Monday, 16 July 2012

‘My Brother Simple’ By Marie-Aude Murail - Teen Book Review

Published by Bloomsbury on 2nd August 2012
RRP £6.99 (paperback)
ISBN 978408814710
Reviewed by Lynsey Evans

‘Simple’ is Kleber’s older brother, but he has a mental age of a 3-year-old at 22. Their mother is dead and their father put ‘Simple’ in an institution, but Kleber, who’s only 17, can’t bear to see his brother there and removes him from Malcroix.

They move to Paris so Kleber can finish his final year at college. They finally find a flatshare with other students. Here ‘Simple’ unknowingly changes all their lives and they his. His innocence on how he views them and the world has a massive impact on them all from Kleber maturing, finding love and discovering a beautiful unconditional love for his brother despite the challenges he faces as his carer. Enzo – the ‘cool’ housemate ends up finding a true friend in ‘Simple’. And ‘Simple’ he is happy, he’s out of the institution, he’s making friends and getting up to mischief with Mister Babbit.

Unlikely friendships, self-reflection, conflict and love all test the characters. It’s a heart-warming tale that tackles prejudice and stigma head-on. In a world where political correctness and ignorance build barriers where we should be knocking them down, ‘My Brother Simple’ is like a stick of dynamite, blowing a huge hole in said barriers and letting the wind of change pass through. It’s a book every secondary school-aged child should be exposed to.

Highly recommended for readers aged 12+

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