A Mighty Girl's favorite books about Mighty Girls and their sisters and brothers for National Siblings Day!
We celebrate the relationship we have with our mothers and fathers, but we often forget how important siblings can be to our lives as well! In fact, a brother or sister will probably know you better — and longer — than just about anyone else in your life. And while you may not always get along, there’s no denying that the relationship you have with your siblings is a powerful one.
To recognize National Siblings Day, we’re sharing our favorite books about Mighty Girls and their brothers and sisters. This post features books about welcoming new siblings in the first part, about the special relationship between sisters in part two, and the bond between sisters and brothers in part three. Sometimes they play together and sometimes they argue, but these Mighty Girls and their siblings are always ready to support one another no matter what comes their way!
For more of our favorite girl-empowering books celebrating the love of family, check out our blog post, "To My Mighty Girl With Love: Stories About Parents, Grandparents, and Siblings."
Soon-to-Be Big Sister: Welcoming New Babies
If your Mighty Girl is soon to be a big sister, you may want a book that talks about the excitement of becoming a sibling. These books are a great way to prepare your Mighty Girl for the arrival of a new baby — whether you know if she'll have a brother or sister, or are leaving it for a surprise — as well as the special role she can play as a big sister.
There's no question that becoming a big sister can bring many changes. The little girl in this toddler book discovers that babies come with their share of inconveniences, from remembering to be quiet at naptime to dealing with dirty diapers, but she's still excited by the baby's arrival — and by how grown-up she feels when she realizes how much she can do. Simple text and colorful illustrations help toddlers and preschoolers celebrate the joys of being the big sister.
Beloved author/illustrator Karen Katz shows the soon-to-be big sister that one of the best parts of a new baby is getting to show him or her all the things you can do! This proud big sister can eat with a fork, sleep in a bed, ride a trike, and read a book... and she’s also kind enough to reassure the new baby, “one day you’ll be big like me.”
Matisse often feels very small, whether she's the littlest figure on a very big beach or walking through the enormous aisles of a store. But when her baby brother comes home, Matisse suddenly realizes that she might be little compared to grown-ups, but compared to him, she's big! And along with being the big sister comes special jobs, from reading to the baby to choosing the perfect sleeper. This sweet book, with its appealing illustrations, focuses on a child's experience of finding a new way of viewing themselves: not quite so little after all!
This little girl is very excited: there is a baby growing inside her mom! She's so curious to know more, so her mother teaches her about how the fetus grows and changes each step of the way, from the tiny, poppy-seed sized embryo at one month, which doesn't even have arms and legs, to the watermelon sized baby that's ready to be born. As kids lift the flaps in this book, they'll get age-appropriate, expert-vetted information about how a fetus develops and size comparisons that help them better understand how the baby grows. This sweet novelty board book is perfect for new siblings-to-be who can't wait to meet the family's new little one.
Sometimes soon-to-be sisters worry that a new sibling means they'll lose out on the love they cherish. This new older sister learns that just because “someone new is at our house” doesn’t mean that she’s any less special! With a reassuring tone, this book shows the big sister what a baby is like, and that each child of the family will be celebrated for their own, unique self.
The little girl in this story is so excited for her baby sister or brother — but it can be hard to wait! While she does, she practices her big sister skills by sticking close to her mother, singing songs, telling stories, and otherwise preparing for the big day. The left page of each spread depicts the mother's growing belly, with flaps to lift to show the baby snuggled up inside, until finally, the day comes that the baby is snuggled in big sister's arms instead. This charming book from the author and illustrator of the bestselling In My Heart is the perfect choice for eager soon-to-be older siblings!
Anna and Oliver are excited to learn that their family is expecting a new arrival! Older sister Anna provides some technical details — like saying that the baby is growing in a "special compartment" in their mother, NOT in her stomach! — while Oliver addresses some of the emotional challenges...like the long wait for the baby to be here. The kids also provide a realistic look at what life with a new baby is like: "playing with a new baby is like playing with a loaf of bread," they observe. Lighthearted and funny, with extra tips at the end for both kids and parents, this book is an excellent option for preparing kids for the realities of pregnancy, birth, and bringing home a new sibling.
Little Miss from Plant A Kiss has big news: she's a big sister! At first, having a baby around is boring — and tiring — since all it means is "Sleep./ Fuss./ Eat./ Repeat..." But soon Little Miss becomes a beloved big sister and gets to enjoy "Funny faces./ Warm embraces./ Giggly chases." Expressive poetic language and lively illustrations make this a fun read-aloud for soon-to-be older sisters!
Gertie is thrilled when Mummy tells her the family is expecting a new arrival: a baby yakling! She's excited to take on her new role as Big Sister Gertie, and starts making plans for the big welcome: she draws a colorful, sparkly banner, makes a hand-knit bib, and sets up her most special things, like her wool comb for back-scratching and her pinecones for games, so that the baby can enjoy them too. But then Gertie realizes that sharing everything also means sharing Mummy. Will Gertie still have a place when she's not the littlest yak around any more? And can Mummmy really love both Gertie and the new yakling at the same time? The award-winning creators of The Littlest Yak have crafted a loving, reassuring story about how hearts grow as families do.
