In the three years that we’ve had this blog, we have never had a post explicitly about siblings. Which is surprising given that siblings are such a dominant part of childhood and an enormous part of almost all children’s books. So here are five siblings books from J Fiction that, with their mixed-up and conflicting emotions, feel really true:
Ramona the Brave by Beverly Cleary
The classic siblings: Beezus and Ramona. The series also does that delightful thing of switching protagonist so we get to see the full humanity of the irritating sibling and the author’s imagined world through another set of eyes.
Saffy’s Angel by Hilary McKay
The catalog description: “After learning that she was adopted, thirteen-year-old Saffron’s relationship with her eccentric, artistic family changes, until they help her go back to Italy where she was born to find a special momento of her past.”
I’ll add that this is the first in the Casson family series and each book in the series takes a different sibling as the protagonist. McKay is a strong writer and the books bring to life the real truth of being in a family: we may all be in the same family, but we’re all experiencing something different.
The Cabinet of Earths by Anne Nesbet
The catalog description: ”Thirteen-year-old Maya, in Paris with her family for a year, lands in the middle of the mysterious La Societé’s quest for immortality when the magical Cabinet of Earths chooses her as its next Keeper, promising to restore her mother’s health.”
From my perspective the key is that her brother is luminous, the kind of golden child who really does bring joy–and that quality, of course, makes Maya envious and makes him vulnerable to the evil. I’m thrilled that the sequel is on its way.
One Crazy Summer by Rita Williams-Garcia
The catalog description: “In the summer of 1968, after traveling from Brooklyn to Oakland, California, to spend a month with the mother they barely know, eleven-year-old Delphine and her two younger sisters arrive to a cold welcome as they discover that their mother, a dedicated poet and printer, is resentful of the intrusion of their visit and wants them to attend a nearby Black Panther summer camp”
I’ll just add: sequel arriving soon!