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My Sister Sif
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My Sister Sif

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  357 ratings  ·  38 reviews
Fourteen-year-old Riko manages to get her sister Sif and herself to their Pacific island home, where a scientist who falls in love with Sif discovers her connection with an underwater race.
Published (first published January 1st 1986)
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Average rating 3.97  · 
Rating details
 ·  357 ratings  ·  38 reviews

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Judith Johnson
Apr 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: childrens-books
Another marvellous book by Ruth Park - what a writer.

Being a book for children it has a sort of positive ending, though not without loss, but this was published in 1986, and I can't help thinking (especially after watching David Attenborough's update on Climate Change last night on the BBC) how grieved Ruth Park would be today to see how little real change has been made since then.

A few quotes:
'I saw a coral reef, dead as a doornail after a thousand years of gorgeous life, poisoned by
I read somewhere this was a dystopian novel. It was with a few surprises. Written in 1986 it was an early predictor of climate change with a focus on the impact to marine life. So the book is set in an idyllic Pacific island no one has heard of, with whales, dolphins, fish and merpeople. The narrator is a 14 year old who we soon find out has been born of a land person and a merperson.
She and her sister Sif go through various good times and bad times on the land and in the seas. The narrator
I read this in high school and was keen to re-read it again as I could only remember bits and pieces about it.

It was a more conservationist story than I recalled, and I couldn’t remember the ending at all. It was interesting that it was set in 2000, which at the time I read it, was still in the future, but it was written in 1986, which is the year that the main character of the book was born in. I don’t know whether this occurred to me when I first read it, but this time around, I wondered why
Mar 12, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
my most treasured book when I was growing up, dreaming of becoming a marine biologist. reading it again as an adult was wonderful because it's a lovely story, told in an accessible way. I will always always love this story. <>< ><>
Krista the Krazy Kataloguer
What can I say? I love the idea of merpeople. This story was particularly well done, and I loved the "down under" setting (both literally and geographically!). I think this is Ruth Park's best.
Astrid Edwards
One of the most influential books of my childhood, and the first to spur my love for the environment. First published in 1986, My Sister Sif was YA and CliFi before anyone even recognised such genres.
Ruth Park weaves reality with fantasy: set in our world, the young Erika travels back to her her native island Rongo with her big sister Sif. There, we meet their family - mermen and merwomen fighting to protect their ocean and suffering the consequences of environmental damage all around them.
Mariah smith
Aug 25, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
my favorite childhood book. this book brings a lot of good childhood memories. this is a perfect book for kids within the ages of ten to any age!read it you will like it.
Jul 26, 2015 rated it it was amazing
My Sister Sif is a beautiful, fable-like speculative story - a small, lovely novel that mixes fantasy into reality so well it feels like it really could have happened. I'm not going to give away what those fantasy aspects are, in case you decide to read it - I think it's nice to be surprised. I came to it not knowing very much about the story itself, and I was very quickly swept up in it. The magical aspects of the story are perfectly ordinary to the characters, making the story feel very much ...more
Feb 15, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childhood-faves
This story is set in the early to mid 1980's (this is important to how the story ends) and tells the story from ~14 / 15 year old Erika "Riko" Magnus perspective who lives with her adult sister and family and slightly older (~17 years old) sister Sif in Sydney.

Sif is homestick for their homeland, the Pacific island called Rongo. Riko sells some seashells to fund her sister Sif's and then her own trip home.

But there are many changes occuring.

There have been environmental changes occuring which
Jan 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Uhhh....So Yeah.
Dec 15, 2018 rated it it was ok
Spoiler Alert! Come back after reading the book, the spoiler is major, come back after reading the book. Come on, it'll only take a few hours. Okay, now that I've got that out of the way, scroll down for my review, please.

My Review: It is a well written book, I have to admit. But not as good as Harry Potter, or Percy Jackson, or The Penderwicks (the first four, anyways), so I settled on two stars. I read it while I was younger, and later, maybe a year, two or three, I read it again, just to
Nov 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I have reread this book many times. Would have been around 2004/2005 after when it was set. Very conservationist and the main character being female was something I clung to growing up!! I dreamed of growing up and working in marine biology. Having this science part but mixing in the islands and the fantasy was just everything I adored and still love. Even though Ive outgrown that age I treasure this book so much.
Madeleine Sargent
Aug 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful story and one of my favourites from my childhood. Revisiting the world of Erika and Sif feels like coming home.
Originally posted at Postcards from La-La Land.

