Ever since the death of her twin sister, twelve year old Bluebell’s life has been in disarray. With her trusty video camera, Blue captures the aftermath of the Gadsby family life in an alternating combination of short film clips and diary entries. Blue is most comfortable when she can disappear behind the camera, and she has made invisibility an artform in the halls of her school.
Despite her quiet existence, though, Blue’s world is nevertheless filled with a fascinating array of characters like dramatic pink-haired sister Flora, a family of white rats, pesky little sibs Twig and Jasmine, and prickly Bosnian au pair Zoran. Most interesting to Blue, though, is the sudden addition of a next-door neighbor. Specifically, a very cute next-door neighbor named Joss who seems to actually notice and like her.
Over time, Blue gets to remember what it feels like to be noticed, to learn how to be her own person even with the jarring absence of Iris. After Iris is a sympathetic story with a lot of humor and heart that tackles realistic issues in a thoughtful way. The transcripts from Blue’s films let readers see the world as she does, and the chapters told from her point of view are even more insightful and frank. This is a winner for older readers.
978-0803739826 272 pages Ages 11 to 13
Molly Weeks Crumbley, Librarian, Maryland USA