Sibling Rivalry

brothersSibling rivalry is a common facet of family life. In fact, it happens in almost every animal species that raise many young at the same time. Referring to the frequent squabbling and bickering between siblings, Bill Cosby once reflected, "You aren’t really a parent until you’ve had your second child." The books reviewed gently touch upon these issues and would make a great introduction to a family meeting on this topic.

bookQueen of the World
Written and Illustrated by Thomas F. Yezerski
Copyright 2000
ISBN: 0-374-36165-7
Available at your local Barnes & Noble Bookstores, or order online.

This is a realistic story about three uniquely different sisters with one thing in common-constantly competing to see who was the smartest, fastest, and prettiest. Much to their parents chagrin, they are constantly arguing, even to the point of ruining their mother’s birthday. IN the end, the sisters, by themselves, resolve their conflict and learn a valuable life lesson.


bookMy Rotten Redheaded Older Brother
Written and Illustrated by Patricia Polacco
Copyright 1994
ISBN: 0-671-72751-6
Available at your local Barnes & Noble Bookstores, or order online.

Tressha was tired of her older brother beating her at running, climbing, throwing, and even burping. On day she spotted a falling star and made a wish to do something better than her brother. Boy, did her wish come true! Even better, Treesha realized just how much her brother cares for her.

Written by Jean VanLeeuwen
Illustrated by Brad Sneed
Copyright 2001
ISBN: 0-8037-2261-3
Available at your local Barnes & Noble Bookstores, or order online.

Two adult brothers, Ebenezer and Obadiah, get in an argument over oatmeal. This gets blown out of proportion and becomes an all-and-out family feud, passed down to their children and grandchildren. One day, young cousins Nathaniel and Luther, accidentally meet. Before a fight ensues, Nathaniel utters a simple, heartfelt word, "Sorry". The ridiculous feud is forgotten and the two cousins become fast friends.

bookStarring Lucille
Written by Kathryn Lasky
Illustrated by Marylin Hafner
Copyright 2001
ISBN: 0-517-80040-3
Available at your local Barnes & Noble Bookstores, or order online.

Lucille’s siblings try to upstage her birthday ballerina performance. After their mother calls a "time out", order is restored. Lucille proudly dances for her family with her siblings and parents cheering her on.

Some helpful web links on sibling rivalry:

For kids:
PBS Kids

For parents:
Are you preventing or provoking sibling rivalry?  Take a quiz and find out here....

North Dakota State University, teen sibling rivalry

Understanding Sibling Rivalry