Title: My Brother Daniel
Author: Various
Pages: 96
Reading Level: 8-10
Star Rating: ★★

Highlights Series

The Stories.

1.       My Brother Daniel. Daniel has instructed his little brother to ask him questions. Lots of questions. Questions about everything. But sometimes the answers he gives aren’t as reliable as they should be…

2.       The Mad Scientist. Andrea is accustomed to being known only as Eric’s sister, the Mad Scientist’s sister. Eric is brilliant while she, well, she isn’t so brilliant. And then, one day, Eric includes her in one of his projects – how to transport a soda from the window to the hammock by using Newton’s third law of motion.

3.       To the Moon on a Horse. Joshua is tired, but he wants to hear a story before he goes to sleep. A story about the moon. So, Erin indulges him and weaves a personalized story for him about the time she traveled to the moon on a sea horse…

4.       I Caught a Salamander! Natasha is delighted. She has a pet, a brand new pet! She names the salamander Fred, and proceeds to shower him with love, affection, and dead flies. But Fred doesn’t thrive – in fact, he languishes! Will Natasha have the strength to release her pet?

5.       My Foster Sister. Sarah is unsure what to do. Her parents have accepted Lisa, a foster child into their home. But Lisa is so different from Sarah. Will they find a way to connect?

6.       Katy and the Kite. Katy is so irritated. Matt, her little brother, rolled over her kite with his roller skates. It’s fixed now, but she certainly won’t let him near her kite again! Will Katy learn how easy it is for accidents to happen? And will she forgive Matt?

7.       Goofy Patricia. Jeff doesn’t know what to do with Patricia. She’s his sister, true, but she’s strange. Take now, for instance. She’s determined to dye her hair. Why would she want to do a thing like that? Even so, it might make for a little fun…

8.       The Box in the Barn. Jason is devastated. Today is his little sister, Megan’s birthday, and boxes of presents are in abundance. Out of curiousity, Jason opens one of them and finds the sweetest little puppy inside. But before he can get the puppy back into the box, it runs away, disappearing into the field. Can Jason recover the puppy before the party begins?

9.       A Room of Her Own. Anne wants a room of her own. Not one to share with Casey and Brenda, her little sisters. Not one where she can never have a moments worth of peace. Can the three girls find a way to rearrange themselves that is pleasant to them all?

10.   Everything for Scotty. Jeff is irritated, angry. It seems all his mother ever does is spend time with Scotty, Jeff’s mentally impaired older brother. Will Jeff learn to show compassion to Scotty’s difficulties?

11.   The Lost Snake. Joanna takes her job as feeder of the nursery school animals very seriously. That is why, when the nursery snake disappears, Joanna knows she must go to drastic measures to find him again!

12.   The Warming House. Ben wishes his sister hadn’t tagged along to his hockey game. She’s just one more bothersome detail to nag at him. But when he witnesses her misery at his neglect, he realizes that protecting his sister is more important than he thought.

13.   Two Plus Three Equals One. Vicki doesn’t want a new father. She doesn’t want a new sister or brother. She just wants to go on with her mother the way it’s always been. But what would happen if she and Julietta began to be friends…

14.   A Horse in the Kitchen? Jill would never have done it. Not by herself. She wouldn’t have even thought of it. But Nick thought of it and talked her into helping him with his scheme – to lure Cob, the family horse, into the kitchen. But what shall be the result of this dastardly plan?

15.   A Gift of Feeling. Matt wants to buy a Braille book for his blind little brother, Steve, but he hasn’t the money. What can he do to show Steve his love? What can he do to make Steve’s birthday special?

16.   The Best Mistake. Kim and Lisa have decided to enter a contest, a contest to see who can guess how many beans are in a glass jar. The winner will be awarded a toy worth fifty dollars! But can Kim and Lisa work together to guess the right number?

Cautions.

In My Brother Daniel, Daniel tells his little brother all kinds of lies, including several stories which include magic.

In The Mad Scientist, Eric and Andrea quibble and roll their eyes at each other, but in the end they have created an invention together.

In To the Moon on a Sea Horse, Erin interacts affectionately with her little brother by telling him a fantastical story about riding to the moon on a sea horse.

In My Foster Sister, Sarah’s family takes in a foster child who dresses in a ratty style. Sarah shows compassion to Lisa by pitying her lonely situation and trying to make friends.

In Katy and the Kite, Katy becomes angry at her little brother, Matt, who tore her kite. However, after she accidentally destroys another person’s project, she realizes that she cannot hold a grudge against her brother.

In Goofy Patricia, Patricia wants to be old and mature, so she decides to dye her hair behind her mother’s back. Jeff helps her, and the entire experiment is a mess.

In The Box in the Barn, Jason feels terribly guilty after he loses his sister’s birthday present. He confesses to his father.

In A Room of Her Own, Anne expresses her hatred of sharing a room with her younger sisters. She actually has pretty good relationships with her sisters and in the end, they work out a way to share a room and have private space.

In Everything for Scotty, Jeff initially expresses anger and disdain that his mother has to spend most of his time caring for his older brother, Scotty, who is mentally underdeveloped. However, by the end of the story, Jeff’s anger turns to compassion.

In The Warming House, Ben resents the fact that his mother has sent his little sister along to watch his hockey game. Although his mother told him to take care of her, Ben neglects her. In the end, however, he takes responsibility for her and treats her kindly.

In Two Plus Three Equals One, Vick struggles to adjust to her mother’s remarriage. In the end she has accepted both her new siblings and her new father.

In A Horse in the Kitchen, Nick decides that it would be a good joke to coax the family horse into the kitchen. Although they are initially angry, the parents end up cracking up at the prank.

In A Gift of Feeling, Matt demonstrates great love by writing a story for his blind brother.

One of the characters comments that Sundays are boring.

After Patricia dies her hair, Jeff says she looks like a vampire.

‘Gosh’ is used once.

Conclusion. Not all that great.

Review © 2013 Laura Verret

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