Birthday Booklist! My Sister’s Fave YA

by REBECCA, August 8, 2013

Today is my sister’s birthday! One of the best things about sisters is that sometimes you share a taste in books and can force them to buy things and let you borrow them. Or, in the case of my sister, she can assume (correctly) that I have all the books and she can pop in and borrow them whenever she wants. But that’s cool, because reading is a main tenet of sisterhood! In honor of my sister, then, here is a list of a few of her favorite YA books (she has pretty good taste)! Happy Birthday, sister! And, yes, you can come steal these books from me whenever you want.

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh

Harriet the Spy by Louise Fitzhugh (1964).

Harriet is the ultimate superscamp (just like my sister)—she hides in people’s dumbwaiters, rides in the baskets of bicycles, and gets people to make her sandwiches, all in the aid of finding out the truth!

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton (1967)

An anti-establishment band of brothers (three of whom are actually brothers) who are just trying to live their goddamned lives even though the world is kind of against them? Hell yes. I take full credit for my sister having the good taste to like S.E. Hinton’s novels—if I hadn’t convinced her I carried a switchblade when we were kids, who knows where we’d be?

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling

Harry Potter by J.K. Rowling (1997-2007)

My parents and my sister and I tried to read the first Harry Potter book aloud the year it came out. I totally fell asleep in front of the fire because I was in high school and stayed up all night doing . . . stuff. But, then, we got back to it the next year and were totally hooked. Actually, we read the first three or four as a family and they are some of my fondest memories.

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey

Santa Olivia by Jacqueline Carey (2009)

I had read Jacqueline Carey’s Kushiel series (well, okay, like 2.25 of them) and enjoyedish them, but never heard of Santa Olivia until my sister recommended it. It’s awesome, y’all. In fact, she’s promised to write a review of it for Crunchings & Munchings for, like, a year. Hmm, maybe if I shame her about it on her birthday it’ll get some results? No, I couldn’t do that—it’s too, too mean.

The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith The Secret Circle by L.J. Smith

The Secret Circle trilogy by L.J. Smith (1992)

A coven of friends fighting (slash calling up) evil on an East Coast island while rocking nineties fashion? Of course I was obsessed with it as a teenager (slash now). I remain convinced that my sister must have stolen these out of my bedroom at some point during middle school; fortunately, she saw them for the TOTAL AWESOMENESS that they are rather than judging me. SO MAGICAL, despite the terrible work of the demon network The CW!

Matilda by Roald Dahl

Matilda by Roald Dahl (1988)

A smart, hyper-literate girl surrounded by witless fiends uses her intelligence to outwit and punish them! Of course you love this book, sister: it must be like reading a biography about ME! Kidding. Kind of. We heart Matilda, and in honor of Bruce Bogtrotter, I made my sister a chocolate birthday cake and forced her to eat the entire thing.

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman (1995)

You guys, it’s so good. So good that I wrote a whole post about it HERE.

Happy Birthday to my sister and sisters everywhere!



  1. Your sister sounds aces. I mean, what taste!? This homage in book-list form is probably the best gift she could get. ❤

  2. Margalit

     /  August 8, 2013

    What a wonderful birthday tribute. And chocolate cake to boot! Happy birthday to your sister, and happy your-sister’s-birthday to you!

    • Thanks, Margalit! I’m still waiting for her to give me a present, like Hobbits do on their birthdays, but nothing yet.

  3. Teresa

     /  August 8, 2013

    Happy Birthday to your sister! My sister was my biggest influence when I became really interested in reading for fun and pleasure (you know, not when it was required for book reports in school). She is the one I borrow books from when I go to visit her, hehe. I love posts like this — dedications to sisters, spotlighting the sister’s favorite reads. So sweet! Sisters rule!

    Who is the older sister? I’m the ‘baby’ by three years.

    • Aw, thank you, Teresa! That’s so awesome. I’m older by three and a half years. Go sisters!

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