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Missing Sisters

3.29  ·  Rating Details ·  529 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Alice's life is about to change.

She's a skinny orphan. She's never been able to hear too well. And she can't speak too well, either. The only person who seems to care for her--one of the nuns at the orphanage--gets taken away from Alice in a freak accident.

And then one day somebody calls Alice by the wrong name.

Miami, she says.

Miami Shaw.

Miami Shaw, who may be Alice's twin
ebook, 192 pages
Published June 30th 2009 by HarperCollins ebooks (first published May 1st 1994)
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Dec 28, 2008 Lightreads rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is about two young girls in 1960’s New York. Alice has a hearing loss and a speech impediment, and she lives in a Catholic home for orphans. Miami has been adopted into a crowded but happy home. Neither of them know about the other, and this book is about them finding each other again.

Oh, man. My faith in YA lit and Gregory Maguire are equally restored. I’ve found the first recently rather dull, and the second frustratingly unwilling to pull his endings through.

This is a book for youn
Bryan Ball
Dec 02, 2009 Bryan Ball rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a very special little gem of a book. I thought I knew Gregory Maguire, the man who made me root for the Wicked Witch of the West and understand the stepsisters some called ugly. But until now I have never read his children's/YA fiction, and "Missing Sisters" is something unique. Maguire's voice here reminds you of his adult novels, but there are passages here you feel could be written by a completely different author. The directness Maguire gives here, with his characters of orphans and ...more
May 04, 2014 Alisa rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: american, literature
I loved this story for its simplicity, yet sharp insight into the minds of orphaned children who must define love on their own terms, and the challenges faced by the families (of various definitions) that try to love and nurture them. As a Roman Catholic, I also enjoyed the glimpse into the changing Church at this point in the 1960s. A quick read that is still eloquent and moving, it will stay with me for awhile.
Ryann Barker
had great potential. fell short.
Jun 15, 2017 Patti rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quick enjoyable listen. Very heart warming story.
Suzanne (Chick with Books) Yester
In an orphanage in upstate NY, twelve-year-old Alice lives her life among the stern nuns that share her home. She's not like the rest of the little girls, she can't hear very well, and she has a speech impediment that makes it hard for her to talk. Sister Vincent de Paul befriends Alice and becomes her closest friend, patiently listening to her every word, trading secrets in the kitchen. Sister Vincent de Paul is a bit of a misfit herself, having a deformed foot that hinders her walking, but thi ...more
Stephanie Jeanneret
Genre: Contemporary Fiction (bibliotherapy)
Grades: 5-6

This book is about a girl names Alice who is in a Catholic orphanage. She has speech and hearing problems, and only one of the nuns can really understand her. At the beginning of the book, there is a fire and her favorite nun is severely burned. The nun is moved into a nursing home, and Alice vows that until she sees her she will not go with a family to be adopted. All the children are sent to camp over the summer far a week. At camp Alice f
Sep 30, 2013 Shannen rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have read a number of Maguire books, and was terribly excited about this one. A pair of long lost sisters rediscovers each's a great start to a story. I was a little disappointed when I got it in the mail and saw how small it was. The beginning has a sense of magic about it, Alice watching the storm fall on two sides of the kitchen while the sister cooks...but then it goes down hill from there. Every time it starts to lead up to something exciting, it crashes you back down into this ...more
Nesa Sivagnanam
May 27, 2012 Nesa Sivagnanam rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In an orphanage in Troy, New York, twelve-year-old Alice lives her life among the nuns that share her home, The Sacred Heart Home for Girls. She's not like the rest of the little girls, she can't hear very well, and she has a speech impediment that makes it hard for her to talk.

Sister Vincent de Paul befriends Alice and becomes her closest friend, patiently listening to her every word, trading secrets in the kitchen. Sister Vincent de Paul is a bit of a misfit herself, having a deformed foot th
Nov 03, 2013 Rhonda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: female-mystery
From School Library Journal

