Recently, I found myself thinking about some of my favorite fictional
families — those moms and dads, sisters and brothers, and close friends
of the main characters who influence the tone and plot of a book
despite limited time on the pages. Some of them even end up in their
own spin-off series (I'm looking at you, Karen Brewer!).
I have a pretty amazing set of relatives, but even so, there are
five fictional families in particular that always stuck out to me for
being so loving, wacky, and welcoming. In no particular order, I
present to you the five coolest fictional families:
The Weasleys (the Harry Potter
Seriously, I don't know any Harry Potter fan who doesn't love the
Weasleys. From the description of their lopsided, crowded, magical
house to the ways they bicker and tease each other, they provide us
readers a lot of laughs, a little bit of heartache, but most of all, a
totally realistic portrayal of a family who fiercely love one another.
Furthermore, they never hesitate to open their doors for family friends
who need a place to rest their broomsticks.
The Ingalls (the Little House books):
It's easy to romanticize life on a prairie, thinking it's all flowery
farmlands and fresh breakfast mornings. But the Ingalls family were
pioneers and faced very different challenges than a family like mine
did. The semi-autobiographical books are based on writer Laura Ingalls
Wilder's memories and research of her family's life in the Midwest
during the late 19th century, where their geography necessitated a more
insular type of living. This forced the Ingalls to be a cohesive unit
whose success (or failure) depended on each of them. From the struggles
of settling the land to overcoming malaria, there was never a dull
moment at the Ingalls household — much like mine!
The Marches (Little Women):
Like the Ingalls, the Marches had specific circumstances that
strengthened their close bonds to one another. With Mr. March off at
war, the sisters, their mother, and their housekeeper found ways to
fend for themselves for everything from education to entertainment —
despite their lack of wealth. Just like my sisters and me, the March
girls — Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy — had different passions and plans for
the future, and they sometimes fought and disagreed (though luckily,
neither of my sisters ever burned one of my manuscripts in a fire!).
Their family bond is unbreakable, despite eventual tragedies and
The Berenstains (The Berenstain Bears
Whether it's bedtime battles or chores, messy rooms or trouble with
money, the lovable family of bears who live in the single coolest
treehouse ever built always overcome their challenges. Mama, Papa,
Brother, and Sister Bear offer life lessons in subtle ways, and when
one of them mistreats the others, the family deals with it calmly and
coolly. For a bunch of bears, they sure have great camaraderie and lots
Rachel, Hilary, and Pursey (Dancing Shoes):
A family doesn't need to be biological. In Dancing Shoes,
Rachel and her adopted sister Hilary are forced to move in with their
distant Aunt Cora and spoiled cousin Dulcie after the death of their
mother. But Pursey, their housekeeper and general mother figure, shows
them that the most important family bond is the one you choose and
build yourself. Rachel and Hilary, through their many ups and downs,
learn that they can count on each other; and as long as the loving
Pursey is in their lives, their newfound family suits them just fine.
Who are some of your favorite fictional families?
— Morgan, Scholastic Staffer