Sara can't be bothered to be nice to Steinar. He's too little and annoying and spoilt. But when his mother dies, he moves in with Sara's family, and Sara finds out she's got a brother. Steinar is always around and spoils everything that used to be great. Sara can't cope with it. Her family can't cope with it. That's when Sara has a fantastic idea that may just change everything.
[...] the children’s novel A Brother Too Many [...] has received great attention. And it deserves it. [...] The quality of A Brother Too Many is grounded in both form and content, and that is what makes it a good book, not just an important book. [...] The text is also marked by many thought-provoking reflections. They are simple, yet open and entertaining. [...] Hagerup expresses the wrong feelings, Sara is allowed to have them.
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Linde Hagerup has managed to make both the pattern of action and the language of Sara credible. Sara is only 9 years old but she has a good observational ability. [...] When children’s books are written with a young first person narrator, it is not uncommon for readers to be left with a sense that the text is not credible, but it does not happen here. Sara thinks, acts and reacts as a child, and this is clearly evident. I believe in Sara and I felt so sincere with her in her attempt to be kind.
Poetic and engaging about a great challenge for a nine-year old. [...] Linde Hagerup writes lightly and precisely about forbidden feelings in the children’s novel A Brother Too Many. It opens dramatically, with a death and major upheaval for a small family. But at the center is a recognizable nine-year-old, with the thoughts and challenges anyone can identify with, especially if they have younger siblings. [...] Sara is the narrator, and the sentences fit nicely in the mouth of a nine year old. But the language is also poetic. It has a clear rhythm that makes it a great read. [...] All the way there are things to be found between the lines, without slowing down the action. It is exciting and engaging, and often funny [...] the best thing about the book is how Hagerup draws on and dramatizes the difficult emotions [...] Warm and realistic drawings by Jens A. Larsen Aas complement the story. They don’t tell much more than the text, but their expressive faces capture the mood. Linde Hagerup has written an unparalleled novel that speaks directly to its audience and at the same time gives them much more to chew on than children of easy-reading age are often used to.
The text is faithful to Sara’s perspective. In an intense chamber play, the family appears with great credibility. Everyone talks and acts without any explanatory narrator in a language so fresh that it is a delight. [...] When it’s so easy to feel with her, it's also easy to understand how difficult it is to be kind. It is well done to let Sara live out the frustration without me reading in the sympathy for her. [...] Here are many scenes worth stopping by, and many examples of child rearing that challenge both big and small readers. [...] The book takes a delightful turn as Sara steps out of the sacrificial role and introduces her surprising solution. From there we get a superb test of how far it is possible to stretch in the name of siblings.
I haven’t read many words in Linde Hagerup’s A Brother Too Many before I start to wonder how many writers manage to create such an intimate tone in their stories. [...] I [think] on the one hand it is about the sentences being short, close and credible, and on the other the way Sara, who is the 9-year-old storyteller in the book, sees the world, and appears as alive, unpredictable and interesting. [...] A Brother Too Many has a lot to give.
Neither the seriousness nor the theme is intrusive. We believe in Sara and the universe she lives in. [...] Hagerup builds credibility through language. Direct but not vain, poetic without being pompous, rhythmic and cut to the bone. [...] Hagerup is a keen observer. This is particularly evident in the portrayal of the child and in the dialogue between the family members. We recognize ourselves. I would recommend this book to both children and adults. It is particularly suitable for reading aloud, as a basis for good conversations without pointing fingers.