Frenemies in the Family: Famous Brothers and Sisters Who Butted Heads and Had Each Other's Backs
Frenemies in the Family: Famous Brothers and Sisters Who Butted Heads and Had Each Other's Backs
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Annotation: A humorous look at famous siblings whose bonds have shaped their accomplishments, including Vincent and Theo van Gogh, Princes William and Harry, Quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning, Walt and Roy Disney, and the Kennedys.
Genre: [Biographies]
Catalog Number: #153623
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
Copyright Date: 2018
Edition Date: 2018
Illustrator: Lam, Maple,
Pages: 229 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 0-399-55124-7
ISBN 13: 978-0-399-55124-6
Dewey: 920
LCCN: 2017038405
Dimensions: 24 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
History is jam-packed with siblings, some who got along (like Chang and Eng Bunker), and others who decidedly did not (Queen Elizabeth I and her half sister, Mary). Krull's genial overview introduces readers to a wide range of famous siblings in short, lighthearted chapters accompanied by amusing illustrations and brief comics, which cover everything from theories about sibling personalities to descendants of famous siblings. Most of the selected figures will be recognizable, such as the Orville brothers, the Romanov children, Edwin and John Wilkes Booth, Vincent and Theo van Gogh, Princes William and Harry, and Venus and Serena Williams. However, the final two chapters, which feature Demi Lovato and her half sister, Madison de la Garza, and the Gosselin children from the TLC show Kate Plus 8, seem out of place among the rest of the notable figures. While none of the chapters are particularly comprehensive, they're full of interesting facts and helpful context, and elementary- and middle-school readers will likely get a kick out of the relatable angle.
Horn Book
Krull describes how the good and bad relationships between fifteen sets of siblings helped shape their place in history. The book reads like a gossip column and consists of an odd assortment of famous people, from royals to conjoined twins to athletes. But it's also filled with interesting facts and context-setting grayscale cartoons that should engage readers. Bib., ind.
Kirkus Reviews
Krull delves into the intriguing subject of famous sibling rivalries.Krull's stories come from the worlds of art, entertainment, technology, politics, sports, and aristocracy. Among the most compelling is that of Chang and Eng Bunker, the conjoined twins from Siam permanently connected at the base of their chests by a thick band of flesh. "Peeing, pooping, sleeping, doing everything that humans do," Krull explains, is what they did for 62 years, "with never a moment's privacy." Both brothers married and had a total of 21 children. Fortunately, they were experts at living cooperatively, the only way to live happy lives. Less cooperative were queens Mary I and Elizabeth I. Elizabeth imprisoned her sister in the Tower of London, although it was Mary who paved the way for Elizabeth's long reign, proving that a woman was capable of ruling England. Other sibling relationships profiled include the Wright Brothers, the Romanovs, the Jacksons, Vincent and Theo Van Gogh, Serena and Venus Williams, and Roy and Walt Disney. Concluding each profile is information giving historical context to the subjects' times and accomplishments. Lam's frequent black-and-white cartoons add to both humor and context.Readers with siblings will relate to these stories of brothers and sisters who got along and who didn't, and only children may feel relieved to be alone. (Collective biography. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
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.)