Caroline is very distracted today! She oversleeps, she forgets to put on socks or grab her lunch box, and even though she tries to help the teacher as usual, she just makes a big mess. But the reason for her distraction becomes clear when school is over: she rushes outside to greet her parents, who have just returned from "far, far away" with Caroline's new baby sister! And when she sees the baby, everything ordinary seems "unusually new and perfectly right." Although it's easy to infer this is an adoption story, it's not explicitly mentioned in the text, making this warm and loving book an excellent choice for anyone eagerly waiting for a new sibling.
Kids can learn all about the preparations for a new baby — and how the baby is developing — in this unique nonfiction picture book! As this little girl and her parents prepare for the new baby's arrival with ultrasounds, a "big sister" shirt, and moments feeling the baby move, Caldecott Honor artist Jason Chin provides detailed illustrations of the baby's development. Extensive backmatter includes additional important information, including a list of "what if" questions that include multiple births, premature births, and miscarriages. Warm in tone and elaborate in detail, this is an excellent book to share with all kids, including soon-to-be older siblings.
Stella is a determined young scientist with a theory: her new little brother is CLEARLY a duck. After all, he's fuzzy and yellow (when wrapped in his blanket), he's got a beak (or a pacifier that looks like one), and he's constantly quacking (or is it crying?) at the top of his lungs. Her parents even named him Drake! And as her principal points out: "If it looks like duck and sounds like a duck, it’s probably a duck." Kids will giggle at this tongue-in-cheek new sibling story and the way that Stella's careful observation of scientific rigor still leads her to the wrong conclusion. This hilarious and heartfelt story is a must-read for any soon-to-be scientific siblings.
Anna's family has just adopted a baby girl from China, and she is determined to be the best big sister. But despite the family's best efforts, Kaylee isn't thriving, and the doctor is worried. When Anna's friend Camille manages to feed Kaylee a few bites by singing, Anna, Camille, and their other friend Laura set on a plan: a science project that explores whether music will help Kaylee get enough to eat — and whether American songs or Chinese songs are best! This warm-hearted sequel to The Year of the Book celebrates a devoted big sister's love for the family's new arrival.
Sisters Forever: Books About Sisters
When sisters gets together, the results can be chaotic but almost always fun! Here are a few of our favorite books about pairs (or more!) of sisters.
Many Mighty Girls became fans of Frozen because of its touching story of sisters coming together. Anna and Elsa’s story of a broken sister relationship mended by dedication and love is told in several formats for readers of different ages. This Little Golden Book adaptation features beautiful artwork and an excellent simplification of the story for younger girls, while the Frozen junior novelization (age 8 - 12) is a great adaptation for middle readers to enjoy the story independently. Or, for an expansion on the story that shows what happened in the years between when Elsa had to hide her magic and the coronation day, check out the rhyming picture book Frozen: A Sister More Like Me (age 6 - 8), which switches perspective between both sisters to show how much both of them wanted a better relationship.
Tessie has been taking ballet "for a whole month now" and she just knows she's best in the class. She especially excels during the freestyle portion of the class! But her older sister Maya always seems to be the one in the spotlight — and that especially stings when Maya lands the lead in the fall recital (which comes with a princess crown), while Tessie will have to be a bumblebee. "My shoes were slippery," Tessie grumbles. "And my tutu felt so heavy. I’m sure that’s why I couldn’t keep my balance." Fortunately, Maya is there to remind Tessie that "you don’t need a crown to be a good dancer" — and the two sisters work together to ensure both can shine. With its bright colors and authentic story of jealousy and sisterhood, this charming picture book is a celebration of the joy dance can bring, in all its forms.
Mouse siblings Hazel and Twig from Hazel and Twig: The Birthday Fortune are back! This time, Hazel is exploring their forest home, lovingly unfazed by her little sister's constant questions (and occasional messes.) When the pair find an egg all by itself, they decide to hatch it together, keeping it warm and making plans for the things they can do with their new pet! But when Twig wanders off from the family, Hazel suddenly realizes how hard it is to be missing someone you love. Now, the sisters have a new mission: get the egg safely home! This charming story, with its gorgeous miniature world, is a lovely tale about kindness, love, and sisterhood.
Phoebe has always been the star of her family, with "paparazzi" cameras pointing at her and only her. Her family's house is practically wallpapered with her pictures, so it's no wonder that Phoebe thinks she's the most important person around... until her baby sister Rose shows up. When the cameras turn towards Rose, Phoebe is furious and jealous. It's not until she discovers her new part to play as big sister that Phoebe realizes there's plenty of room in the spotlight for two. Slightly cheeky text that casts Phoebe as a celebrity conveys a sweet message about overcoming sibling rivalry.
Sisters are different in so many ways: one is big, one is little; one rises early, one sleeps late. But they're alike in many more, from enjoying a dress-up tea party to delighting in special experiences, like meeting a horse. And there's one thing in which they're alike — and which will never change: each of them adores their sister! This modern classic story celebrating the trials and joys of sisterhood is perfect to enjoy with a new generation of sisters; it's also now available in an English / Spanish edition, Hermanas / Sisters.
A big sister’s special place can become special for both siblings! Maple has always adored her maple tree, the one her parents planted before she was born, but it's not the same as a real friend. One day, a new sprout appears in the garden — right before her parents announce that she'll have a baby sister soon. Baby Willow doesn't immediately seem to be an ideal playmate but when Maple introduces her to the great outdoors and her special tree, it's obvious the two sisters will be fast friends. The sisters' story continues in the sequel, Maple and Willow Together.
