Sid short for Siddhartha has spent virtually his entire life in the loving and supportive foster care of Caleb and Megan, and he considers them to be his mom and dad A bit of an introvert, Sid is also very empathetic making him a real asset in a home where foster children come and go His normal life is shattered when a strange man arrives on the island with Sid s half brother Wain short for Gawain Sid, by choice and obligation, gets reconnected with his birth family, learning all kinds of things about himself and a variety of three word phrases.This is an absolute gem of a book about what makes a family a family, as well as friendship, love, tolerance and so muchThere are four relationships that swirl around each other in this story of one artistic, introverted teen s life that with his parents , that with his best friend Chloe, that with Fariza a newly arrived foster child from a very violent home , and finally that with his birth family, especially Wain The story arcs twirl around each other like a DNA helix showing how all of them work together to allow Sid to cope with such radical change, and making for a very moving read The author has chosen three word chapter titles each of which captures the emotions and foibles of Sid s exitence from moment to moment, carrying the reader through the book There are places in the book where the f bomb and other such words appear, but they are in context and the book would be less true without them As a coming of age book, this is a winner. 3.5 Sixteen Year Old Sid Barely Remembers His Birth Mother And Has No Idea Who His Father Was Raised On An Idyllic Island By Loving Foster Parents, Sid Would Be Content To Stay There Forever, Drawing, Riding His Bike, Hanging Out With His Friend Chloe And Helping Out With Fariza, A Newly Arrived Foster Child But When A Stranger Named Phil Arrives On The Island With Disturbing News About His Birth Family Including A Troubled Younger Brother Sid Leaves All That Is Familiar To Help Find The Sibling He Didn T Know ExistedWhat He Discovers Is A Family Fractured By Mental Illness, But Also United By Strong Bonds Of Love And Compassion As Sid Searches For His Brother, Gets To Know His Grandmother, And Worries About Meeting His Biological Mother, He Realizes That There Will Never Be A Simple Answer To The Question, Am I My Brother S Keeper I really struggled with this book The premise sounds fascinating, right But it s not I mean, all of the elements that the blurb promises are there the younger half brother who has been making poor choices a mother struggling with mental illness a grandmother who cares deeply but who is tired of always covering for her daughter and taking care of her grandsonHowever, the actual writing of the story is lackluster It sounds shiny an exciting cross country road trip but is, instead, a slow meander down a dirt road.It s not that I didn t enjoy this book in some ways it s just that this is a very slow paced story Not a lot happens by the end, and to me it seemed very much like a book that I d read to relax before bed There was nothing nervewracking or terrible in this story It was quiet, peaceful, and almost too calm, considering the issues that it tackles foster care done right , mental illness, child abuse mentioned in passing , troubled teen boys, etc.And I never was sure what to think of Sid, our protagonist He seemed too quiet, too passive, too much in the background Also, at 16, what kind of boy doesn t know that around that age, both guys and girls change and start becomingfocused on sexual attraction and romance, etc Sid just seemed so clueless about Chloe being interested in him, and that just made me want to smack him because I don t think there really are any guys who are that oblivious at least, not ones who have a girl for a best friend A girl who might I add is fully willing to smack sense into Sid.I guess I m glad I read Three Little Words, but it really wasn t a book that I m excited about if you can t already tell I would recommend it as a book about adoption foster care and the positive impact good foster care can have on kids, though. As a foster parent myself, I am always intrigued with books about foster care, both fiction and non fiction, which was the reason I chose this book Three Little words is set in Canada which is great because I know nothing about the Canadian foster care system I could fully enjoy the book without analyzing whether or not that s how things are really done like I do when I read an American novel about foster care.I liked that this book shows the positive side of foster care Sid has been in foster care since he was two years old and it has definitely been the best place for him His foster parents, Megan and Caleb, are wonderful, yet not perfect ,like a lot of foster parents I know At the same time, the grief and loss inherent in foster care is addressed as well Sid hasn t forgotten about his biological family and when his parents take in a new