12 Of The Best Siblings From Literature

by Julia Seales

If you’ve got siblings, you understand the lifelong bond of friendship, forged from childhood arguments, inside jokes that are only funny because of your shared family sense of humor, and the simple fact that you have to stay friends with them because they have too much dirt on you at this point. My brothers and I are all “adults” now (I use this term loosely, because our Elf on the Shelf hiding choices beg to differ), but come holiday season we’re all back together under the same roof and it’s as if no time has passed. The house is festooned in garland and lights, elf on the shelf is brewing up a polyjuice potion, and my siblings and I are up to our usual hijinks.

Can a book really capture this bond? I’d say so. As the holidays roll in and you reconnect with your siblings, whether your friendship is rocky or smooth, just be glad for one thing: at least they didn’t sell you out for a handful of Turkish delight. Of course, there are good examples of siblings in literature as well as bad, so here are a few of the best to inspire you to be “nice” this Christmas.

1. Jem and Scout Finch

These two went through a lot in To Kill a Mockingbird, and together learned about the world around them. They stuck together through thick and thin — it's easy to see why Boo thought they'd make the perfect soap figures.

2. The Weasley Siblings

Harry Potter's Fred, George, Bill, Charlie, Percy, Ginny, and Ron are part of the iconic Weasley family, and though they have their ups and downs (I'm mostly talking about Percy betraying everyone), they ultimately fight for what's right and are always there for each other. Their sibling pranks are pretty much unmatched, plus they get bonus points for making their close friends truly feel like part of the family.

3. Holden and Phoebe Caulfield

In Catcher in the Rye, Phoebe is the one person Holden really respects, and she has a huge impact on his life. Though she's sweet and young, she also seems wise, and their brother-sister relationship is both touching and important.

4. Jane and Elizabeth Bennet

These two Pride and Prejudice characters define #SisterGoals to me: Elizabeth adores Jane's good nature and would do anything to protect her sister. The two of them are practically the mother and father of their family, and with their complementary strengths, they're a perfect sister duo.

5. The Pevensie Siblings

OK, so on the one hand, Edmund sells out his siblings for Turkish delight in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. On the other hand, his siblings don't give up on him and turn him away after he makes that (enormously awful) mistake. Instead, they stick by him, until he rejoins the good side once again and they can all become kings and queens.

6. The March Sisters

Beth, Jo, Amy, and Meg of Little Women are all very different, but they all seem to balance one another out: Beth checks Jo's wild nature with her sweet demeanor, Amy and Meg keep each other grounded, and together they put on the most epic plays ever.

7. The Beaudelaire Orphans

Klaus, Sunny, and Violet of A Series of Unfortunate Events go through a lot of — well, unfortunate — stuff in the course of their lives. But by working together, they somehow muddle through. They take care of one another, encourage one another's interests and strengths, and pretty much have their own language (aka Sunny's "baby talk").

8. Katniss and Prim

The Hunger Games began because of Katniss's love for her sister, Prim. And even if the ending is bittersweet, these sisters changed one another for the better. Katniss's strength was a model for her sister, and Prim's innocence kept Katniss going through the worst of times.

9. Valentine and Ender Wiggin

Valentine and Ender in Ender's Game have very different personalities, but Valentine is a pillar of sweetness in Ender's dark life. Her kindness balances out the hate he sees, and he wouldn't be the protagonist he becomes without that balance.

10. The Boxcar Children

They live in a boxcar together. When I was younger, this sounded like the most glamorous thing in the world, and inspired many fort-building sessions with my own brothers where we roughed it outside until we got hungry and went back to the house to get goldfish. Truly though, the kids in this series were always watching out for one another. And then later they got to solve mysteries, so it all worked out.

11. The Ingalls Sisters

Laura, Carrie, and Mary of Little House on the Prairie roughed it in a covered wagon to make it out west together, so naturally they were pretty close. These sisters shared calico dresses, chores, and snow candy, and learned together to appreciate every little thing in life.

12. Patrick And Sam

These step-siblings from The Perks of Being a Wallflower complement one another perfectly. They're confident, caring, and unafraid to be themselves, and they support one another through the difficult years of high school with humor and love. Also, this coordinated dance scene in the film version? Perfection.

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