A snow day teaches two sisters that they can each enjoy things their own way! When the snowflakes fall, these two very different sisters split up: one races outside, while the other settles in with hot cocoa and a book. Outdoors, there's snowballs to throw and animal tracks to follow, but indoors, there are crafts, baking, and pretend play. And just as the one sister gets cold, wet, and tired, the other decides to go out and explore, and each sister puts her own spin on the other sister's activities. The simple mirrored text is lovely, and each spread is split to show what each sister is doing independently — until at last they come together in the sweet, satisfying conclusion.
Every year, Ana's family makes tamales for Christmas... and every year, it seems like her older sister, Lidia, is so far ahead of her that she'll never catch up. When Ana is six, she can mix the dough, but Lidia is old enough to spread it in the corn husks; and as the years go on, every time Ana is allowed to try a new step, Lidia is already learning the next one. Finally, though, when Ana is eighteen, she's old enough to do it all — and old enough to be planning her own factory, which will deliver her tamales to people around the world. And maybe she'll even let Lidia work for her! This bilingual story provides a funny and loving story about life as the little sister.
Ruby and Violet Mutch started collecting as children — and of course they had to have two of everything. But by the time they're adults, the house is packed to the brim... and Ruby is fed up. She declares that she's going to move out, and sets up her own things in a house across town, but something is missing. Fortunately, Violet understands exactly what her sister needs: her own space, but close to the sister she loves. Full of silly humor and whimsical, cartoonish illustrations, this book celebrates both the importance of respecting differences and the power of sisterly love.
Emma has always dreamed of having some friends her own age, so she's thrilled when not one but TWO sets of sisters move to her street! The five girls become fast friends, and they soon realize that when they combine all of their special talents, they can achieve far more than they ever thought possible. It's almost like they have... superpowers! Together they set their sights on making their neighborhood a better place... as long as they can avoid the dour and spooky Ms. Wigglestoot. But maybe their mysterious neighbor isn't all she seems... Former first daughters Jenna Bush Hager and Barbara Pierce Bush, authors of the bestselling Sisters First, tell a charming real-life story of sisterhood, community service, and intergenerational friendship.
The Sun and the Moon are sisters, and they take turns ruling the sky peacefully...until one day, they start to squabble over who is more important. So Sun and Moon decide to switch places, hoping to resolve the debate once and for all. Soon, exhausted children from the world below are begging the Moon for relief from the scorching heat, and Sun for the warmth and light that usually comes with the dawn. It's these children who finally make Sun and Moon realize that they are equally important, even if their talents are different, and that they are perfectly suited for their roles. The sisterly conflict — and resolution — in this magical story full of luminous illustrations will give children a new perspective on sibling competition.
What if Cinderella had a twin sister? Maybe together they would have gotten clever about dividing up the work! Cinderella's math-loving sister Tinderella divides everything in half, from their stepmother's chore list to tending their mean step-sisters, and even the bed they share — that way, everything is fair. When the Prince calls a ball and their fairy godmother appears, Tinderella can even figure out how to split everything in half... except for the prince! Fortunately, Tinderella realizes that there's a flip side to division.... This clever fractured (and fractioned) fairy tale from the author of The Three Ninja Pigs and Ninja Red Riding Hood is full of hilarious puns and entertaining math concepts.
Sisters can be a source of support for one another — even in very unexpected ways. Sheila Rae has always been the “brave sister”: she laughs at thunder and lightning, rolls her eyes at the big black dog at the end of the block, and imagines taking on even more terrifying fears. Fortunately, when Sheila Rae gets lost taking a new way home from school — and finds her courage fading away — her “scaredy cat” sister Louise is there to help!
One winter night, two Ojibway sisters make their way across the snow to see something very special. At first the younger sister is full of chatter, but as her older sister patiently leads her along, she discovers the joy of quiet and the special experiences it brings. Finally, their patience is rewarded by the beautiful dance of the SkySpirits: the northern lights. This lyrical story with a pair of delightful sisters — one patient and protective, one mischievous and full of energy — is complemented by exquisite oil paintings that perfectly capture the beauty of a winter night in the north.
All Velma ever hears at school are stories of her older sisters: they were such perfect students that no one ever seems to notice Velma at all! But then her class plans a trip to the butterfly conservatory — someplace neither sister has ever been — and when a monarch butterfly roosts on Velma and refuses to move, she not only finds a way to have her own identity, but she also discovers a newfound passion for science! This charming story is sure to speak to any younger sister who worries if she'll ever make her own mark.
Two sisters are sent outside to play, and the oldest wants to read a book but the youngest is eager to play. So when her pleas fail, she decides to try some reverse psychology instead: "I have a secret tree fort, and YOU'RE NOT INVITED!" As she regales her older sister with tales of her fort's many attributes — including water-balloon launchers, trapdoors, and underwater board games with whales — she wonders what exactly it will take to finally convince her to look up... This story of a girl tempting her sister with the power of imagination ends with a satisfying surprise!
