By Ann M. Martin
Feiwel & Friends, $16.99, 230 pages

Pearl is nine years old and compared with her older sister Lexie, she has very little in life – no boyfriend (unless you count the cat), few friends, no phone and no key to the apartment! It’s a typical sister relationship with its ups and downs, but that’s about to change. With the girls’ grandfather temporarily moving into their New York City apartment, the girls will have to share a room. After the initial horror (on the part of Lexie), Pearl takes a stab at creating the list of ten rules for living with her sister. This list will foster the change in one pesky little sister. The ensuing bond between Pearl and Lexie warms the heart.

Ann Martin delivers a funny, tender story showing a growing maturity in this likeable 9-year old character while still maintaining very much a nine-year old’s voice. The symbolism of the key, in both the life of Pearl and in her grandfather, is touching. Both will find their independence.

Reviewed by Lisa Ard