Berkhamsted School Library Blog


We hope that you will visit us regularly and keep up with the discussions being posted. We also hope that you will assist us with sending your comments and views on: books ( fiction and non-fiction), films, plays and anything else that inspires you to open up discussion and thought. Send all your reviews on the blogsheet( available  from the libraries and linked on here)

The first book up for discussion and comments is My Sister’s Keeper by Jodie Picoult

Review from Mrs Rose and her book club girls  

My sister’s keeper by Jodi Picoult had left a big impression on some of us and after a quick outline of the story we all joined in on a lively discussion.

Synopsis from the book jacket
“Sara Fitzgerald’s daughter Kate is just two years old when she is diagnosed with a rare form of leukaemia.  Reeling with the helpless shock of it, Sara knows she will do anything – whatever it takes – to save her child.

Then the test results come back time and again to show that no one in their family is a match for Kate.  If they are to find a donor for the crucial bone marrow transplant she needs, there is only one option:
creating another baby, specifically designed to save her sister.  For Sara, it seems the ideal solution.  Not only does Kate live, but she gets a beautiful new daughter, Anna too.

Until the moment Anna hands Sara the papers that will rock her whole world.  Because, aged thirteen, Anna has decided that she doesn’t want to help Kate live any more.  She is suing her parents for the rights to her own body”.  Hodder & Stoughton, 2004

Impressions and divided opinions

The book had left a deep impression on those of us that had read the book and we were divided in opinion.  Here are some of our thoughts and questions.

“If I was a parent I would want to do anything to save my child”

“But what about the rights of the child, is it right for them to be forced to endure surgical/medical procedures”

“Should a child be old enough to give their consent to help another person in this way?”

“Should we be intervening in life and death?”

“Should there be laws in place to protect children being used this way?”

Comments please.Do you agree or disagree?

Further information on Jodie Picoult and her other novels can be found on her website at :


Author: Berkhamsted School Library

Main aims for Berkhamsted School Library • to provide a central resource for the whole school curriculum • to encourage an ethos of enquiry and discovery • to assist pupils in becoming confident and independent learners • to develop research and information skills throughout the school • to offer resources which enrich cultural values and experiences for pupils, as well as have a role in their recreational life and promote reading for pleasure as a lifelong activity

4 thoughts on “Berkhamsted School Library Blog”

  1. I’ve just finished ‘My sister’s keeper’ and couldn’t put it down. The story covers so many ethical issues, as Miss Guy has noted above, as well as questioning the overwhelming feelings of love and loss. As a mother myself, at first, I couldn’t relate to Sara Fitzgerald in the story in reading how, through Kate’s illness she seems to have taken Anna’s participation for granted and let Jesse find his own unhappy place in the world and leave him there, whilst she concentrated on attending to her, very sick, other child. But then, what would any of us do or how would any of us behave when faced with this situation? I found this book utterly moving and how the stories of each individual character are woven together extremely skilful.

  2. Fortunately the book I so wanted for Christmas did appear in my stocking. A book covering issues such as stem cell research, designer babies and medical issues might not seem like your type of novel, I had similar thoughts and put off reading it over the holidays for as long as I could but time elapsing pushed me into reading it, and thank goodness. Yes the story examines issues on designer babies and the like but there is so much more…..
    All the way through I kept hoping for a miracle, a happy outcome and a physical stopper to dry up the torrent of tears streaming down my cheeks but without giving too much away that is not to be and thank goodness!
    This was my first Jodie Picoult book ( not sure why I waited this long to read one) and I am a fan!! nothing could drag me away from the pages. The strength of the characters alongside the development of the story and the emotions expressed by the narrators and induced within the reader
    ( me) were a mix of agony and elation. I would encourage readers of all ages to read it and when you have, call into the library and let us know what you thought!

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