Sisters Beatrice and Roo are as different as can be. Beatrice loves the "dark dark dark" and everything associated with it: spiders, quiet, and graveyards. She doesn't understand "why some things are so bright bright bright and so loud loud loud." Her sister Roo loves colorful clothes, picking strawberries, and bright sunny days; she finds the dark frightening. When Roo is afraid one night, she's surprised when Beatrice offers her a comforting hand and a potion to help her feel less afraid. And in return, Roo offers a song to help Beatrice understand the good things about the light. In the end, the two siblings realize that as different as they are, "they can love each other, all the same." The perfect combination of spooky and heartwarming makes this sibling story a celebration of both individuality and family.
Sometimes a sister is the only one who knows what to do when your mood turns dark. In this story, inspired by Virginia Woolf and her painter sister Vanessa, Virginia wakes up in a wolfish mood; she growls, snarls, and refuses to leave her room. It's not until Vanessa starts painting Virginia's perfect town of Bloomsbury that the wolf starts to fade, leaving an ordinary girl in its wake. This thoughtful story, which can be an allegory for either a bad mood or a more serious mood disorder like depression, shows how a loving sister can help you get through a difficult time.
Maddie and Mabel are two sisters who aren't always sure who's in charge: older sister Maddie, who can be demanding and pushy, or little sister Mabel, who's constantly asking questions! In the five chapters of this illustrated chapter book opener, this story tackles everything from the arrival of a new sibling (during which Maddie confesses she would have picked a pet rabbit, but is happy she ended up with Mabel!) to an argument over Maddie always taking control of their games. With relatable and realistic characters whose sibling relationship is a loving work in progress, this charming chapter book will leave kids eager to read more about this exuberant pair.
Another movie that highlighted a caring sister relationship is the Studio Ghibli film My Neighbor Totoro — and fans can now also enjoy this picture book that uses artwork from the film. Satsuki and little sister Mei are there for one another through thick and thin, whether they’re dealing with a move to the country, their mother’s illness, or the unexpected discovery of a whole world of spirit creatures in the woods near their new home! Older Totoro fans can check out the novel adaptation for age 8 and up.
For Beatrice, Ramona is nothing but a pest — right down to everyone calling her Beezus because that's how 4-year-old Ramona says her name. Whether she's taking one bite out of every apple in a box or making a scene in the library, Ramona embarrasses Beezus and always seems to get in the way. Yet even when Ramona is at her most exasperating, Beezus can't help but admit that she loves her little sister. Beverley Cleary's modern classic is sure to speak to any child who feels conflicting feelings about her siblings. All eight of Beverly Cleary's Ramona titles are also now available in a colorful Ramona Quimby Box Set.
Sisters Alix and Jools have never seen the ocean, so a week-long family trip to the beach promises lots of adventure. The week will be full of exciting moments — like picking periwinkles and making friends — and also a few scary ones — like getting separated from her parents at a crowded stop! But by the end of the week, Alix will have learned how little moments of wonder add up to an unforgettable experience. A charming story of child-sized exploration makes this an appealing read, which might just inspire a few adventures.
12-year-old Emma, known as Even, and her sister Olivia, called Odd, live in an ordinary Connecticut town, but they have a secret: they were born in the magical world of Firoth, just across a hidden border, and they share some of its magical heritage. But recently the sisters have been clashing: Even is determined to practice magic and become a hero, while Odd just wants to volunteer at the local animal shelter. When a wizard's spell suddenly closes the border between the worlds, the two sisters — and a unicorn named Jeremy — will have to save the day... and in the process, each will have to appreciate the other's point of view. This vibrant fantasy, about a half-magic girl discovering that she has what it takes to be a hero, is full of whimsy, fun, and adventure.
Sisters make great companions for adventures of all kinds. The four Penderwick sisters are thrilled to discover that they’ll be spending a summer holiday on the grounds of a vast estate. The estate features plenty to interest the girls despite their differences in ages, from the treasure-filled attic to the tame rabbits. And while not everyone appreciates the roving sisters’ spirit of adventure, one thing is for sure: it will be a summer the sisters will never forget!
11-year-old Savannah Dare and her sisters, 13-year-old Frankie and 6-year-old Jolene, loved their grandfather's pirates tales — including the stories of Blackbeard's lost treasure, buried somewhere near their North Carolina town. Now that their grandfather has died, Savvy is even more determined to fulfill his dream and find it, especially once she realizes that it's the only way to save their family home. The three sisters are up against plenty of challenges — including their grandfather's former business partner who wants the treasure for himself — but with the three of them on the case, they're confident they can take on all comers! This rollicking story of three sisters learning to think like pirates is sure to delight middle grade action lovers.
Soledad and Ming inherited a lively imagination from their mother, Mei-Mei, a consummate storyteller. After her death, the girls move with their father from the Philippines to the United States where he marries their "evil stepmother" Vea — and promptly abandons the family. Now Sol is trying to use her mother's storytelling tricks to keep Ming's spirits up (and her own) by elaborating Mei-Mei's stories of a made-up adventurous Aunt Jove, who will surely swing through and rescue them both any day. But when Ming starts to believe Aunt Jove is real, Sol wonders if she's made the right decision. Perhaps what Sol really needs to do for her sister — and herself — is find a way to embrace their new country and new reality, stepmother and all. It's a heartfelt tale of how sisterhood can support girls through a difficult time.
