The Center for Children's Books

Graduate School of Library and Information Science
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Siblings - July 2006

Selected and annotated by Deb Newell

Arrington, Aileen. Camp of the Angel. Philomel, 2003. Gr. 4-7.
Jordan and her little brother care for a stray cat which helps them cope with their father's abusive behavior. When their father mistreats the cat however, Jordan is moved to finally take steps to stop him.

Blumenthal, Deborah. Don't Let the Peas Touch! and Other Stories. illus. by Timothy Basil Ering. Levine/Scholastic, 2004. 6-9 yrs.
Three slice-of-life stories chronicle the true, but not always fond, relationship between forceful little Sophie and her older sister Annie.

Boling, Katharine. January 1905. Harcourt, 2004. Gr. 4-7.
In alternating chapters, eleven-year-old twin girls vent their mutual jealousy and ultimately gain insight into the other's challenged life. Their mistaken points of view are brought to light during a mill accident where Pauline puts in full days working while Arlene, crippled with a congenitally deformed foot, does housekeeping chores.

Byars, Betsy. Keeper of the Doves. Viking, 2002. Gr. 3-6.
Although her sisters have told frightening tales about him, Amen McBee befriends Mr. Tominski who delights in her photographing him with her new camera. The sisters' stories continue however, and an unjust accusation leads Mr. Tominski to commit suicide. This makes Amen realize that she should trust her own judgment.

Choldenko, Gennifer. Al Capone Does My Shirts. Putnam, 2004. Gr. 6-9.
Moose's family moves to Alcatraz in the hopes that his sister, Natalie will be accepted into a special school that might cure her compulsive, detached behaviors. Moose is torn between caring for his sister and his desire to be independent which draws him into a convict laundry service scheme devised by the prison warden's daughter.

Compestine, Ying Chang. The Story of Noodles. illus. by YongSheng Xuan. Holiday House, 2002. 5-9 yrs.
When mother enlists the three young Kang brothers' help in making her prize-winning dumplings for the annual cooking contest, all kinds of humorous, slapstick food adventures take place.

Danziger, Paula. Barfburger Baby, I Was Here First. illus. by G. Brian Karas. Putnam, 2004. 4-7 yrs.
Jonathon is not happy about his new baby brother who he tags with many not-so-affectionate nicknames. Jonathon's older cousin reshapes his viewpoint a bit by inducting him into the "Big Brother Club". This helps a little, but does not completely erase Jonathon's true-to-life feelings of resentment at baby brother Daniel's arrival.

Gay, Marie-Louise. Good Night Sam. written and illus. by Marie-Louise Gay. Groundwood/Douglas & McIntyre, 2003. 3-5 yrs.
When Sam cannot get to sleep because he needs the family dog, his older sister Stella goes with him throughout the house to find Fred. Stella tries to gently answer all of Sam's fears about the shapes and noises in the house at night. The reader will delight at seeing Fred on each full-page spread and who is finally found right in Sam's bed.

Gonzalez, Julie. Wings. Delacorte, 2005. Gr. 7-12.
Two brothers take turns narrating brief chapters that reflect Ben's certainty that he will one day sprout wings and fly away to a utopia, and Ian's fear that his brother is delusional.

Gregory, Valiska. Shirley's Wonderful Baby. illus. by Bruce Degen. HarperCollins, 2002. 4-7 yrs.
Shirley doesn't think her new baby brother is wonderful until her smart babysitter, Ms. Mump has her caring for him and defending him by the time her parents get home.

Griffin, Adele. Where I Want to Be. Putnam, 2005. Gr. 7-12.
After the death of her older sister, Lily finds solace in the loving support of her boyfriend as she recalls the difficulty of life with her troubled sister and her family's pained first summer without her.

Hahn, Mary Downing. Hear the Wind Blow. Clarion, 2003. Gr. 5-8.
With his parents dead and his older brother under siege at Petersburg during the Civil War, thirteen-year-old Haswell and his younger sister are forced to find their way to relatives. When he is accused of stealing a Union officer's horse, Haswell escapes and goes to find his brother to bring him home.

Hughes, Shirley. Annie Rose is My Little Sister. written and illus. by Shirley Hughes. Candlewick, 2003. 4-8 yrs.
Annie Rose's big brother relates all the things they do together and all the things he doesn't like about her, but concludes that their affection will continue "even until we're grown up."

Jenkins, Emily. Daffodil. illus by Tomek Bogacki. Foster/Farrar, 2004. 3-6 yrs.
Triplet sisters Daffodil, Rose, and Violet grow tired of wearing the colorful party dresses that match their names and feel very "lucky ducky" when their mother lets them choose new party clothes in any colors they want.

Johnson, Maureen. The Key to the Golden Firebird. HarperCollins, 2004. Gr. 7-10.
May does her best to keep life progressing normally after her father suddenly suffers a fatal heart attack, but she finally learns what is really in her two sisters' heads as they together work through their unfinished feelings of grief.

