Project Description

Teacher’s Guide

Sister Spider Knows All

by Adrian Fogelin

When Roxanne discovers her absent mother’s teenage diary, she finds some painful but important answers to the unsolved questions of her past and possibilities for a different future.

For twelve-year-old Rox, there are two things in life she can count on: her beloved grandmother, Mimi, and her weekend job at the flea market. But outside this fragile weekend world, she’s lost. A so-so student with few aspirations for higher education, she feels out of place at school. And who is she anyway? Her teenage mother left when she was only three months old and her father’s identity is a mystery. And no one, least of all Mimi, will talk about what happened.

But then her cousin John Martin brings home a girlfriend from college who has very different ideas about the way life works. And when Rox discovers her mother’s teenage diary, she begins discovering some answers to her past and her future.

With gentle wit and an uncanny sensitivity, author Adrian Fogelin captures the fragility of life’s certainties in this moving novel of an adolescent girl’s struggles to find her way in the world.

Format: Hardcover
Price: $14.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-290-3
Publication Date: 10/1/2003
Page Count: 224
Size: 6 ̎ x 9 ̎
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: Paperback
Price: $6.95
ISBN: 978-1-56145-386-3
Publication Date: 10/1/2007
Page Count: 224
Size: 6 ̎ x 8-1/2 ̎
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English
Format: eBook
ISBN: 978-1-56145-718-2
Age Range: 8 – 12
Language: English

Purchase this eBook through the following vendors:


AR Level: 4.1
F&P: W, Gr 6, Genre RF
Lexile: 650L
Themes: Class, Family, Friendship, Loyalty
BISAC 1: JUV039140 JUVENILE FICTION / Social Issues / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
BISAC 2: JUV013050 JUVENILE FICTION / Family / Orphans & Foster Homes
BISAC 3: JUV014000 JUVENILE FICTION / Girls & Women


“Fogelin captures the fragility of this unique family with a lot of humor and great characters… the story has universal themes of coming of age and searching for one’s identity. Reluctant readers will like the short, fast-paced chapters.” ―School Library Journal

“Delivered in a wry voice that swings from laugh-out-loud funny to wrenching sadness, Rox’s narrative is neither sentimental nor condescending, and details of place, people, and class conflict emerge in plain poetic imagery.” ―Booklist

“Dead-on dialogue and strong, complex characters.” ―The Washington Post

“Through Fogelin’s creative writing, the reader develops a true sense of each character, the setting and the various themes (friendship, trust, taking risks, being true to oneself). The story engages the reader from the beginning as Fogelin carefully sets the stage for the drama yet to come.”Library Media Connection

Read More

“A richly drawn story of human dynamics, offering both support for people as they are and hope for their growth.” ―Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“A contemporary coming-of-age story that touches themes of social class, belonging, and the meaning of family… Neither sentimental nor condescending, 12-year-old Roxanne’s narrative is marked with wry humor and follows her struggle to find her place in the world even as she learns to appreciate her nontraditional family.” ―BookLinks

Read Less


Parents’ Choice Recommended Award ―Parents’ Choice Foundation, 2003

Young Adult Top Forty ―Pennsylvania School Librarians Association, 2003

Best of 2003 for Young Readers ―The Washington Post, 2003

You May Also Like

Meet the Author

Adrian Fogelin is the author of several novels for middle readers and young adults, including Crossing Jordan and The Real Question. She lives in Florida. You can visit her website here.