placement, Fariza, she definitely has issues adjusting.I struggled with the beginning of Sid s journey Why would his grandma think he could find his brother, Wain, when Sid has never even met him Sid asks that question as well but I don t think a realistic motivation for the grandma was offered I think there could have been a better way to start off Sid s relationship with his brother Once I let that go, I liked reading about their evolving relationship and Wain s personal evolution as well.This book is intended for young adult readers ages 12 and up it does have some swearing in it but I didn t think it was anything that an average teenager hasn t heard or said themselves I enjoyed this book and think that it will appeal to both teens and adults. Felt like it was unfinished Despite having been abandoned at age two by his unpredictable mother, sixteen year old Sid short for Siddhartha has had a good life with his foster parents, Megan and Caleb, living on an island in British Columbia Other foster children come and go, but Sid, an introvert who loves to draw, stays Then one day Phil, a friend of Sid s mother, arrives on the island He tells Sid that not only has his mother disappeared, but Sid s younger half brother, Wain short for Gawain , is also missing Sid never knew he had a brother, and can t understand why Phil thinks he would have any chance of finding him, but reluctantly agrees to return to Victoria with Phil and meet or help find what s left of the family he never knew.I basically liked this book I thought the characters were well conceived and constructed, the structure was good, the description and sense of setting made me wish I could be on the island, and I liked how nothing was really perfect I also liked how Harvey really showed Sid s character in his treatment of Fariza, the traumatized foster child I did have a few issues, though I thought there were too many characters I kept losing track of them when they were all together, and it felt as if their stories had been left out like Chloe, who was mostly just perfect, and the two foster parents I also couldn t figure out if Sid were interested in Chloe as a girlfriend or not it just wasn t clear to me In addition, Wain, as the son of an African man and a white woman, could not possibly be as black as his father it s a physical impossibility And did the good brother really have to be white, while the bad brother is dark skinned This book is about a sixteen year old boy, Sid who barely remembers anything about this childhood He has no idea who his birth mother and his birth father was Sid was raised on an island by two loving foster parents He would be content to stay there forever, drawing, riding his bike, hanging out with his friend, Chloe and helping out with Fariza, a newly arrived foster child But then when a stranger named Phil arrives on the island with very disturbing news saying something about his birth family News about his troubled younger brother, Sid leaves all behind to help find the sibling he never had, and never knew existed He soon discovers his family fractured by mental illness, but he is also united by strong bonds of love and compassion Sid finds his brother, Wain, gets to know his grandmother, and worries about meeting his biological mother I finished this book because, it seemed interesting at first, but then it got kind of boring, and then it got interesting again Overall the book was kind of confusing at times, like I would be like what happened huh so i had to read the previous pages again, to make sure Reasons why I picked up this book was because, of the cover of the book And the title, cause it said three little words and I thought it would be some romance book so I kind of got all excited, but it turned out the three little words were Farewell to Normaltown That sucked I wouldn t really recommend this book to anyone Cause I didn t really find it good at all, it was just okay I guess But maybe I m wrong, some other people would want to read this. From the Publisher Sixteen year old Sid barely remembers his birth mother and has no idea who his father was Raised on an idyllic island by loving foster parents, Sid would be content to stay there forever, drawing, riding his bike, hanging out with his friend Chloe and helping out with Fariza, a newly arrived foster child But when a stranger named Phil arrives on the island with disturbing news about his birth family including a troubled younger brother Sid leaves all that is familiar to help find the sibling he didn t know existed.What he discovers is a family fractured by mental illness, but also united by strong bonds of love and compassion As Sid searches for his brother, gets to know his grandmother, and worries about meeting his biological mother, he realizes that there will never be a simple answer to the question, Am I my brother s keeper My Thoughts Veteran Canadian writer Sarah N Harvey writes on her website that some of the characters in Three Little Words were