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My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother

4.27  ·  Rating Details ·  2,523 Ratings  ·  135 Reviews
After losing running, climbing, throwing, and burping competitions to her obnoxious older brother, a young girl makes a wish on a falling star.
Paperback, 32 pages
Published September 1st 1998 by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books (first published September 1st 1994)
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Community Reviews

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Lisa Vegan
Jan 05, 2010 Lisa Vegan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: any child with a sibling, especially an older sibling, especially an older brother
This seems to be one of Polacco’s true stories, or one based on truth. On the inside front and back covers, there are many photos of the author with her brother at all different ages, and she dedicates the book to him.

This is a rather ordinary story of a younger sister wishing to best her older brother at something, anything. It does show the warm, close family relationships so common in Polacco’s picture books. I loved all the illustrations, especially the very last one, and the ones that show
Redheaded Brother

This is like my tenth book I have read by Patricia Polacco and it is called “My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother.” In this book, a young Patricia tells the audience about her annoying older brother, Richard, who outdoes everything she does and she wished to do something better than her brother! “My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother” is a brilliant book that children who also have problems with their siblings will enjoy for many years!

This book was so brilliant and will easily relate to any child who
Jan 21, 2011 Dolly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
This is a good story (I am tempted to label it non-fiction) about the relationship between an older brother and a younger sister. It is very appropriate to read this with squabbling siblings, but it's also good for parents to read this and understand the love and loyalty that attaches siblings, despite their bickering at home. As an only child, I am often confounded by our girls' behaviors toward one another - sometimes best friends, sometimes bitter enemies. This book offers some good insights ...more
Sep 15, 2012 Barbara rated it really liked it
Drawing once again upon her own life experiences, the author/illustrator describes in humorous fashion the conflict between Tricia and her older brother Richie who seems able to do everything better than she can. When she wishes upon a star to be able to do something better than he does, he ends up coming to her rescue, which somehow changes their relationship. It seems that Richie is not as rotten as Tricia thought he was. As is always the case for this author, she fills her story with family l ...more
Linda Lipko
Increasingly, I am rather fond of this author and her writing. Most of her stories are autobiographical. Her artistry is unique. While not beautifully imaged as some other children's illustrated artists, her talents grew on me and I find that I'm reading most of her books.

This one is the tale of her rotten brother. Always in competition, always trying to be the best, Richard has an in your face type of personality.

Grating and annoying, he always seems to come out ahead. Trying to beat him at som
Randie D. Camp, M.S.
Polacco's stories come from the heart and are told so descriptively that it feels like you are a member of her family along for the ride. In this story, Patricia recalls her younger years and the rivalry between herself and her rotten redheaded older brother, Rich. It seems he can do just about everything better and longer than her and he takes over opportunity to rub it her in face. Patricia learns how to make a wish from her wise babushka and she wishes that she will be better at ANYTHING then ...more
Jan 03, 2010 Connie rated it really liked it
I love reading true stories to my nieces. I get to stop and say that yes, yes, yes - THIS story REALLY happened! And boy, is it fun!

So this is based upon something that actually happened to the author. Now, I will say before I continue with this review that Polacco is... verbose. She doesn't write picture books for the potty training crowd (unless they have a VERY good attention span), but for kids who can sit down through a whole book and be read to, the older end of the 4 - 8 age range. Keep t
Jul 16, 2008 Erinn rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Second - Fifth
Recommended to Erinn by: Well-known author that I wanted to try.
Shelves: picturebooks
Not having brothers or sisters I am always interested in books that deal with siblings.

Patricia Polacco's story was an autobiographical tale as many of her books are. She told the story of how she liked to compete with her older brother, who could always do things better than she could. In this story she sets out to do just one thing better than her "Rotten Redheaded Brother".

