The relationship between siblings is often removed to a tertiary plot point position in young adult literature. If it is the main focus quite often one of the siblings is a) missing, 2) has run away, or is 3) dead. In this book list I shall endeavour to give you a mix of the above, with some exploration into less dramatic sister relationships.
You cannot talk about sisters and not mention the March family.
Four sisters as different from one another as girls can be with the familiar push/pull of familial relations. Whether it be the closeness of Jo and Beth, or the antagonism between Jo and Amy – the reader knows these sisters are tight.
This is a novel in which the older sister has just died but it is the consequential fall out that captures the imagination. Lennie’s grief is intertwined with that of her sister’s boyfriend, her family as well as coping with the new guy in her life. All is depicted with a beautiful emotion balance that is at time filtered through Lennie’s poetical writing.
Upon their parent’s divorce sisters April, May and June recover their childhood powers. The oldest sister is a worrier and has the power of precognition, the second feels invisible and can become so when she wills it and the youngest can read minds. Benway’s witty and fluid dialogue allows the sister’s love and loathing for one another to play authentically. Family upheaval, high school and the onset of magical powers make this a fun read.
A challenging exploration of two sisters dealing with the need to assert independence whilst also competing for the attentions of others. Lanagan has created a complex world that allows the sisters to self actualise despite the threats of an uncertain world. For sophisticated readers.
The Sullivans’ very rich grandmother, Almighty, disinherits all members of her family after one of them has greatly offended her. Unless the guilty one confesses, all her money will go to a charity for rain affected dogs (think raincoats, not floods). What results is a series of heartfelt letters from the sisters to their grandmother that breaks the girls down to their raw form. Setting this world in the high echelons of Baltimore society makes this a fun read with real heart.
What else would you add to this list?