The love of a sister can push you out of your comfort zone! Princess Addie has always been content to hide behind her brave sister Meryl, who’s ready to rid the kingdom of gryphons, spiders, spectres, and other mystical creatures. But when Princess Meryl is stricken with the Gray Death, a mysterious epidemic, Addie will have to go beyond the castle walls on a quest full of dragons, magic, and danger, if she hopes to save her sister and the kingdom.
Raina Telgemeier follows up on her bestselling graphic novel Smile with this humorous story of how one summer road trip with her sister Amara brought their sisterly conflicts to a head. Teenage Raina has gone from being disappointed that her baby sister was not what she expected, to withdrawing enough to be oblivious to the family’s challenges. But when she and Amara have to confront the realities of how their family is changing, they realize that, no matter their differences, each sister will always be there for the other. You can also get both Smile and Sisters in this box set.
11-year-old Avery loves her neighborhood, her school, her two BFFS, and more. But as one of seven kids, she feels constantly squished. Everything is too loud, too chaotic, and just too much. She dreams about her own room where she can have a little solitude and place to create art without younger siblings interfering... so she's hurt and furious when her older brother Theo gets a room to himself instead, and now she has not one but TWO siblings sharing a space with her: clingy Pearl and wild Max. As Avery navigates her frustration (and plots to get her own room) she learns that her family may be planning a cross country move. Will she ever have a place that's really all her own? Megan Wagner Lloyd and Michelle Mee Nutter, creators of the best-selling graphic novel Allergic, have created another funny, true-to-life story, this one about growing up in a big family.
Twins Iris and Lark are identical but not the same: Iris is the sensible, capable counterpart to her brilliant and dreamy sister, and has grown accustomed to protecting Lark after a series of illnesses. But in fifth grade, the twins suddenly find themselves not just in different classrooms, but in different after-school activities too. Suddenly, everything feels wrong — strange things are happening in the city, including items going missing. If the sisters are going to save one another — and everyone else — they may have to realize that being apart isn't the same as growing apart. An eerie mystery, deep symbolism, and a mysterious narrator combine in this powerful story about the struggles of growing up.
Jen's mother and her new boyfriend Walter are starting a farm in the country, which has yanked Jen away from the comforts and excitement of the city into the drudgery of chores and farmers markets. It's also given her two "sisters," Andy and Reese, that get on Jen's nerves — and leave her feeling uncertain about her place in the family, especially since Walter can't seem to see her as equal to them. Over time, though, Jen not only finds some common ground with her unwanted new step-siblings, but also begins to establish agency and ambitious of her own. Loosely based on author/illustrator Lucy Knisley's childhood, this authentic and relatable graphic novel is perfect for fans of Awkward and Be Prepared. Jen's story continues in Apple Crush.
Delphine, Vonetta, and Fern are back! This summer, the sisters from One Crazy Summer and P.S. Be Eleven are visiting their grandmother, Big Ma, and her mother, Ma Charles. During the visit they discover an old family secret — the source of a feud between Ma Charles and her half sister, Miss Trotter, that's kept them from speaking for years. But when tragedy strikes, Delphine must face her resentment at being responsible for her younger sisters — and her guilt at failing to keep them safe — in order to discover that family bonds will see you through just about anything. This rich, heartfelt story about family, love, and loyalty is a satisfying conclusion to the sisters' story.
Catrina's family is moving to Bahia de la Luna, where the coastal air will help Maya's cystic fibrosis symptoms. Cat misses her friends and resents being forced to move, but she loves her sister and is terrified of Maya getting sick. So when their neighbor tells them that Bahia de la Luna is home to ghosts — spirits of ancestors who watch over them — Cat wants nothing to do with them... and is horrified to discover that Maya seems fascinated by the ghosts. As the Day of the Dead approaches, and Cat meets the ghosts face to face, she'll learn more about the Mexican side of her heritage — and learn to set her fears aside, for both Maya's sake and her own. This original graphic novel by the author / illustrator of best-selling graphic novels Smile, Sisters, and Drama is sure to delight your Raina Telgemeier fan!
Meg, Will, and Ariel Griffin are visiting their eccentric aunt for the summer — and Meg and Will are secretly hoping that Aunt Effie will distract their much younger sister so they can adventure on their own. But as soon as they arrive, mysterious things start happening, which seem to be connected to the purported haunting of the nearby ruined Castle Cary. And when a ghost from the castle sets her sights on keeping Ariel as her best friend forever, Meg and Will decide to team up to solve the mystery and save their sister. Realistic sibling dynamics layered with a suitably spooky ghost story and a ticking clock of a deadline make this a thrilling sibling story that middle grade readers will love.
Abby McCourt adores astronomy, so the upcoming solar eclipse should be all she's thinking about — but instead, her thoughts are full of her older sister Blair, who has just gone into residential care for an eating disorder. When renowned astronomer Leo Lacamoire shows up at her parents' resort, he spots a kindred spirit in Abby, and asks her to help him reclaim his telescope, which was stolen and buried in a time capsule. But the only time to dig up the capsule is during the eclipse, which she promised to watch with her dad... Interspersed in Abby's story are vignettes about Blair's promising ballet career and the ruthless pressure that drove her anorexia. Together, they create a poignant portrait of mental illness, its effects on family, and the bonds that help sisters survive the storms of life.
