Can’t We All Just Get Along?

Booklist – March 2024

There is nothing quite so unique as the relationship between siblings. Most of us have felt the joy and subsequent pain of growing up with brothers and sisters. It turns out the sibling bond is one of the most emotionally powerful and important relationships of our lives. They help us be prosocial, learn to negotiate, and develop empathy. Even if you are an only child, this list of books will make you laugh and cry, as you explore the complexity of a rivalry and relationship we don’t get to choose.



Swing it! The Andrews Sisters Story by John Sforza

Chronicles the career of the Andrews Sister from Minneapolis and their rise to fame in the big-band era of the 1940s. They sang together for over three decades, but they didn’t always get along.


The Sibling Effect: Brothers, Sisters, and the Bonds that Define Us by Jeffrey Kluger

Kluger, a science writer and editor for Time Magazine explores the psychology of the sibling relationship using his own family as the example. He covers topics like birth order, and favoritism among many others.


Siblings Without Rivalry How to Help Your Children Live Together So You Can Live Too by Adele Faber

This book offers simple tips for parents dealing with antagonism between siblings. It includes guidelines on topics like the perils of comparison and helping children resolve conflicts.

DB058824, BR015438, LP016071

Three Weeks with My Brother by Nicolas Sparks

A memoir chronicling the around-the-world adventure of author Nicholas Sparks and his brother, Micah, in 2003. Leaving wives and families at home, the brothers journeyed to places around the world focusing on milestones in their lives, childhood remembrances, and truths about loss and hope.


DB049676, BR012565, LP015814

East of Eden by John Steinbeck

Sibling rivalry across multiple generations is at the heart to this classic American novel. Brother against brother competing for the love of their parents is a repeated theme. The story follows two families in California from the post-Civil War era until WWI.


We Have Always Lived in the Castle by Shirley Jackson

This frightening tale follows an isolated, strange, and possibly murderous pair of sisters who have deliberately shut themselves away until a cousin comes to town.


The Brothers K by David James Duncan

The six Chance children grow up in the 1960s in a small town in Washington State who learn to find their own niche in life despite their father a minor league baseball player until his promising career ends in an accident, and their mother a fanatical Seventh Day Adventist. Strong Language.  

DB046882, BR011745, LP011344

The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

The four Price sisters are removed from their comfortable home and taken to the Belgian Conga by their evangelical Baptist father in 1959. Caught up in the folly of their parents, the jungle climate, and the politics of the region, the girls’ relationships tragically deconstruct and remarkable come back together through the years.

Image Description: Cartoon siblings, brother on the left plugs his ears and closes his eyes, while sister on the right is screaming in front of a mauve background.