Title: Three Little Words
Author: Sarah N. Harvey
Publication Year: 2012
Genre: Fiction, Young Adult
Source: E-book version borrowed from the public library
From the cover:
Sixteen-year-old Sid barely remembers his birth mother and has no idea who his father was. Raised on an idyllic island by loving foster parents, Sid would be content to stay there forever, drawing, riding his bike, hanging out with his friend Chloe and helping out with Fariza, a newly arrived foster child. But when a stranger named Phil arrives on the island with disturbing news about his birth family — including a troubled younger brother — Sid leaves all that is familiar to help find the sibling he didn’t know existed.
What he discovers is a family fractured by mental illness, but also united by strong bonds of love and compassion. As Sid searches for his brother, gets to know his grandmother, and worries about meeting his biological mother, he realizes that there will never be a simple answer to the question, Am I my brother’s keeper?
Right from the beginning, this book had me hooked. Maybe it was the way that the narrator, Sid, talked – candidly, with a hint of jadedness but not so much so as to be offputting. And once he started introducing the other characters, and their relationship with each other, I started to like him even more.
Once the real conflict came, when Sid realized that his birth mother was still around and that he had a biological half-brother, I started to get worried a bit. Would this turn into one of those books where a teenager finds his bio-family and suddenly finds them more interesting than the foster family that raised him? But, thankfully, my fears went unfounded. Sid’s internal dialogue ensured that the reader understood his close bond with his foster parents and that his reasons for helping his bio-family were more noble than just searching out a woman who had abandoned him so many years before.
All of the characters in Three Little Words captivated me, and I truly believe that Harvey did a great job of telling this story. I hope that you’ll think the same.