Teen Book Review: My Sister's Keeper

Submitted by teenspace on July 18, 2009 - 11:37am

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My Sister's Keeper by Jodi Picoult

Review by Annika, Rincon Valley, 7th grade

Kate Fitzgerald should’ve never lived past the age of five. Diagnosed with a rare form of leukemia at the age of two, her parents chose to have another child via in vitro fertilization to give Kate white blood cells, bone marrow, granulocytes, everything. Andromeda “Anna” Fitzgerald never questioned this—her parents, mainly her mother, phrased it nicely, never mentioning the needle that took the bone marrow out, or the hospitalization—until her sister went into renal failure at the age of thirteen. Anna is expected to give up one of her own kidneys to save her sister. Realizing that her life could have other meanings then saving Kate’s, Anna refuses to give up her kidney. Knowing that saying this will only result in anger and force, Anna takes the case to a much higher level: she hires a professional lawyer to sue her parents. Campbell Alexander is a mysterious man, suing God in his court and winning the case, who has private reasons for taking on Anna’s case pro bono.   As they fight for Anna’s rights, the family is forced to question whether or not forcing Anna to give Kate life, what is right and what is wrong, and whether giving up one child’s dreams to save another’s life is fair. My Sister’s Keeper is a strong book, taking on issues that will need to be inspected at some point in the future. However, at the very end, the author strikes all of the power out of the novel; making an unrealistic ending to what was otherwise a great book. Despite that flaw, I would highly recommend My Sister’s Keeperto anyone interested in cancer, medical ethics, and the relationships within families.

Overall: 7 out of 10

Note: The ending in the novel IS NOT the same as in the movie.

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