Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Wonderful Families in Books

The holiday season reminds me of families. One of my favorite parts of books is seeing wonderful families in books. Here are some of my favorites.

Anne of Green Gables
Family: Anne with her adopted parents, sister and brother Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert

Anne's family is an unlikely family. Sister and brother Marilla and Matthew Cuthbert set out to adopt a boy to help on their farm, but somehow a red-headed and delightfully unpredictable girl shows up.

A Wrinkle in Time

Family: Meg Murry, her parents (though her father is missing for most of the book), her twin brothers Sandy and Dennys, and her little brother Charles Wallace

Meg is one of the most real teen characters I ever met when I was a pre-teen. Meg moans about how she doesn't fit in with her beautiful mother and her athletic twin brothers, but, in the process of going off to rescue her missing father, she bonds with her quirky and brilliant little brother as well as her future husband Calvin.

Little Women

Family: Four sisters---Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, their mother, and their father (working far from home)

The March family lives in genteel poverty during the American Civil War, and the father is forced to work as a pastor in a distant location. Meg and Jo, the elder sisters, must work to support the family. The girls and their mother deeply love and care for each other.

To Kill a Mockingbird

Family: Sister and brother Scout and Jem, with their father Atticus Finch and their servant Calpurnia

Precocious Scout roams the town with her brother Jem. The two get great guidance and love from their father and the household servant Calpurnia.

Roll of Thunder, Hear My Cry

Family: Cassie Logan and her three brothers Stacey, Christopher John, and Little Man; Cassie's parents Mama and Papa; and Cassie's grandmother Big Ma.

The Logan parents work hard to run their farm and both have additional jobs to help pay the taxes on the land. The black parents try to carefully teach their children to navigate the dangerous waters of racist 1920s Mississippi.

Because of Winn-Dixie

Family: Ten-year-old Opal Buloni, her father, The Preacher, their scruffy dog, Winn-Dixie and all their new friends---the librarian Miss Franny Block, grumpy neighbor Amanda Wilkinson, pet store owner Otis, recovering alcoholic Gloria Dump.

The Preacher has always been very sad since Opal's mother ran off. Opal and The Preacher move to a new town in Florida, and gradually make a new family with all the new people they meet there.

Henry Huggins
Family: Henry Huggins, his mom and dad, and his dog Ribsy

A lot of people love Ramona and her sister Beezus best of Beverly Cleary's characters, but I've always loved Henry Huggins. Henry is an only child and he manages to talk her mother into allowing him to bring home a stray dog he finds. I love the scene where Henry tries to take this mess of a dog on the city bus in a cardboard box.

All-of-a-Kind Family
Family: Five sisters---Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, and Gertie---and their immigrant parents

All-of-a-Kind Family is the story of a poor but close-knit Jewish family living in New York City at the turn of the twentieth century. The five sisters and their parents have many small adventures in the city and they all are drawn together closely by their strong Jewish faith.

Cheaper by the Dozen

Family: Efficiency experts Frank and Lillian Gilbreath, with their twelve kids

Cheaper by the Dozen is the true stories of efficiency experts Frank and Lillian Gilbreth and their family of twelve children. 

Mango, Abuela, and Me

Family: Mia, her parents, her grandmother Abuela, and their parrot Mango

Abuela comes to live with Mia and her parents in America, and Mia soon learns that Abuela doesn't know English. It's a difficult situation because Mia doesn't speak Spanish. Their parrot Mango somehow helps them work out the problems.

Last Stop on Market Street

Family: C.J. and his grandma Nana

Nana and C.J. go every Sunday after church to serve food in a soup kitchen. Nana patiently answers all C.J.'s questions about the things others have that they do not, all the while serving as a role model for helping others.

Top Ten Tuesday was created by The Broke and the Bookish in June of 2010 and was moved to That Artsy Reader Girl in January of 2018. It was born of a love of lists, a love of books, and a desire to bring bookish friends together. Each Tuesday That Artsy Reader Girl assigns a topic and then post her top ten list that fits that topic. You’re more than welcome to join her and create your own top ten (or 2, 5, 20, etc.) list as well. Feel free to put a unique spin on the topic to make it work for you! Please link back to That Artsy Reader Girl in your own post so that others know where to find more information.


  1. I had no idea there was a Cheaper by the Dozen book! I also really like reading about families in books, and quite agree that the holidays are a great time to do just that.

  2. I LOVED Cheaper by the Dozen when I was a kid. I love the Finches too.

  3. Meg and Charles Wallace made my list too, but really the whole family was wonderful

  4. I LOVED All-of-a-Kind Family when I was a kid and am so glad to see them in your list.

    Might I suggest the Melendy children - Mona, Rush, Randy, Oliver - from Elizabeth Enright's series: The Saturdays, The Four-Story Mistake, and Then There Were Five?

  5. The Little Women family is really a wonderful one. I remember my teacher reading Because of Winn-Dixie to the class in third grade and I fell in love with the book. I love your choices for this list!

  6. I loved the families in several of these books as well! GReat list :)

  7. These are all so lovely! I read Henry Higgens to my son several years ago, and we both laughed at that bus scene! And then when he has all the goldfish in his room...
    The Moffetts were another family I enjoyed reading about as a kid, and I think they'd fit in well on your list, as would the Nagy family of Kate Seredy's books.

  8. This is such a wonderful list. So many fantastic books and beautiful dynamics. I love that you included Cheaper by the Dozen! I feel like not enough people these days appreciate that one. Great list, thanks for sharing!

  9. So many great choices here. My son just read Because of Winn Dixie for school and he really loved the family in that book.

  10. Seeing the book families that you included made me smile.

  11. I like that you chose classics. I LOVE Last Stop On Market Street. I haven’t seen it on any other lists today. I probably should have put it on mine.

    Aj @ Read All The Things!

  12. It warms my heart to see Cheaper by the Dozen on your list! I don't usually read memoirs, but I gave CBTD a try based solely on a friend's recommendation. It's such a beautiful, funny book, a thousand times better than the movie version they made a few years ago.


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