Top Ten Tuesday: Family Dilemma

Top Ten Tuesday

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Books you have read about awesome/horrible families. Books that contain amazing stories about family dynamics.


Families tend to be absent in children’s literature so I usually notice the ones that are present. Here are some families I enjoyed reading about:

  1. The Demon Catchers of Milan by Kat Beyer featured one of the most interesting extended families I have had the pleasure of reading. From their love of food to their unusual profession (demon-catching), the Della Torres are a force to be reckoned with. I just hope the third book finds a way to get released so I can read the conclusion to this most excellent trilogy.
  2. To All The Boys I’ve Loved Before by Jenny Han. Though I found Lara Jean to be somewhat too saccharine for my tastes at times, her family is a fun one. Her sisters, Kitty and Margot, are both charming (though flawed) and her dad’s efforts to keep their family together heartwarming.
  3. A House Without Mirrors by Marten Sanden contained one of the most dysfunctional families I have ever read about but that is what made the reading so much fun.
  4. Geek Girl series by Holly Smale contains the craziest dad and the most awesome stepmother a girl can ask for. I had a lot of fun reading about them.
  5. The Goodnight Family series by Rosemary Clement-Moore contains a quirky coterie of supernatural misfits/cousins/siblings. A load of fun.


I’m going to assume “family” includes “extended family” also, okay? Okay.

  1. Harry Potter by J. K. Rowling: Leaving Harry with the Dursleys was a horrible plan and Dumbledore knew it.
  2. Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Sáenz: Best. YA. Parents. Ever. Yes, they are flawed but understandably so. Both boys’ respective parents are a special kind of adorable. The sad thing about them is that their kindness and unconditional love is what signals their fictional nature to me.
  3. The Mortal Instruments by Cassandra Clare: I think Clary and Jace win all the awards for worst families ever, yes?
  4. Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda by Becky Albertalli: Simon’s family is just very, very interesting. And I especially loved seeing how Simon’s relationship with his father evolves over the course of the novel.
  5. Ms. Marvel by G. Willow Wilson and Adrian Alphona: I may not be Kamala Khan (I know, so surprising) but I relate to her and her family on such a fundamental level. I could happily read volumes and volumes of just Kamala interacting with her family. The Khans are all so endearingly earnest. <3


  1. The Emerald AtlasThe Fire Chronicle, and The Black Reckoning by John Stephens: the three siblings draw strength from each other, but their sibling roles are also a source of tension at times. The elder two focus their longing for a whole family again on their connection with one of their absent parents (daughter with mother, son with father), while the youngest, who knows their parents only through stories, meets a man who becomes a father-guardian. The family dynamics are a strength in this series.
  2. The Watsons Go To Birmingham – 1963 by Christopher Paul Curtis. The family could have been taken from life, they’re so wonderful.
  3. Toads and Diamonds by Heather Tomlinson: very different sisters who love each other – and their (step)mother, no matter how much she complains.
  4. My Name is Mina by David Almond: for Mina and her mother, two extraordinary people.
  5. The Lion Hunter and The Empty Kingdom by Elizabeth E. Wein: because the love between brother and sister in these two books, even more than the sibling and parent-child relationships in the rest of this excellent series, is phenomenal.
  6. Other suggestions include: Feathers by Jacqueline Woodson; The Coldest Girl in Coldtown by Holly Black; and The Mixed-Up Files of Ms. Basil E. Frankweiler by E. L. Konigsburg.
  7. By Diana Wynne Jones: Charmed Life, Conrad’s FateArcher’s Goon, and Deep Secret.