*What makes it even better is the fact that my neighbor is her cousin and they gave me a poster signed by her.*

I do thi
Sep 08, 2016 Erin rated it liked it
Anybody with brothers or sisters will easily relate to this book. We have all been there, and understand the feelings of frustration, as well as the feelings of love, that Patricia experiences toward her brother in this story.
Mar 03, 2015 Cora rated it liked it
I discovered this on while I was looking for a 15 minute read aloud for my students. Good book, not great.
Sep 21, 2013 Rida rated it really liked it
Awww I just love this book I like her stuff it's very homey and make your feel light and fluffy like whip-cream! Or like a cloud!
Oct 20, 2016 Jessica rated it really liked it
I didn't like it at first, but it's a pretty good one.
Tahya Bruce
Oct 16, 2016 Tahya Bruce rated it really liked it
I would recommend this to 3rd or 4th grade. This book has longer paragraphs per page and so it would be hard for grades lower to stay engaged and comprehend. I think this would be a good read though for a class. For the kids in the class that have siblings, it would be funny to hear what them and their siblings compete about. It would be a great book to get the kids engaged in and have them make feedback to the book and recap!
Bethany Lovhaug
Patricia's brother would always win at contests such as running, climbing, and spitting. Patricia wishes upon a shooting star that she could beat her brother in anything...just one thing...and it turns out she beats him in getting hurt. Anyway, they both laugh about it and her brother is actually nice to her.
Madilyne Riley
Mar 28, 2016 Madilyne Riley rated it really liked it
Summary: "My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother" by Patricia Polacco is an adorable and amusing book about a little girl and her older brother who have the stereotypical sibling rivalry. Patricia could not stand her older brother. They were both very competitive, but Henry was always better than Patricia. He could " run the fastest, climb the highest, throw the farthest, sit the longest, get the dirtiest, burp the loudest, and spit the furthest"... and he was four years old. Patricia was determined ...more
Henna Patel
Mar 20, 2013 Henna Patel rated it really liked it
Summary/Annotation: This is a wonderful book by the author Patricia Polacco. In this story there is a rotten redheaded older brother who is better at everything compared to his younger sister. Her mean big brother always challenges her and proves himself better every time. His little sister becomes upset and she is determined to find something she is better at than him. One night she wishes upon a falling star.The next day a traveling carnival comes into town where they both rode the merry-go-ro ...more
Mckenzie Telford
In this book, "My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother," by Patricia Polacco, is about a brother and sister who always fight. The young girls brother is four years older then her and he thinks he is better at everything. They are constantly competing over picking blackberries, eating hotdogs, and many other things. One night the young girl and her grandmother see a shooting star and make a wish. The little girl wished that for once she could finally do something better then her brother. The next day a ...more
Feb 28, 2010 Katina rated it it was amazing
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother is written by one of my favorite authors. This is actually a story that happened to the author when she was younger. The story is about sibling rivalry. Like everyone who has a sibling they always are in competition with will enjoy this story. Patricia is always out-beaten by everything she does by her brother. He always teases her. When a carnival comes to town she wants to find something she is better at than her brother. She makes a wish upon a star for her w ...more
Nani Yanagi
Apr 28, 2014 Nani Yanagi rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books, family
The one thing a little girl hates is her older brother picking on her and beating her at everything. Well, this is the case for Patricia’s brother Richard. Richard is four years older than Patricia and challenges her at everything he possibly can and beats her at it. Patricia gets really annoyed with this and is determined to do something about it. Her grandmother told her about wishing upon a shooting star. Patricia then stared at the night sky waiting for a shooting start. When she did see one ...more
Maddi Hurrle
Apr 13, 2015 Maddi Hurrle rated it really liked it
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother is a realistic fiction picture book written by popular author, Patricia Polacco. The book is very reminiscent to her relationship with her older brother as they grew up.

