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10 of the Most Memorable Siblings in Middle Grade Literature

by Margaret Mincks


When I was growing up, some kid stole my little brother’s bike. I raged. I scoured the neighborhood, determined to root out the gutless thief. I even called 911. (I didn’t know it was illegal to call 911 in a non-emergency situation, so the operator wasn’t super supportive.)

As the second oldest of eight children, I’m an expert in the ups and downs of sibling relationships … the intense bond that can turn, in a flash, into a fight over who takes the first shower. Brothers and sisters may push each other’s buttons, but they’ll always have each other’s backs.

In my book Payback on Poplar Lane, 12-year-old Peter Gronkowski is the most successful entrepreneur on his cul-de-sac. His worm-eating little brother, Daniel, seems determined to undermine his businesses. He even gives away Peter’s valuable merchandise for free! But Peter still reads Daniel bedtime stories (well, stories from Peter’s favorite business newsletter) every night.

Children’s literature is littered with brothers and sisters, from Little Women’s March sisters to the Penderwicks to the Weasleys. Here are 10 of my favorite middle grade books about the ups and downs of sibling relationships: the fierce love, the turtle-eating, and everything in between.

What sibling stories would you recommend to young readers?