10-year-old Pavonine, 12-year-old Mayhap, and 14-year-old Winnow have been alone in the magical Straygarden Place since their parents left them there seven years ago. The sentient house provides all their needs, but is surrounded by grass that constantly attempts to encroach — grass their parents warned them was dangerous. But when Winnow dares to go into the grass and starts turning into silver, the sisters' relationships begin to fray — and Mayhap realizes she will have to untangle the truth of Straygarden Place to save her sisters... and herself. This tale about sisterhood and secrets is evocative and eerie, a read that will linger long after the last page is done.
The streets of Chennai are dangerous for children, but when life gets more dangerous at home, sisters Viji and Rukku become runaways. Fortunately, before long the girls find shelter under and abandoned bridges, as well as friendship, both from a puppy they name Kutti and from two runaway boys, Muthi and Arul. Muthi and Arul are so taken with Viji's storytelling that they agree to teach her and Rukku how to scavenge the garbage dump for items to sell. And when tragedy strikes, their new family will help Viji come to terms with her grief. Written in the form of a letter from Viji to Rukku, this vividly emotional book gently explores issues around poverty, caste, and child labor through the story of one girl.
A sister’s support can help even after she’s gone. Katie Takeshima’s sister Lynn is the one who makes everything seem brighter, whether she's pointing out the simple things like the light on the ocean, or helping Katie with the challenges of being the only Japanese family in a Deep South town. But when Lynn becomes seriously ill, the job of making everything kira-kira — glittering and shining — falls to Katie. And when Lynn dies, Katie is determined to honor her sisters memory by making kira-kira a part of her life forever.
When adventurous 12-year-old Bett Devlin peeks at her single father's emails, she's horrified to discover that her father is in love — and that he and his new boyfriend are planning to send their daughters to sleepaway camp together, so they can "accidentally" meet one another. Avery Bloom is Bett's opposite, bookish and fearful, and the girls agree they'll NEVER become friends. Except while they're at camp, friendship blossoms anyway, and when it appears that their dads are going to part ways, the two girls are determined to find a way to be sisters after all. Told entirely in letters and emails, and written by two bestselling authors, this laugh-out-loud novel celebrates the many ways that people can become family.
What happens when a sister who's always been part of your world suddenly decides she wants her own? Cath’s world is rattled when her twin sister, Wren, announces that she doesn’t want to live with Cath when they go away to college. Cath, who has spent her high school years buried in the fangirl world of Simon Snow, suddenly finds herself on her own to navigate a surly roommate, a demanding professor, and the chance of a real relationship with classmate who seems to love words and writing as much as she does. Perhaps Wren’s push out the door will allow Cath to discover a whole world she never believed she could be a part of: the real one.
With an absent father and a mother who struggles with substance abuse, 17-year-old Gem has long since taken over the role of caretaker for her sister, Dixie. But now that Dixie is an outgoing 14-year-old, she's pulled away from her anxious loner sister. When their manipulative father tries to get back in the picture, Gem uses it as an opportunity to go on a trip with Dixie, just the two of them -- but it doesn't bring the immediate reconnection that she'd hoped. In a series of essays, suggested by her supportive school psychologist, Gem explores her messy relationship with her sister and her growing realization that she can forge a different path for her future.
When Grace, who was adopted at birth, places her own child for adoption after an unplanned pregnancy, she feels compelled to find out more about her biological family. She discovers two siblings: Joaquin, a nearly 18-year-old who has struggled through over a dozen failed foster care placements, and Maya, who was adopted as an infant by a wealthy family. The siblings bond surprisingly quickly over their similarities, but each is hiding secrets about their past. However, Grace has learned one important thing: there are many ways to be family. This funny and heartwrenching 2017 National Book Award winning title explores important questions about identity and family.
18-year-old Ginny is brilliant (if a bit dramatic) extrovert, while her 15-year-old sister Plum is a loner who quietly takes over everything forgotten by Ginny and their illustrator mother. But when their mother's royalty payments unexpectedly stop — just as their old Victorian home needs major work — everything gets up-ended. Ginny is frantic about how she'll pay for her dream Ivy League college, while Plum, to her surprise, finds herself growing close to outgoing, popular Tate Kurosawa. And just as it seems like things will pull the sisters apart, the revelation of long-held secrets might bring them closer than they've ever been. This witty and heartfelt story inspired by Sense and Sensibility explores how sisters grow together as they grow independently.
Books About Mighty Girls & Their Brothers
Sometimes there’s no pair closer than a brother and a sister! These great books feature all the best of brother-sister relationships, even when there are bumpy patches on the way.
Amy loves her blankie, bear, bunny, and bird, very much. She loves her baby brother Joe and the twins Zak and Jack, too, but that doesn’t mean she wants them touching her beloved toys! But when Zak and Jack point out that it’s hard to play without toys, Amy discovers new empathy for her brothers and learns that sometimes toys are best when they are “YOURS AND MINE!”
A big sister can be the one who introduces a little boy to the joy of reading! Lola from Anna McQuinn’s Lola at the Library welcomes a new baby brother in this sequel. Lola’s parents make sure that there’s always time for Lola’s stories, even as the arrival of the new baby looms, and when Leo is finally born, it’s Lola who gets to introduce him to the pleasure of a good book.