I first read this book sometime in high school, and now re-read it for the From the Bowels of Obscurity Book Club (yes, I can hear all your inner 12-year-olds giggling at "bowels" ;-) )

. . . . .

We Magnus children were born on an outer island of the Epiphany Group in the Pacific Ocean. This island is called Rongo, and it is so small no one in the world cares about it except the people who live there. It is just above the Tropic of Capricorn, lying
Amy "the book-bat"
Interesting story about a young girl named Riko/Erika and her older sister Sif/Sarah. Their family is from a mostly unknown island called Rongo. After the death of their father, they moved to live with their older sister Joanne in Sydney, Australia. Sif becomes so homesick that Riko finds a way to help her go back to Rongo and then later follows herself.
While on Rongo, they meet a man named Henry Jacka, a scientist. They have a family secret that Henry figures out. He tries to help their family,
Jan 28, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Ruth Park was such a wonderful author. This book and playing Beatie Bow were, and still are, two of my favourite books. The sense of place is amazing and beautiful and has such a fable-like quality even though it is set in what was then the present (early 90s). The characters are well drawn and interesting and the premise was captivating for a sea-obsessed Australian child/teenager like me.

Don't be put of by the merpeople aspect, it is presented in such a matter-of-fact yet somewhat intangible
Mar 02, 2008 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: girls who like a blend of contemporary fiction and fantasy
Shelves: childrens, fiction
The main character and older sister (Sif) go visit the island where their family (their mother's side, I think) lives. The mother's family is kind of a mermaid race. I don't remember how it worked, other than that they lived in the ocean. The main character takes after her human father, but Sif takes after the mother's side more. A young man interested in sea shells whom they met prior to the trip joins them unexpectedly and a little love story plays out between him and Sif. The main focus ...more
Mar 02, 2013 rated it it was ok
It was an okay book but it lacked originality. Nothing new here. Just something to read if you've got nothing better to do. The main character, Erika, is believable. But she is too young and immature to like. Some people would argue that it's meant to be a book for teenagers. But if you are not a teenager, you will finish reading it, and wonder what the point was.
Carolina Robinson
Nov 06, 2015 rated it it was amazing
I've never been able to forget this book. Reading it as a child of the 90s, this took me out of my surrounds all the way to Rongo. The conservation message was clear as was the sisterly love. One for the dreamers!
Apr 28, 2013 rated it it was ok
I would probably have quite enjoyed this as a kid, because I would have loved anything with so many animals and mermaids in it. But unfortunately, that is about all it has in it, apart from clumsy prose and clunky characters, and there is very little magic reading it as an adult.
Apr 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2014-books
I have loved this book since I was 13 years old. Reading it again as an adult I have been able to take a lot more out of it than just the romanticism I did then. I highly recommend this for all young adults.
Jan 24, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is my favortie book from when I was a kid. I kept it checked out from the library for years, going back every two weeks to renew it. It took me years to actually find a copy to buy, because it was out of print. It is an easy, fun read!
Heather Browning
One of my absolute favourites from high school, that still holds up. Ruth Park manages to perfectly capture a teenage personality and mindset in Riko, and I love the island/ocean world she's created. A little preachy at times with the conservation message, but also still relevant.
Pisces Chic
Nov 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Loved this book!
Its a nice read for those who love books about mermaids and underwater creatures, things like that.
I love how this story is based on an island and like the island knows about the little faerie things....
anyway really enjoyed it

- nice romance too
Julz Angoman
Oct 27, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I don't know how many times I've read this book. Love everything about it
Mar 31, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First read this in high school and fell in love with it so much.
Magic, family, adventure, coming of age.
Great Read
Jul 20, 2015 rated it it was ok
Inuit did not care for it. It was not horrible but I would catch myself skimming and finally just skimmed the end
Oct 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved it. A great story beautifully written. Ruth Park is just wonderful consistently. The novel is an environmental story, but also just a great story of magic, youth and love.
Definitely a favorite book of mine. I loved the romance (both in the plot and in the story-telling) and the fantasy elements.
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What's the Name o...: Solved! Book about a girl who is part mermaid. [s] 2 136 Jun 26, 2012 01:56AM  

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Ruth Park was a New Zealand-born author, who spent most of her life in Australia. She was born in Auckland, and her family later moved to Te Kuiti further south in the North Island of New Zealand, where they lived in isolated areas.

During the Great Depression her working class father worked on bush roads, as a driver, on relief work, as a sawmill hand, and finally shifted back to Auckland as