The Five Sisters- a layer-cake story!

5 sisters

THE FIVE SISTERS by Margaret Mahy transported me to so many thinking places this week!

I bought it for $0.10 in the Oxfam shop, intending to add it to our ICE library as I love Margaret Mahy’s writing. However-it was meant initially for me!

It has such a simple plot-a grandmother makes a set of paper dolls and they come alive and have the most amazing journey!

I read it in one sitting and what an amazing book indeed! If you want to teach about imagery, personification and fantasy- this is the book for you!

The sentences are so beautifully constructed and are great models for young writers:

“Here I am”, whispered a piece of white paper, slyly slipping itself between her fingers.

“Here I go”, the paper hissed softly.”Changing!” Changing!”

The book would appeal to readers from young readers-perhaps from 6-11- and it certainly gave me an intense flight of fantasy, enjoyment of well chosen words and delight in the ideas presented.

With chapter headings such as MYSTERIOUS VOICES, RIDING THE WHIRLWIND and SAD SONGS, readers will be captivated and want to read more!

I was reminded that it is with quality books like this that take children to the deep, inferential levels they need to plumb!

I can’t wait to read it to a group of children and have them make a set of paper figures and write about their adventures. This book will inspire children to read give them great ideas for writing and lead them to thinking about some deep issues- read it!

It has been put into my LAYER CAKE list! We choose books at ICE that can be “eaten” at many levels and ages with varying degrees of response and comprehension. If you are an older child you might get the chocolate part and if you are young, the beginning strawberry level will be just right for you! If you are an adult-you can have all layers of this book and eat the icing as well!


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