Strength in Numbers: Extraordinary Sibling Bonds
6 brothers and sisters of children’s lit who stand by each other no matter what.
Sometimes circumstances force siblings to care for each other in a way that no one else can. The brothers and sisters in these stories bonded together during trying times and in the absence of responsible guardians. Celebrate National Siblings Day with these tough characters whose love for their family goes above and beyond, and then text your siblings a series of heart emojis ASAP.
The first book in the classic series, The Boxcar Children introduces Henry, Jessie, Violet, and Benny, orphans who turn an abandoned boxcar into their home. The brothers and sisters provide for each other and ultimately find another family member to care for them, too.
Abandoned by their mother in a parking lot in Connecticut, the four Tillerman children set out to find relatives in Bridgeport, hoping they’ll find a permanent home. Thirteen-year-old Dicey bravely leads her siblings up north, determined to do whatever she can to keep them together.
In this classic coming-of-age novel, Ponyboy sees the world as greasers pitted against Socs—the outsiders against the privileged. Orphaned after a fatal car crash, Ponyboy’s brothers take charge, with Darry assuming custody of his younger brothers and Sodapop dropping out of high school to work. Hardship escalates for the greaser brothers when the greaser/Soc tensions lead to a murder.
Wartime air raids force Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy to leave London and take refuge in the countryside. There, Lucy discovers the magical wardrobe that leads to Narnia. Even as their adventures in Narnia test the siblings’ loyalties to the forces of good and to each other, the brothers and sisters ultimately remain united despite every trial and challenge.
Happy endings are seemingly impossible for the Baudelaire children, who are more than accustomed to misfortune. When a fire destroys their home and kills their parents, Violet, Klaus, and Sunny are sent to live with Count Olaf, a horrible man who’s after their inherited fortune. The siblings must stick together and evade the harmful consequences of a series of unfortunate events inflicted on them by their new guardian.
As their dad, a widower and country singer, travels frequently, Retta, Johnny, and Roy experience the bare minimum of parental supervision. Retta leads her brothers on adventures, including to the neighbor’s pool, where they swim at night and pretend to have glamorous lives.