Reviewing Agencies: - Find Other Reviewed Titles
ALA Booklist (1/1/18)
Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Horn Book (4/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Publishers Weekly
Bibliography Index/Note: Includes bibliographical references and index.
Word Count: 31,018
Reading Level: 7.0
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 7.0 / points: 5.0 / quiz: 193701 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:8.3 / points:9.0 / quiz:Q72752
Lexile: 980L
Guided Reading Level: Y
Fountas & Pinnell: Y
The British king Henry VIII doted on his daughter Mary--at first. "This girl never cries!" he boasted.
In 1520, at four years old, Princess Mary was entertaining foreign visitors with her performances on the harpsichord. By nine, she could read and write Latin. Her mother, Catherine of Aragon, oversaw her education, and Henry approved, calling Mary his "pearl of the world" and "token of hope"--even though, like pretty much every king, what he really wanted was a son.
Poor Mary!
Her dad was without question one of the world's worst husbands, with six wives in all. Henry VIII left the Catholic faith (and forced all his subjects to join him) so that he could divorce Catherine on shaky grounds (mainly that lack of-a-son thing) and banish her from court. It was a terrible blow to seventeen-year- old Mary, who never saw her mother again.
Even worse, Henry's next wife, Anne Boleyn, had a daughter, Elizabeth, who instantly became the Favored One. Anne stripped Mary of her princess title and forced her to act as lady-in- waiting to the new princess, her baby half sister.
The indignities piled up. Mary actually had to walk behind the baby--sometimes it took slaps to enforce this. Elizabeth got the place of honor at the table (Mary ate in her rooms). The baby was dressed in gold-embroidered caps, gowns of green satin or orange velvet. No expense was spared for her, while Mary had to give up servants and return some of her jewels. When Mary protested, Henry dispatched his most important duke--who threatened to crack her skull against the wall.
 Perhaps Mary never cried as a baby, but now that was all she did, presumably out of her dad's hearing.
Poor Elizabeth!
Before she reached her third birthday, Henry had Anne beheaded (yes, one of the reasons: Elizabeth wasn't a son). Elizabeth is known to have mentioned Anne only twice afterward but all her life treasured a ring with two miniature portraits of her and her mom.
Poor sisters!
After Henry's next marriage, the sisters had a half brother, Edward, the new Favored One. His mother, Jane Seymour, died two weeks after his birth (before Henry thought of a reason to dispose of her). The two girls were pushed aside while Edward was groomed to be the next ruler.
By age six, Elizabeth was noted for her unsmiling face; people said that she looked as serious as a forty-year-old. Her dad's main interest was her moral development, and his theory of child rearing involved surrounding her with "ancient and sad persons."
She was rescued by a stepmom, the king's sixth and final wife. Unusually well educated for her day, Catherine Parr made a point of seeing that the obviously promising Elizabeth got the same rigorous education given to male heirs--languages, history, rhetoric, and philosophy. Usually, education for women was sketchy, as you can tell from her tutor's compliments: "Her mind has no womanly weakness," he wrote; "her perseverance is equal to that of a man, and her memory long keeps what it quickly picks up."
Elizabeth ended up much better educated than Mary, who was understandably bitter and insecure. Her father was too busy with his own marriages to arrange one for Mary. At twenty-five, she had no real role--she was just "Lady Mary, and the most unhappy lady in Christendom."
Elizabeth was thirteen when Henry died. She grieved briefly but immediately regained her famous composure. Mostly he had scared her.
Since women had no power of their own, even nine-year-old Edward was seen as the better choice to rule than his older sisters. When he became king, the men around him began jockeying to be the power behind the throne. Mary and Elizabeth were pawns, tense rivals at a time when everyone around them was plotting for their own gain. People watched closely to see which sister was in favor, and the sisters simply avoided each other during his reign.
When Edward caught an infection and died at age fifteen, in 1553, Mary saw her chance and proclaimed herself England's first ruling queen. Elizabeth immediately wrote to congratulate her. Then Mary rode triumphantly into London, with Elizabeth riding right behind her, careful not to attract too much attention but also wanting their people to see her at her best.
The show of sisterly love was just that--a show. Mary began making her mistrust very clear. Enemies were conspiring against her, and Elizabeth had no real way to prove she wasn't one of them.
Perfecting the art of the "answerless answer," Elizabeth lived in constant dread, her expression usually one of alarm.
No one knew quite what to do with her: Keep her close? Send her away? Anything she did could give Mary a reason to execute her, and Mary really wanted to, but . . . Elizabeth had many supporters. Plus, she was her sister.       So Mary played mind games. When Elizabeth would ask to see her, Mary would make her wait days in suspense before answering. Some days they sat together at meals and Mary gave her fur coats or jewels; other days Elizabeth was kept isolated. It was obvious that Mary wanted to keep tabs on her, but really, she couldn't stand to be around her younger sister.

Excerpted from Frenemies in the Family: Famous Brothers and Sisters Who Butted Heads and Had Each Other's Backs by Kathleen Krull
All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

One minute you can't live without them . . . the next minute you don't want them breathing your air! Siblings everywhere will relate to this humorous look at famous brothers and sisters whose important bonds have shaped their accomplishments . . . (mostly) for the better.

They blame you when they get in trouble. They seem like your parents' favorite. They are the only enemy you can't live without. Almost everyone has a juicy story about their siblings--even famous people. Meet those who got along, those who didn't, and everyone in between!

  •  Demi Lovato and her sister
  •  Tennis superstars Serena and Venus Williams
  •  Walt and Roy Disney
  •  Princes William and Harry
  •  Stephen Colbert and his eleven older siblings
  •  Quarterbacks Peyton and Eli Manning
  •  The Jacksons (Michael, Janet, and family)
  •  Reality TV sensations, the Gosselins
  •  Queen Elizabeth I and the queen who history remembers as Bloody Mary
  •  Conjoined twins Chang and Eng Bunker
  •  John Wilkes Booth (the man who assassinated Abraham Lincoln) and his brother Edwin
  •  Vincent and Theo van Gogh
  •  Airplane inventors, the Wright brothers
  •  The Romanovs
  •  The Kennedys

Oh, brother! This could get ugly. . . .

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