Missing Arabella by Kathryn Siebel
  

Missing Arabella

Written by Kathryn Siebel

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The Lovereading4Kids comment

In a nutshell: Twins separated then reunited after Surprising and delightfully dark at times, there’s a distinctly original feel to this entertaining fairy-tale-ish adventure, though the shadows of both Dahl and Snicket loom over it. Twins Arabella and Henrietta are best friends, but very different: Arabella, prettier than Henrietta and more popular (as a result?) is outgoing, while her twin stays in the background, overlooked even by their parents. When Henrietta is spurred by jealousy to a small act of vindictiveness, her parents banish her to live with an eccentric aunt! Quarrel forgotten, Arabella sets off to find her sister. In fact there are journeys of self-discovery for both girls before they are finally and happily reunited. The narrative is interrupted by comments from a mother reading the story to her daughter, and their asides create a postmodern, story-within-a-story edge. Recommended! ~ Andrea Reece

Definitely one for fans of Roald Dahl, Lemony Snicket or Pseudonymus Bosch.

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Synopsis

Missing Arabella by Kathryn Siebel

A twin banished ...an unbreakable bond ...an unlikely fairytale. Sometimes a disaster is just a disaster, and nothing good can be said about it. But sometimes a disaster is an excuse for a fresh start.

Arabella and Henrietta are twins. If you saw them, you'd find it very hard to tell them apart. But once you get to know them, you'll discover that although they look alike, that's where the similarity ends ...Henrietta is a constant headache for her parents-always causing problems and upset. Why, oh why can't she be more like Arabella? Sent away to live with strange Aunt Renfrew, Henrietta wonders if she'll ever see Arabella again. But the bond between sisters is strong, and even stronger when your sister is also your twin and your best friend. And so Arabella begins her journey through the forest to find Henrietta...

A contemporary and unique fairytale for modern readers. Perfect for fans of books by Emma Carroll and Michelle Harrison.

Reviews

An unnamed mother recounts this tale to her daughter, whose frequent interruptions create a clever, warmhearted overlay to this eccentric adventure..the adults in the story have more than a whiff of Dahl...a promising debut for Siebel. Publisher’s Weekly

If Lemony Snicket penned a story on twins it might be similar to this debut novel about the intriguing relationship between Arabella and Henrietta. Even readers without twins will identify with the universal truths of being a sibling. Kirkus

About the Author

Kathryn Siebel teaches Humanities at Billings Middle School in Seattle and works with elementary school students at the Greenlake School Age Care Program. She’s worked in educational publishing and as an English teacher and librarian. She has a MFA from the Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop. Missing Arabella is her first novel.

Author Q&A
How would you describe your writing style? A few reviewers have described the writing as Gothic, in part, I guess, because some of the adults are so awful. I hope that the book is also humorous and quirky. When I make up stories for the children I work with, they always ask for something funny or scary, so I suppose those requests have influenced my writing style. I'm also trying to avoid writing down to children. As a child, I loved learning new words and hearing stories read aloud. So I try not to oversimplify the vocabulary or syntax too much.

What inspired you to write this book? The inspiration for Missing Arabella came from a moment I glimpsed by chance while travelling in Ireland. One night, as my husband and I approached the B&B where we planned to stay, I saw a mother and daughter sitting in front of a fireplace sewing. Years later, in the midst of writing a novel for adults that was turning out badly, I decided to write something just to amuse
myself. Almost as a writing exercise, I began to imagine the story that Irish mother might have been
telling her daughter in front of the fire.

How would you describe the relationship between Arabella and Henrietta? Arabella and Henrietta have a complicated relationship. Certainly there's jealousy and the contempt that familiarity breeds, but at bottom there's also unconditional love. I feel very fortunate to have two sisters and two brothers. Siblings are your first playmates, and, eventually, if you're lucky, they become your dearest friends, the people who know you the best, love you the most, and, when needed, push you the hardest.

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Book Info

Format

Paperback
256 pages

Author

Kathryn Siebel
More books by Kathryn Siebel

Publisher

Oxford University Press

Publication date

4th August 2016

ISBN

9780192745866

Categories


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