdays, Natalie's family starts getting threatening phone calls. One of the quints disappears. She is found, but not before Natalie starts thinking of herself and each sibling as individuals. She moves to Colorado. Many issuessibling rivalry, child-custody decisions, young love, mental illness (one of Natalie's friends kidnaps a quint; another is behind the phone calls)are glossed over here; the quints are window-dressing for a fairly standard postdivorce story. (10-14)