Joosse, Barbara. Hot City. illus. by R. Gregory Christie. Philomel, 2004. 5-8 yrs.
Mimi and her brother are trying to entertain themselves in the city's oppressive summer heat, but it is not until they lose themselves in books at the refreshing air-conditioned library that they find respite.

Kraft, Erik P. Lenny and Mel's Summer Vacation. written and illus. by Erik P. Kraft. Simon, 2003. Gr. 2-5.
Twin brothers Lenny and Mel try to stay as inactive as possible during their summer vacation, despite their parents' best efforts, but their playful banter and their slapstick ingenuity give them an eventful summer after all.

Kurtz, Jane. In the Small, Small Night. illus by Rachel Isadora. Amistad/Greenwillow, 2005. 5-8 yrs.
When Abena wakes up to find little brother Kofi in bed with her, she tells him stories that will help him remember their faraway home in Ghana and the loved ones they have left behind in their move to America.

Laing, Kate. Best Kind of Baby. illus. by R.W. Alley. Dial, 2003. 4-6 yrs.
Sophie is not happy about the impending arrival of a new baby and tells everyone that her mother is instead having a baby mouse, or puppy, or monkey, or dolphin. When the human baby arrives however, Sophie decides that her baby brother may indeed be better than a pet.

Lamstein, Sarah. Hunger Moon. Front Street, 2004. Gr. 5-8.
In spite of hoping that she can be the center of attention, sixth-grader Ruthie's family is focused on her developmentally delayed younger brother, Eddy. Ruthie's hypercritical mother especially causes tension in the family, and although Ruthie hates the anger in the house, she finds it difficult to avoid emulating her parents' abusive belittling of her brother.

Lawlor, Laurie. The School at Crooked Creek. illus. by Ronald Himler. Holiday House, 2004. Gr. 2-4.
On the way home from their first day of school through the backwoods of Indiana, six-year-old Beansie and his older sister Louisa get lost in a blizzard and must find the courage to make their way home.

Little, Jean. Emma's Strange Pet. illus. by Jennifer Plecas. HarperCollins, 2003. Gr. 1-2.
Emma is allergic to animals with fur, but because she and her adopted brother really want a pet, they decide to cooperate and try a lizard.

McKay, Hilary. Indigo's Star. McElderry, 2004. Gr. 5-9.
Twelve-year-old Indigo has become the target of bullies at school, but spurred on by his youngest sister Rose and his friendship with Tom, another boy who is being bullied, Indigo takes on the challenge of confronting the bullies who are terrorizing them.

Potter, Giselle. Chloe's Birthday…and Me. written and illus. by Giselle Potter. Schwartz/Atheneum, 2004. 5-8 yrs.
In her second autobiographical picture book, Giselle Potter recounts the jealousy she felt as a child when her parents planned a birthday celebration for her younger five-year-old sister Chloe.

Rodowsky, Colby. Not Quite a Stranger. Farrar, 2003. Gr. 5-8.
When the seventeen-year-old son from her father's premarital fling comes to live with them, thirteen-year-old Tottie has a difficult time accepting Zachary and her father's betrayal. The alternating narration between Tottie and Zachary gives the reader insight into both sides of the story and explores how family dynamics change under stress.

Rottman, S.L. Shadow of a Doubt. Peachtree, 2003. Gr. 7-10.
Shadow Thompson's life was shattered once when his older brother ran away, and now again, seven years later when Daniel returns and is accused of murder. Each family member must deal with guilt and each must learn to forgive and help Daniel before they can heal and have a future together.

Scrimger, Richard. Eugene 's Story. illus. by Gillian Johnson. Tundra, 2003. Gr. 1-3.
Eugene is trying to write his story the way he would like to see it, but his older sister Winifred keeps interrupting to supply the truthful details. Eugene takes matters into his own hands and finally just takes Winifred out of his story.

Sleator, William. The Last Universe. Amulet, 2005. Gr. 6-9.
When fourteen-year-old Susan wheels her wheelchair bound brother into their family's dark garden, strange things begin to happen. But when Gary's health seems to improve with trips to the maze that they find in the secret garden, Susan must decide if it is ultimately at the cost of the health and safety of others.

Smith, Roland. Cryptid Hunters. Hyperion, 2005. Gr. 5-9.
When their parents disappear, twins Grace and Marty are sent to live with their Uncle Wolfe who studies cryptids, creatures who are thought not to exist. The twins are determined not to be left behind when Wolfe journeys to the Congo, but the quest to find dinosaur eggs proves to be a life-and-death adventure.

Trueman, Terry. Cruise Control. HarperTempest, 2004. Gr. 7-12.
Although outwardly he appears to have everything, inwardly high school senior Shawn's anger about his severely cerebral palsied brother and about his father who has left the family seems ready to consume him. Shawn has to learn to accept his father and that it is okay to love his brother.

Wait, Lea. Wintering Well. McElderry, 2004. Gr. 4-6.
When her brother Will's leg is amputated after a farm accident, Cassie is sent to care for Will at their married sister's house. While Cassie learns that she has a gift for nursing, Will must learn to deal with a wooden leg and with revising his life's dreams that his condition necessitates.