Red Sky in the Morning
Twelve-year-old Anna is looking forward to the birth of her baby brother. Ben arrives, with a disability; and Anna realizes he won't be able to live quite like other children. Anna loves him immensely but she finds herself unable to admit the truth about Ben to her school friends. Eventually the truth gets out and leads not to the ridicule Anna expected, but sympathy and understanding.
School Library Journal review of 1989 edition
When Anna Peacock is 12, her brother Benedict is born. Ben is hydrocephalic, loving, and playful, and is easily susceptible to illness. Anna instantly loves her brother but soon realizes that her family life and friendships will be changed by his birth. In a wry first-person narrative, Anna talks about her life with Ben as well as her own self-image, her schoolwork, friendships, and her first job during the two years of Ben's life. Anna's voice rings true throughout as she moves from awkwardness and judgmental statements to a more mature empathy with others and acceptance of herself. Discussion of handicaps, death and bereavement, and religious belief are carefully integrated into the story and emerge as natural concerns of Anna and her family rather than as issues to be addressed lightly. An additional strength is the well-rounded portrayal of adult characters. Anna's mother, alternately distracted and affectionate; Mrs. Chapman, the insightful shopkeeper who helps Anna understand herself and her brother better; and a sympathetic minister all help Anna to grow up.
"It is, quite simply, a wonderfully moving story about the power of love." —Times Educational Supplement