Little Women, Louisa May Alcott’s classic story featuring sister Meg, Jo, Beth and Amy March has been back in the news these days. There’s a new PBS series retelling of the classic story, as well as a new web comic featuring a modernized version of the sisters. But either way, this classic story taking place in nearby Concord Massachusetts, has remained in the public eye since it was first published in 1868 and 1869. Did you know it was originally published as two volumes…not one book?
At any rate, there are other books featuring four sisters that have been published in the 150 years since the world met Jo and her sisters. Coming from one of four sisters myself (and my grandmother was also one of four sisters too!) I’ve read all of them. So here is a new Five Books Featuring Four Sisters!
In case you don’t remember, our 5 Books Featuring are five related Books–One Old, One New, One Popular with Kids, One Well-Reviewed, and One Favorite of library staff–but you’ll have to guess which is which! Each book has a short synopsis and link to the book in the catalog, so you can easily find and request it.
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The Penderwicks: A Summer Tale of Four Sisters, Two Rabbits and a Very Interesting Boy by Jeanne Birdsall
This summer the Penderwick sisters-Rosalind, Skye, Jane and Batty–have a wonderful surprise: a holiday on the grounds of a beautiful estate in western Massachusetts called Arundel. Soon they are busy discovering the summertime magic of Arundel’s sprawling gardens, treasure-filled attic, tame rabbits, and the cook who makes the best gingerbread in the whole state. But the best discovery of all is Jeffrey Tifton, son of Arundel’s owner, who quickly proves to be the perfect companion for their adventures.
The icy-hearted Mrs. Tifton is not as pleased with the Penderwicks as Jeffrey is, though, and warns the new friends to stay out of trouble. Which, of course, they will–won’t they? One thing’s for sure: it will be a summer the Penderwicks will never forget.
The Penderwick sisters’ adventures continue in The Penderwicks on Gardam Street, The Pederwicks at Point Mouette, and The Penderwicks in Spring, with the final volume–The Penderwicks at Last coming out in just a few days!
The Rules for Stealing Stars by Corey Ann Haydu
Silly is used to feeling left out. Her three older sisters–Eleanor, Astrid and Marla–think she’s too little for most things–especially when it comes to dealing with their mother’s unpredictable moods and outbursts. This summer, Silly feels more alone than ever when her sisters keep whispering and sneaking away to their rooms together, returning with signs that something mysterious is afoot: sporting sunburned cheeks smudged with glitter and gold hair that looks like tinsel.
When Silly is brought into her sisters’ world, the truth is more exciting than she ever imagined. The sisters have discovered a magical place that gives them what they truly need: an escape from the complications of their home life. But there are dark truths there, too. Silly hopes the magic will be the secret to saving their family, but she’s soon forced to wonder if it could tear them apart.
A sister story with a twist of magic, a swirl of darkness, and a whole lot of hope.
The Time of the Ghost by Diana Wynne Jones
There’s been an accident! The girl doesn’t know who she is, and doesn’t know why she’s invisibly floating through the buildings and grounds of a half-remembered boy’s boarding school.
With a little invisible detective work, she decides that she must be the ghost of one of four strange sisters–Cart, Imogen, Sally or Fenella–whose parents run the boarding house at the school. Is she a ghost though, or is she a time traveler? It all seems to have something to do with Monigan, the goddess Cart made up a year before. The unnamed, bodiless narrator follows the sisters around, trying to discover which one she is, and finds more questions than answers. What does the Worship of Monigan–a funny game Cart, the oldest sister, made up that has sinister undertones–have to do with her present condition? How is she ever going to get back to her body? And how can she warn the girls about the terrible accident that’s coming?
It took far too long before everyone realized that Monigan was a real goddess, terrible and threatening, and that the ghost was somehow in her power. And it took a sacrifice from everyone before the ghost could discover who she was. But saving her from Monigan would be even more difficult.
Slightly creepier than most of Diana Wynne Jones’ lighthearted, magical books, this one is in the teen collection, but well worth the read!
The Exiles by Hilary McKay
The four Conroy sisters–Ruth, Naomi, Rachel and Phoebe–knew that they were faced with another boring summer when school ended in a week. They were quite unprepared for the horrid truth–they were being sent to spend the entire summer with the intimidating Big Grandma at the seaside.
Big Grandma, who is larger than life; she’s tall and eats a lot. She barks orders like a drill sergeant and has dog food in the kitchen (even though she has no dog). She believes the girls are lazy and in need of fresh air and hard work. Big Grandma, who tries to break them of their reading habit by forbidding books. After the girls have read everything available, including the two books apiece they were allowed to bring and all of Big Grandma’s cookbooks, they set out in search of…alternative entertainment. If Big Grandma thought she could reform her wayward granddaughters, she was sadly mistaken! Read the other adventures of the Conroy sisters as well–The Exiles at Home and The Exiles in Love.
Flutter: The Story of Four Sisters and an Incredible Journey by Erin Moulton
Maple lives high in the mountains at the end of a dirt road near Canton Creek. Big things are about to happen at Maple’s house. Mama’s going to have a baby, which means now there will be four Rittle sisters instead of just Dawn, Maple and Beetle. But when baby Lily is born too early and can’t come home from the hospital, Maple knows it’s up to her to save her sister. So she and Dawn, armed with a map and some leftover dinner, head off down a river and up a mountain to find the Wise Woman who can grant miracles. Now it’s not only Lily’s survival that they have to worry about, but also their own. From the hazards of a raging river to a encounters with a black bear, and poachers, the dangers that Maple and Dawn encounter on their journey makes them realize a thing or two about miracles-and about each other. A survival story featuring family love, adventure and a touch of magic.
And one extra book featuring just one sister too many:
All-of-a-Kind Family by Sydney Taylor
Meet the All-of-a-Kind Family — Ella, Henny, Sarah, Charlotte, and Gertie — who live with their parents in New York City. It’s the turn of the century in New York’s Lower East Side and a sense of adventure and excitement abounds for five sisters. Follow along as they search for hidden buttons while dusting Mama’s front parlor, or explore the basement warehouse of Papa’s peddler’s shop on rainy days. The five girls enjoy doing everything together, especially when it involves holidays and surprises. But no one could have prepared them for the biggest surprise of all! Read more about these sisters in the other All-of-a-Kind titles: More All of a Kind Family, All of a Kind Family Uptown, All of a Kind Family Downtown, and Ella of All of a Kind Family.
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In case you’d like the links to the two versions of Little Women mentioned above, here they are:
The PBS version of Little Women, which will premier in May 2018.
The graphic novel, modernized version of Little Women, available online now. This serialized version started in March of 2018.
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So if you’re as crazy about novels featuring four sisters as I am, check out these titles. Even if you don’t have three sisters, you’ll love them! And, as always, if you need help finding these or any other books at the Library, just ask one of our librarians. We’re happy to help!