The Compulsive Reader: Siblings and YA

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Siblings and YA

I've not been a very good blogger lately, I know.

This is what I'm working on right now:

What do these books have in common?

Sibling relationships.

I'm working on my third packet of grad work for my semester, and I really am interested in writing about sibling relationships. The idea was sparked when I read See You at Harry's by Jo Knowles a couple of months ago. I loved how Fern and her siblings interacted through trials and tragedy, and it got me thinking about the importance of siblings in YA. Siblings have a really large effect on our lives, even if we don't want to admit it when we're teens.

I want to look at books with bigger families (i.e. the protagonist has more than one sibling), and so I went to my shelf and pulled the books that I remembered as having protagonist siblings playing more than a minimal role in the book. I came up with this stack. I especially remembered the sibling dynamic in Crash by Lisa McMann--it was so memorable that I made a point of mentioning it in my review.

Love and Other Foreign Words is on my to-read list, but from the description and what others have been saying, I can't help but think it will fit in nicely with this stack. And an added bonus is that Erin McCahan is a fantastic writer whose first book, I Now Pronounce You Someone Else, was one I loved.

I'm also on a mission today to grab Heather Demetrios' debut, Something Real, when I'm at work. It is about a girl from a big family, and I know from firsthand experience that you can't have that many siblings in your life and not have them affect you in some way.

I'm not really interested in "sister books" for this paper (although I love them and made this list a little while ago), but stories about families with more than two kids, preferably a mix of genders. Do you have any favorites that fit this description? What am I missing?

(And hopefully I'll jump back into a more normal blog schedule once again!)


Terri S. said...

I love this topic! Siblings in YA are some of my favorite relationships to read about. I haven't read any of these except The Scorpio Races so I'll have to investigate!

Some books on my own sibling list:
-Pushing the Limits and Crash Into You by Katie McGarry
-Valkyrie Rising by Ingrid Paulson
-Confessions of an Angry Girl by Louise Rozett

Raquel Stecher said...

Oh this is very interesting and will make for a great grad project!

I like Fat Angie by e.e. Charlton-Trujillo. The title character has a sister (who is missing in Iraq) and an adopted brother. Not sure if that would work for you.

Good luck with your school project!

The Compulsive Reader said...

Raquel, I loved Fat Angie! I would hesitate to bring it into this particular paper because there is so much else going on the book that directly affects the siblings' relationships, but you've given me a lot to think about! Thanks!

LinWash said...

Here's an oldie but a goodie: Megan Meade's Guide to the McGowan Boys by Kate Brian: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/238360.Megan_Meade_s_Guide_to_the_McGowan_Boys

Alex (A Girl, Books, OtherThings) said...

Have you read The Piper's Son by Melina Marchetta?

It has several sibling relationships, my favorite is between Tom and his sister Anabel (he's 21, she's 14 but they adore each other); and then there are Tom's Dad Dom, and his sister Georgie, whom both lost their younger sibling Joe. (Dom and Georgie are in their early forties, Joe was in his mid-thirties when he died). It deals with a lot of family stuff.

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