Author: Katherine Paterson
Published: 2009 (first published 1980)
Genre: Middle-Grade Fiction, Historical Fiction
Description: "Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated . . ." With her grandmother's taunt, Louise knew that she, like the biblical Esau, was the despised elder twin. Caroline, her selfish younger sister, was the one everyone loved.
Growing up on a tiny Chesapeake Bay island in the early 1940s, angry Louise reveals how Caroline robbed her of everything: her hopes for schooling, her friends, her mother, even her name. While everyone pampered Caroline, Wheeze (her sister's name for her) began to learn the ways of the watermen and the secrets of the island, especially of old Captain Wallace, who had mysteriously returned after fifty years. The war unexpectedly gave this independent girl a chance to fulfill her childish dream to work as a watermen alongside her father. But the dream did not satisfy the woman she was becoming. Alone and unsure, Louise began to fight her way to a place where Caroline could not reach. (via Goodreads)
Thoughts: This was the book that changed my reading from Babysistter's Club books into more literary books and probably changed how I view books. I don't know why that I identify with Louise, but probably because I have felt similar to her in regards to how I was viewed by others and the fact that I wanted to leave behind the rumors and the teasing that I encountered through out most of elementary and high school.
Bottom line: Like The Robber Bride, which I read when I was 15, this book marks a turning point in my reading life and will forever be a favourite of mine. I would probably say that the book is more YA than middle-grade, primarily due to the age of the characters and the tone of the book. Highly recommended.
I should note that this wasn't the cover of the copy that I read, but rather this was a cover of the first copy that I read when I was 12 years old.