If she’s got a little brother, your Mighty Girl may dream of being an extra-special guide and protector for him. In this classic picture book, Margaret wishes on the North Star for an adventure on a special ship and someone special for company. Soon, she’s sailing the waves on a ship named after her, with her baby brother James along for the adventure. There are exciting things to go and new things to see, and even when a late afternoon thunderstorm churns the waves, Margaret knows just how to comfort James, playing her fiddle until he’s soothed to sleep.
One day, the Bunny family comes home to discover a baby left on their doorstep. Enchanted, they adopt him, despite Dot's protests: the baby is a wolf in a bunny sleeper! No matter how much she protests that Wolfie will eat them all up, her family dismisses her concerns — and Wolfie insists on following her everywhere she goes. But when a bear at the market thinks Wolfie would make a good meal, Dot realizes that she'll still do anything to protect her adopted brother. And when Wolfie does pounce, it turns out that he just wants to give her a giant hug! This whimsical story about accepting a new sibling also offers a lovely story of an adoptive family.
When Mia arrived in her house, there was a big room just for her, and she loved it! She was just as excited — at first — when her new brother Brandon arrived, even if it meant he had to share her room. But soon, Brandon's stuff starts taking over the big room, and Mia keeps finding his toys, clothes, and books everywhere... until she makes a stand and declares "I'm moving out!" But when none of her new spaces feel quite right, maybe she and Brandon can work together to create the perfect place to play. This charming story might just make kids look at their own siblings a little differently.
As a little girl waits for the school bus, she regales her audience with all the things she will do "when my brother gets home." Her plans start with the simple — a backyard tea party, a "comic book convention" in their treehouse — and slowly grow more and more elaborate: climbing mountains, fording the Amazon, and more... Anticipation rises as the school bus gets closer and closer, until the moment finally comes — and her brother's first question is, "So what do you want to do?" This sweet story celebrates the love between siblings and imaginary play, and reminds young readers that spending time together is the best adventure.
Flora's little brother Crispin is nothing but a pest. But when the pair are whisked away by a swirling, swooping wind, she gets the chance of a lifetime: the opportunity to give away her annoying sibling. A dragonfly, a sparrow, a rainbow, even the man in the moon and the wind itself all make bids to claim Crispin. And Flora would do anything to be rid of him... wouldn't she? Jeanne Birdsall's story of a sister's flight of fancy that helps her reconcile her conflicting feelings about her brother is sure to delight any frustrated sister.
Sometimes a brother can teach important lessons about compassion and accepting differences. This little girl's brother is autistic, which, she explains, means that "his brain works in a special way. It's harder for him to make friends. Or show his true feelings. Or stay safe." Sometimes that makes things difficult, but she also knows that there are many things that Charlie is very good at: he plays the piano, he knows all the American presidents, and he can tell you more about airplanes than anyone! Holly Robinson Peete was inspired to write this story by her son with autism, and collaborated with her daughter Ryan Elizabeth Peete to capture the real-life experiences of the sister of a child with special needs.
The Mighty Girl in this book loves art — painting and drawing — and Art — her little brother. So one day, when inspiration strikes, she decides to create a true masterpiece! With Art looking on, she carefully crafts the perfect picture and proudly displays it on the "gallery du fridge". But Art wants to create something special too, and when his creative impulses lead him to cut up Louise's prize picture, both siblings are left unhappy. Fortunately, Louise realizes that in this case, imitation really is flattery — and that some pieces of art take two to create! This charming story of sibling love and artistic creation is fun and full of heart.
Beloved author/illustrator Patricia Polacco tells a story about her own big brother in this book! Richard is always rubbing it in Trisha’s face that he can run faster, climb higher, and just plain do everything better than she can. She wishes she could find just one thing she could do better than him! But when she gets her wish and rides the merry-go-round longer than Richard can bear, she gets dizzy enough to take a spill getting off — and guess who’s there to carry her home? Black and white family photos in the endpapers will provide an extra reminder to your Mighty Girl that even rotten older brothers do, in fact, love their sisters.
The world's greatest fourth-grade detective, Moxie McCoy, is on the hunt for the person who's kidnapped the school's beloved mascot... but without her best friend/crime-solving partner, who's moved away, things just don't feel right. So her interrogations now serve a double purpose: searching for clues, and interviewing for a new partner. Nobody quite seems to suit, and Moxie can't solve the case on her own. But when her quiet, tentative, boring little brother Milton proves he's an excellent listener, maybe the pair can form an unexpected alliance. Warm and funny, with clever "debrief" questions that encourage readers to examine Moxie's narrative, kids will love this sister and brother sleuth partnership.
Brother-sister pairs make excellent companions for daring adventures! 12-year-old Claudia and her younger brother Jamie run off to the Metropolitan Museum of Art and discover a fascinating mystery! Claudia is convinced that the new marble angel sculpture is a real Michelangelo, but in order to prove it, she and Jamie will need to track down the original owner, negotiate a deal with her, and prove their case — all without running out of money or being caught my museum security!
After years bouncing between foster homes, Flora and her brother Julian have been adopted by Emily. But Flora has a hard time believing in forever; she isn't ready to use the word mother, instead thinking of Emily as her Person, and every time something goes wrong — like when Julian hoards food or Flora struggles in fourth grade — she's afraid that they'll be sent to yet another home. So Emily decides to take the siblings on a quest to find their past... and hopefully reassure them that family really can be forever. This novel gently but honestly tackles the trauma that lingers in kids who have struggled in the foster care system, while also celebrating the power of the sibling bond to see kids through the toughest times.
