Gem & Dixie – Sara Zarr


 Gem & Dixie – Sara Zarr, Balzer + Bray, (9780062434593), 2017

Format: Hardcover

Rating: 1-5 (5 is an excellent or a Starred review) 5

Genre: Realistic contemporary family fiction

What did you like about the book? Gem is 17 and her sister Dixie, 14. They live with their mother who is seldom home, forgets to buy food or pretty much anything else. Gem has been taking care of her sister fort as long as she can remember, particularly after their mother ordered their father out for the last time. Gem is anti-social, plain with no friends while Dixie is pretty, popular and even has a relationship with their mother. The only solace Gem has is talking with the guidance counselor at school, but she is breaking and cracking. When their father returns and stashes a backpack full of money under their bed, Gem sees this as the means to escape – which she and Dixie do. This story is realistic and painful. As Gem says, she is not being physically or sexually abused – she is being emotionally abused and can take no more. The bond between the sisters is strained and real.

Anything you did not like about this book? No.

To whom would you recommend this book? Give this one to fans of Sara Zarr, Laurie Halse Anderson and Sarah Dessen.

Who should buy this book? Public and high-school libraries

Where would you shelve it? YA fiction

Should we (librarians) put this on the top of our “to read” piles? Yes.

Reviewer’s Name, Library (or school), City: Katrina Yurenka, Moderator, Youth Services Book Review

Date of review: 5/24/2017

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