invited into this novel from her first piece of fiction a work she says was not very good And I am glad they came over, whichever ones they are, because they have obviously made this one of the best books I have read this year.Gentle, patient Sid was raised in the calm, loving world of Megan and Caleb on a fishing island in British Vancouver He is also an artist who has been recording the world around him for years, filling up sketchbook after sketchbook Megan and Caleb have been taking in foster children all Sid s life, but he has stayed the longest and considers them his parents, and they think of him as their son Fariza, 8, their newest foster child, a terrified and traumatized African Canadian child who refuses to speak to anyone Sid knows he can ask what happened to her, but respects her too much to pry like that.Gawain, or Wain, Sid s 13 year old stepbrother, whom he never knew existed, is part African Canadian, but unlike Fariza, he is very angry and very vocal about it Three Little Words is written in the third person from Sid s point of view, though sometimes the narrator gets a little omniscient and lets the readers know what is inside another character s head I like the way, for all he is a good, kind, patient, gentle person, Sid still has mixed or negative feelings about his biological mother, her abandonment of him and being pulled back into her world But, on a positive note, you can see the influence of Megan and Caleb in his actions and thoughts He worries sometimes that maybe he could end up like his manic depressive mother, and some of this novel does beg the question of nature or nurture I thought that the portrayal of the relationships within the triangle of wounded children is really what makes this such a good book, though Harvey has captured Sid s mixed feelings what is happening, Fariza s fear of men and Wain s anger at the world and especially Side to the point of being palpable But she has also captured the kind of compassion that makes healing possible.One hint the title, Three Little Words, weren t what I thought and probably not what you think either, but pay attention to the chapter titles.This is a wonderful YA novel that is able to make a strong impact on the reader and I would highly recommend it to anyone who might enjoy a realistic contemporary novel.This book is recommended for readers age 12 This book was obtained from the publisher.http randomlyreading.blogspot.com 2012 10 three little words by sarah n harvey.html a Sid is 16 and lives with his foster parents on an island off the west coast of Canada He s a bit compulsive and somewhat of a loner but he helps out around the house, is sympathetic to other children and loves to draw He is mature beyond his years and shows amazing patience with the scared little girl Fariza who is a new member of the foster home Chloe is flirty, fun, quirky and Sid s one good friend There are hints of an attraction on Sid s part but that is never pursued in the book it s enough that they are there for one another.When a man shows up claiming to be a good friend of Sid s absentee birth mother and asking for help, Sid is conflicted His mother abandoned him at age two and he has never heard from her since He owes her nothing but he learns he has a half brother who may need him, and a grandmother who is anxious to meet him Sid debates helping, but his inherent kindness and commitment to helping out wins and he agrees to travel to another island to search for his missing half brother and connect with his grandmother He learns his mother is bipolar and has run away so he may not need to confront her at all In fact he has no interest in meeting her he has wonderful foster parents who have nurtured him and love him The adults in the story are remarkably likeable the foster parents, the grandmother, and Sid s mother s friend They are compassionate and individualistic not stereotypical Even Sid s mother who abandoned her baby has redeeming qualities although she s not a prominent character The one character who creates the most tension is Wain, Sid s brother He s annoying and clearly troubled Even Sid begins to lose patience with Wain, but the boy begins to show some progress as the book ends on a hopeful note As a person who grew up in a house where foster children came and went, I am pleased that the book paints a positive picture of foster care There are many wonderful foster parents who really try to provide a loving and stable environment for children in need The book s story is engaging and one can t help but like Sid and the characters in the book Harvey s story flows smoothly and has interesting descriptive touches The optimism of the book is refreshing and uplifting.
Is a well-known author, some of his books are a fascination for readers like in the Three Little Words book, this is one of the most wanted Sarah N. Harvey author readers around the world.
- 218 pages
- Three Little Words
- Sarah N. Harvey
- 02 July 2018 Sarah N. Harvey