The book tells the story of siblings Tricia and Richie. The siblings display the typical brother/sister relationship. Tricia is capable of doing many things, but whatever Tricia can do, Richie can do ever better. He can spit farther, jump higher, burp louder and so long. Until one night with her
Ashli Stroyan
Tricia is constantly trying to out-do her older brother, because he seems to think that anything she can do, he can to better, and more often than not, he is right. This humorous, silly story exemplifies the “sibling rivalry” that some siblings go through. This was a fun book to read because it was based on Patricia Pollocco’s real-life relationship with her brother. Polacco even includes actual photos of her and her brother inside the front and back covers of the book. Doing this gave the book ...more
Jennifer Weiss
I thought that this would be, for the most part, a very relatable book for young girls with older brothers. I liked how the two siblings were in a constant competition to see who was better then at the end they were able to reach an understanding and appreciation for each other. The illustrations were quite detailed and colorful. However, I do not like the illustration technique because the illustrations look almost messy. The story seems very real and very relatable. It takes place in a specifi ...more
Shelli Gheen
Apr 04, 2013 Shelli Gheen rated it it was amazing
In My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother (1994, Patricia Polacco humorously tells of how she could never seem to beat her older brother, Richie, at anything when they were children. So she sets out to beat him at riding the merry-go-round the longest. A great example of sibling that is near and dear to my heart.

Themes: Competition; Family; Humor; Sibling Rivalry

Ways to use this book with children:
*Read and discuss students relationships with their siblings or other family members. Have
Oct 18, 2012 Nicole rated it really liked it
This story was about a little girl and her older brother. Her older brother could always do everything better than her. He could pick more blackberries and even set a 10 year long record. He could run faster, burp the loudest and spit the furthest. The little sister wanted to find something that she could do better than him. She could eat more of a sour plant than him without getting the puckers, or so she though until he ate one more stalk than her. The little girl began to make wishes on stars ...more
Karina Arroyo
Oct 18, 2012 Karina Arroyo rated it really liked it
This book i considered to be very funand exciting. It began mostly with her talking about how she wants to be better than her own brother. There were many things during the story that allowed the reader to know that she was jealous. The book goes on and they keep seeing things in the morning. What i also took from this activity and i already had used it was the friendship between siblings. Whether they agree or disagree it shows that they will always be there for each other. I personally would s ...more
Oct 05, 2010 Stephanie rated it really liked it
Who doesn't have a rotten ____-headed brother? Any one who has been a kid or is a kid can relate to the sibling rivalry in this story. But way down, deep inside we love our brothers and sisters. This would be a great mentor text in the 4th grade for writing memoir, because it is such a universal topic. The characters have great dialogue, and Polacco uses colorful phrasing with multiple adjectives that the students could try on for size,"extra-rotten, weasel-eyed, greeny-toothed grins," as one ex ...more
Alex Wulfekuhle
Mar 15, 2016 Alex Wulfekuhle rated it it was amazing
Shelves: picture-books
I think this is a great book! It really shows the relationships that a sister endures throughout their life with their brother. Even with the bad things, the brother beats her at every little thing he does, and from there she gets sick of it, so when she sees a shooting star she wishes to be better at something than her brother. God accepts the wish, but has other plans. She challenges to him who can stay on a merry go round the longest. They go on the merry go round where she wins but eventuall ...more
The Reading Countess
Patricia Polacco...master mentor text writer, how I love thee...

Let me count the ways:

1. Your playful language and realistic dialogue provides days and days (truthfully, months and months since we constantly return to your writing again and again)
2. Your seeds that you grow from your childhood provide a window to burgeoning writers about how to pluck, love on and grow a baby seed of their own recollection
3. Your writing makes me, a no-name teacher, want to write my own moment in time story
4. I k
Andrea Ference
Oct 19, 2012 Andrea Ference rated it it was amazing
My Rotten Redheaded Older Brother is one of my favorite childhood books because I had two older red headed brothers. The story is about how the little sister tries to do everything better than her brother but she never succeeds. She tries everything from eating rhubarb leaves to wishing on a star and nothing helps her become better at anything her freckled face brother does. I love how this story shows a perspective of brotherly sisterly bonding both good and bad. The unique and colorful illustr ...more
Acacia Casner
Dec 13, 2010 Acacia Casner rated it really liked it
This book is about a young girl who just can't believe that her grandmother actually likes her older brother. Her older brother likes to make everything into a competition and more annoyingly, always wins. The young girl can't find one thing she can beat her older brother at until a fair comes to town. She challenges him to a carousel riding contest. He only gets off because he thinks the carousel is "uncool", but the young girl rides until she becomes dizzy and falls. She ends up getting a cut ...more
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