Grade 5-7-A portrait of a 12-year-old handicapped girl, raised by a stern group of nuns, emerges from this ragged novel. Alice has spent her life in an orphanage, steeped in rigid religiousness and-because of her hearing and speech impediments-in confusion. When the one nun who is sensitive to Alice tragically vanishes from her life, the girl's isolation is compounded by grief. Then, through a fluke of mistaken identity, she discovers that she has an identical twin sis
Jan 11, 2014 Maree rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm actually not sure why this was on my immediate to read list--maybe it was a group read that I've already missed or something. It was a solid story, short, about two sisters ages ago, twins separated at birth. I liked the fact that Anna had hearing problems and therefore speaking and listening problems. That was definitely the most interesting thing about the book; seeing how she dealt with it and how internally she was so bright, though because she couldn't share it with others, they thought ...more
Bridget Bailey
This book is from the same author as the Wicked series; however, this book is nothing like that series. The first thing I thought was different was the size of the book, it is less than 200 paegs, you feel like you are reading something for a much younger audience. Also, it seemed like this story was just thrown together quickly to get something published without really developing any characters or a good storyline. It was a good quick read but it felt like things were missing from it. His other ...more
Jun 12, 2012 Whitney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a short story about two young “orphans”, Miami and Alice, one has been adopted and one is living at a Catholic orphanage. Indirectly they discover their existence. It is just a simple story with no real resolve or conclusion at the end. It leaves the reader wondering why Maguire ended the book abruptly or if he wanted the reader to come to their own conclusions. At a deeper level one could argue whether “nurture vs. nature” determines ones personality and character more. It is apparent t ...more
Lesley Eichten
I chose this book because I really like Gregory Maguire as an author, but after reading about 1/3 of it I put it down, very dissappointed. I couldn't see where the story was going and just couldn't "get into it" which is very rare for me. THEN, I found out that's it's a Young Adult novel (missed that somehow) and decided to start it again with that in mind. And, when I got about halfway through I enjoyed the rest of the book. Definitely a great read for young people, and not a complete waste of ...more
Sam Wescott
This was a really sweet story. The beginning had a magical, fairytale feel and the imagery throughout had that delicate Maguire touch. For some reason, though, Maguire's children's lit never really grabs me. I had the same problem with What the Dickens. It was a great story, but just didn't stick somehow. That being said, it's a sweet, simple, and beautiful story. And it's so quick to read, I would definitely recommend it. It's a sweet little morsel.
Coach Noreen
Dec 27, 2012 Coach Noreen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read this without looking at other reviews. Shocked at the low ratings. I was hooked and went through it pretty rapidly. I wonder what others were expecting on this is key to know this is for YA. That might be issue.
Personally, I have an interest in the nature/nurture argument. It was also gripping for me to have the Upstate NY references-my local area.
Two days have passed and I am still thinking about the nuns and the twins.
Susan  Dunn
Feb 20, 2014 Susan Dunn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: j-fiction
Meh. Sounded so good, but I was disappointed. An orphan girl being raised by nuns goes to summer camp and is mistaken for another girl. It turns out she has a twin and they were separated as young children. The girls manage to find one another after camp, and begin a scheme to be together again. Like I said, it sounded great in theory, but I lost interest pretty quickly. I only kept reading b/c I thought it might get better!...
Jun 30, 2009 Lisa rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Having lived/worked in the Albany area when the author was there and cutting his writing teeth, this book has been of interest for quite some time. The story was satisfying because it was not the obvious fairy tale ending, but still a happy one. The sense of place was strong, so if you are at all familiar with the Capital District, you will enjoy it. Well written, interesting and developed characters in a short novel, and themes to spur discussion about the decade and adoption.
Sep 11, 2009 Karen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've enjoyed Maguire's adult novels, so thought I'd give this one a try. Well written and one I will recommend to some of the younger readers I know. Twin sisters separated at birth discover each other at a summer camp when they are 12. (Think "The Parent Trap" without all of the corny humor). One sister has been raised in an orphanage by nuns and the other has been adopted twice. The storyline is not new, but the take on it is.
J. Dorner
It's an interesting read. There are strong references to the 1960s, which is when the book takes place. The book didn't end as I suspected it would, which makes it intriguing. The characters felt real. There are scenes where the descriptions are very poetic. Excellent symmetry between the opening and closing scene.
This book was an interesting mix between "Memory Keeper's Daughter" and "Parent Trap". I really liked many parts of this book, especially the bluntness of reality and how the situations weren't sugar-coated. If I ever get to meet Maguire (and as a graduate/former head of my current graduate program I hope I do) I certainly have some pressing questions for him.
Nov 17, 2011 Kim rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2011, audiobook
This book caught me by surprise. I was charmed by it! I had read a bunch of Gregory Maguire, and was thrown by the stories that weren't Oz/fairy tale related. This book, however, stood just fine on its own, with no fairy tale needed.
The story of an orphan in upstate NY (Albany/Troy) it also was "close to home" for me, which doesn't hurt!
Heidi Hertzog
Jan 17, 2014 Heidi Hertzog rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Although I had to start it twice and had to give it a bit more time, in the end I really enjoyed this book. It's a little unsatisfactory at the end as I feel it leaves you hanging a bit, but overall the story pulled me in and I wanted to keep listening. (After struggling to get through the first few chapters.)
I've read several of Gregory Maguire's adult novels and thought I'd try a youth novel. This one begins a little slowly, but overall it was quite enjoyable. I was a little disappointed with the ending and was left with many questions about the girls and their futures, but perhaps that was by design.
Alice is a very likable character, and I found myself cheering for her throughout the novel.
Erin O.
Jul 27, 2011 Erin O. rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-ya-fiction
I really enjoyed this book when I read it in middle school. Anything with nuns you can pretty much expect to be solid. Interesting that the same author wrote "Wicked"-- two totally opposite ends of the spectrum.
Chrystal Phillips
This was a good story about an orphan girl and the great faith she had, that helped her during a time of growth, loss and about the ever reaching love of Christ. I will say, some parts of the story felt very slow, but the shenanigans Alice and the other characters get into, were entertaining.
Mar 29, 2011 Carry rated it it was ok
I was expecting so much more from Gregory Maguire. It was an okay little story, but not terribly gripping. I hadn't realized it was a YA (my fault for not checking) so that's part of my reasoning for not enjoying it more I think. I might recommend it to elementary school age readers though.
Dec 30, 2011 Suzy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good for tweens-thought the story was too similar to Parent Trap to have the twins find out about each other at summer camp-even though they were there at seperate weeks-but it was a small part of the story.
I thought this book would be a good book for me because of the title and the paragraph at the back, but the book was kind of hard to understand so I had to read it over and over again until I understand what the author meant.
Not "Parent Trap" but close. Two sisters, one with disabilities left with the nuns, the other without, adopted. Summer camp makes them aware of each other. Some really deep issues just introduced. Over all it left me disatisfied. Not the usual Gregory Maguire.
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Gregory Maguire is an American author, whose novels are revisionist retellings of children's stories (such as L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into Wicked). He received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University, and his B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany. He was a professor and co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children' ...more
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