Cat is one of the only people who can keep her special-needs brother Chicken happy, and since her father passed away, she's become almost completely responsible for his care. But when a plan for a summer trip falls through, Cat and Chicken suddenly find themselves in the North Carolina home of their grandparents, Macon and Lily, who have been estranged from the family as long as Cat can remember. Cat's determined to protect Chicken, but as the summer goes on, she begins to realize just how overwhelmed she has been by caring for him — and that, if she starts to speak up, her whole family might be better off. Emotional and real, this touching debut novel is perfect for fans of Lynda Mullaly Hunt or Ali Benjamin.
In the first of Kazu Kibuishi’s Amulet graphic novel series, Emily and her brother Navin go on a dark adventure after their mother is lured through a strange door in the basement of their new home — into an underground world full of demons, robots, and talking rabbits. Together, the children have to face a dangerous and terrifying foe. Emily takes the lead role in this hero’s journey, but without Navin by her side, she can’t succeed. It will take both brother and sister — plus a new rabbit friend named Miskit — to get them safely back home. The first three books of the bestselling Amulet series are also available in the Amulet Box Set.
When a brother has a disability, it can be hard for a sister to combine her love for her sibling with her desire to fit in. 12-year-old Catherine thinks her autistic younger brother David is keeping her from a normal life. She’s spent his whole life trying to teach him the rules to being normal: don’t hug clerks at the store, don’t put toys in the fish tank, don’t yell at the dinner table. But when Catherine meets some new friends, including Jason, a nonverbal paraplegic boy, she starts to realize that maybe “normal” isn’t something that’s so easily defined -- and that maybe David has some lessons to teach her, too.
Sister has been used to living in Brother's shadow, even if she doesn't exactly like it — but this year, the indignities reach a peak. For one, Brother gets to choose a family pet; despite Sister's longtime pleas for a dog, he chooses a bearded dragon named Frightful. Then, he gets to head off to summer camp for weeks of fun, leaving Sister in charge of the beast! In a series of letters, Sister unleashes her frustration (although she has to admit that Frightful does seem to appreciate her bongo playing more than anyone else!) while Brother hints that camp may not be as much fun as he was hoping. Can their letters back and forth help these two siblings find common ground? Best-selling author Alison McGhee captures the ups and downs of sibling rivalry and love in this funny and heartfelt, highly illustrated novel.
Five years ago, Niki became best friends with new arrival Ava — leaving behind her former best friend Holly. She and Ava have all sorts of plans for eighth grade, but at the gym class pair up, Ava suddenly chooses one of the popular girls as her partner, leaving Niki reeling. The sudden and confusing change is hard enough, but Niki's family is also struggling with her 9-year-old brother Danny; her mother refuses to believe that he could be on the autism spectrum, but his meltdowns make it clear to Niki that he needs help. Niki wants to be popular, but she's worried that will make her a bad sister — and when Holly single-handedly saves Danny's birthday party, Niki begins to realize that being a good best friend is more complicated, and more simple, than she thought. Kids will empathize with Niki's questions about how to be a good sister and a good friend in this heartfelt novel.
For Jewish twins Chaim and Gittel, the world feels like it's falling apart. Their incredibly close connection, which even includes a secret language, can't protect them from the dangers of the Nazi regime — or treachery from people they thought they could trust. At a forced labor camp, they face the terror of the ovens and the horror of medical experimentation by a twisted Nazi doctor. Only through Chaim's poetry and clinging to one another can they hope to survive. Jane Yolen returns to the Holocaust almost thirty years after The Devil's Arithmetic and Briar Rose to produce this haunting novel of evil and love.
Nannerl Mozart is a gifted pianist and composer — but she has two major disadvantages. She is a young woman in 18th century Europe... and she's the sister of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Her desperate wish to be remembered is overheard by a mysterious entity named Hyacinth, who promises her he can make it come true if she helps him win back his crown in the Kingdom of Back. At first, Nannerl and Wolfgang are charmed by Hyacinth's magical land, but as the Kingdom of Back grows darker, she begins to fear that her bargain will cost more than she intended... Inspired by the close relationship between the Mozart siblings, and the imaginary world that they created together, best-selling author Marie Lu's first work of historical fiction is a vibrant, magical story of sibling rivalry and love.
When a brother-sister relationship falls apart, it’s hard for both siblings. Twins Jude and Noah are the closest of friends at 13, but by age 16, they're barely speaking to one another. In between, something drove a wedge between daredevil Jude and sensitive Noah. Now, they’re competing for everything: boys, a spot at an exclusive school, even their parents’ approval. Noah tells the first half of this story, and Jude tells the second: perhaps if each listens to the other, they can find a way to knit themselves — and their relationship — back together again.
Additional Recommended Resources
- For more Mighty Girls books about the challenges and joys of life with siblings, visit our Siblings section.
- For books that celebrate a Mighty Girl's relationship with her parents, check out our blog posts for Mother's Day and Father's Day.
- For books about other important relationships, from grandparents to friends to teachers, visit our Relationships section.