Frenemies in the Family: Famous Brothers and Sisters Who Butted Heads and Had Each Other’s Backs

Kathleen Krull, illus. by Maple Lam. Crown, $17.99 (240p) ISBN 978-0-399-55124-6
This entertaining compendium of 15 concise, chatty tales spotlights the relationships among siblings renowned for their achievements, foibles, eccentricities, or birthrights: Wilbur and Orville Wright, Serena and Venus Williams, the Jacksons, and others. Krull (One Fun Day with Lewis Carroll) opens with her most sensational entry, about Mary I and Elizabeth I, Henry VIII’s sparring daughters, revealing how Mary’s perpetuation of her father’s ruthless treatment of family and foes earned her the nickname Bloody Mary (“She revived the laws against heresy... and started torturing and killing Protestant heretics, displaying the rotting corpses all around London as warnings”). Among the most moving chapters are those on Vincent van Gogh and his devoted brother, Theo, and on Princes William and Harry, whose bond was strengthened by tragedy. Comics sequences at the end of each chapter offer supplementary details about these siblings and about families in general. Krull’s wry asides and droll observations make for a light and lively narrative, as do Lam’s loose caricatures. Ages 8–12. Author’s agent: Susan Cohen, Writers House. Illustrator’s agent: Joanna Volpe, New Leaf Literary. (Mar.)
Reviewed on: 02/05/2018
Release date: 03/13/2018
Library Binding - 240 pages - 978-0-399-55125-3
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Audio book sample courtesy of Penguin Random House Audio

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