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Three Little Words Paperback – October 1, 2012

4.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Gr 8 Up-Sixteen-year-old Sid is a budding artist who lives with his beloved foster parents, Megan and Caleb, on an island in British Columbia. His parents have just taken in Fariza, a girl who distrusts all males and does not speak at all. Soon, Sid and Fariza are together and Fariza grows comfortable around him. Just as they begin to make a connection, Phil arrives. He is a friend of Sid's birth mother, Devi, and needs Sid's help. He explains that Sid has a half brother, Wain, who has gone missing, and he needs help finding him. After deciding to go, Sid meets his wealthy grandmother. He visits his mother's studio and discovers where his artistic abilities come from. And, he eventually finds his brother, who also had no idea that he has a sibling. Sid soon realizes how lucky he is to have been taken in by his foster parents, as he has manners, a moral compass, and a quiet life that he loves. The plot is a bit far-fetched, and loose ends are tied up all too quickly in a pretty package at the book's end. However, the author offers insight into what it is like to deal with a parent's mental illness. Sid is too good to be true, and his ability to stay calm in all crises will either be inspiring or too saccharine for readers.-Lindsay Klemas, JM Rapport School for Career Development, Bronx, NYα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

From Booklist

Sixteen-year-old Sid lives a contented, quiet, art-centered life with the couple who rescued him, as a toddler, from his neglectful birth mother. In the care of Caleb and Megan, he has matured and is responsive to the needs of the other foster kids who come and go from their small island home off the West Coast of Canada. As he develops his friendship with a talkative but good-hearted neighbor girl, the arrival of a small, silent girl gives him cause to reflect on his ability to be patient. Then Sid and his foster parents are surprised by a stranger who requests that Sid visit his birth grandmother. Harvey does a beautiful job balancing the story’s many plot threads, while creating realistic, compelling characters. Identity, mental illness, social security (and insecurity), racial concerns, and recovery from trauma are all themes that surface throughout the novel without ever overwhelming the strong, skillfully told story. Grades 8-12. --Francisca Goldsmith

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Orca Book Publishers (October 1, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1459800656
  • ISBN-13: 978-1459800656
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,082,240 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Rachel McElhany VINE VOICE on April 14, 2014
Format: Paperback
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.
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