My Sister Jodie, Paperback Book
4 out of 5 (5 ratings)


Quiet, cautious Pearl has always adored her bold, brash, bad big sister Jodie.

When their parents get new jobs at a grand, fusty old boarding school, Melchester College, the girls have to move there - and when they arrive, things start to change.

Jodie has always been the leader - but now it's Pearl who's making new friends.

Jodie just seems to be getting into more and more trouble - arguing with Mum, scaring the little children, flirting with the gardener.

She really doesn't fit in with the posh teenagers at the school. Pearl begins to wonder if she needs Jodie as much as she used to.

But when Firework Night comes around and a tragic event occurs, Pearl realises quite how much Jodie means to her.


  • Format: Paperback
  • Pages: 400 pages, B+W chapter heads t/o
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Publishers UK
  • Publication Date:
  • Category: General
  • ISBN: 9780552554435

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Showing 1 - 5 of 5 reviews.

Review by

This book is about a girl named Pearl who absolutely adores her sister Jodie, but they are quite surprisingly the exact oppisite. Pearl is quiet, shy and polite while Jodie on the other hand is confident, bold and "bad". When their parents find a job at a old boarding school, Pearl and Jodie must go with them to spend the summer. Jodie seems to be getting into more and more trouble, while Pearl is making lots of new friends. She thinks that she might not need Jodie after all, but what she doesn't realize is that Jodie needs her. It isn't until a tragic event occurs that Pearl discovers just how much she needs her big sister. This book made me both laugh and cry, it really touched my heart. Its a book that never gets too old and is super relateable.

Review by

This is the first Jacqueline Wilson book I have tried reading (as part of shadowing the ‘Berkshire Book Award’ and I have to admit that it was better than I’d anticipated. Wilson is famous for writing amazingly popular stories for young children, around 10-13, and has been honoured with many of the UK’s top awards for children’s books. She was also the Children’s Laureate for 2005-7 and was awarded an OBE in 2002. Obviously I was aware of her popularity, but I was convinced that her books were over-hyped, dull and simplistic. (These are the same reasons why I have never read any of the Harry Potter books.)‘My Sister Jodie’ tells the story of two very different sisters: Pearl is shy/reserved and her sister Jodie is much more confident with a flair for getting in to trouble. The story is told from Pearl’s perspective, but Jodie’s thoughts are usually clear to us through her speech and actions. Their mother, distraught by Jodie’s multiple ear piercings, dyed hair and lack of interest in school, decides to move the whole family miles away to live at Melchester College, a Victorian gothic mansion. Pearl, who is increasingly bullied at school for being a ‘swot’ and a ‘teacher’s pet’ is more than ready to go; Jodie is unhappy but finally ready to leave. Perhaps unsurprisingly then, Pearl soon settles in at Melchester College while Jodie feels increasingly isolated. Wilson shows the pain that results as two sisters grow steadily apart. As the girls explore their new home, Wilson fully exploits the gothic setting by creating a mysterious tower, abandoned attics and a reference to Miss Havisham. This creates a dark tone that increases as the novel continues and tensions grow.Early on in the novel, it is clear that Sharon, the girls’ mum, has a favourite: Pearl. Sharon constantly berates and belittles Jodie, regarding her individual nature as unsuitable for a young lady, and suggests that she is corrupting Pearl. Although Jodie does behave poorly at times, she is actually an adventurous, fun-loving child who appears to seek negative attention partly because she gets no positive attention from her mother. As the novel progressed, Sharon’s complaining began to irritate me greatly, especially as she fails to notice Jodie’s growing unhappiness. Joe, the girls’ dad, does love both daughters, but is an ineffectual figure, failing to rein in his wife’s overt hostility and reassure Jodie of her place in their hearts. This was a very sad aspect to the novel. The pace of the story is slow to allow Wilson to focus on the emotional states of the characters; this is understandable, but does make the plot rather dull, even when supposedly dramatic events happen. Events are realistic and believable; dialogue is equally soundly constructed. The more minor characters can seem very one-sided, but they are largely subsidiary to the novel’s emotional centre and this flaw can be overlooked.The problem comes at the end. Unsatisfied with simply creating a believable tale of separation and conformist anxiety, Wilson sticks a sudden shocking event into the penultimate chapter. Obviously, there is never time to explore the implications of this fully, so the novel feels poorly closed. However, it is possible to read a very disturbing message into the novel’s final chapter: the family become happier, despite their sadness, and it seems that perhaps the only option in life is to conform. I feel there is some ambiguity surrounding this event, although it is unclear whether this is intentional on Wilson’s part. Young readers may find this very sad and surprising, but it is not written graphically so should not cause too much upset. In fact, the whole event happens extremely quickly after a lengthy, clue-ridden build-up.Another complaint is that the whole of the plot is given away by the blurb: I could have guessed the ending, even if a kind (!) friend hadn’t told me before I read the book. This does mean that the novel is slightly predictable because you can feel as if you are just waiting for the big event to occur. Of course, as I noted above, the big climax is clearly signposted throughout the book anyway, so only very young readers are likely to feel sideswiped. I do think this is a flaw because, although it engages you with the characters, hoping that the event won’t happen, Wilson is usually famed for tackling difficult issues and I feel this issue is left totally unresolved as it happens so close to the ending of the novel. Overall this is a realistic and mildly enjoyable, if highly predictable, read.

Review by

I have been a fan of Jacqueline Wilson for a long time, her books are always exciting and relateable. My Sister Jodie is no exception. The story takes place in an old mansion which has been turned into a boarding school, Jodie and Peal's parents have gotten jobs at the school and subsequently Jodie and Pearl have moved too. Pearl a timid girl has finally found her place where as her bold sister Jodie is just not fitting in. Jodie seems to be getting in more and more trouble, scaring the young children and flirting with the young grounds keeper, Jed. During the summer and the first few weeks of school Pearl starts to realise that she doesn't need her sister so much any more. Near the end of the book we hear of a firework night. Just before the fireworks start there is a tragic event that lets Pearl see how much she really needs her sister. At the end of the book we find out that the story is actually being told by Pearl to her new little sister. All in all a very good read. This story controls your emotions, captivates readers, and will have you reaching for the tissues on more than one occasion!

Review by

My Sister Jodie is destined to be one of my favourite Jacqueline Wilson novels - the same humourous style and conversational tone deals with the same kinds of childhood angst, yet this one is a bit different - even apart from the shock ending. The whole setting - a crumbling but atmospheric gothic mansion, turned into an odd sort of boarding school - gives plenty of scope for literary references and allusions and the book takes full advantage. Most satisfyingly for me, Mrs Wilberforce shares her library with Pearl and takes the opportunity to openly resent the sentimental and fanciful endings of those children's classics like The Secret Garden and Heidi and What Katy Did where a paralysed or otherwise disabled child becomes whole through the ministrations of some small but saintly heroine. (Hear, hear.)So, as far as Jacqueline Wilson's books are ever "about" something, this one is about endings. In particular it is about how, in real life, endings are rarely "happy" - and about how, in real life, endings are not even "endings" at all, because something always happens next.

Review by

I love this book. It is a really touching story which seems to speaks to you.

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