Saturday, July 27, 2013

Dysfunctional Families in Books

The Huffington Post has a list of the most dysfunctional families in literature:
The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, by Stieg Larsson
The Spellman Files, by Lisa Lutz’
Romeo and Juliet, by William Shakespeare
Dinner at the Homesick Restaurant, by Ann Tyler
The Great Santini, by Pat Conroy
Faithful Place, by Tana French
Rebecca, by Daphne Du Maurier
Oedipus the King, by Sophocles
August: Osage County, by Tracy Lett
Amelia Bedelia, by Peggy Parish
Ones I've read are in bold print -6 out of 10.

I just have one thing to say: Out of all of children's literature you pick Amelia Bedelia??? Surely we can do better than that!

Let's see.... How about Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, where the boy's 4 grandparents live together in the same bed. Or Peter Pan, where poor Father ends up literally living in the doghouse? Or Harry Potter, where Harry lives in a cupboard under the stairs while the "real" son gets 2 bedrooms? Or Grimm's fairy tales, where stepmothers regularly try to kill their stepchildren?


  1. I've read a couple of the Spellman books, they certainly fit the category. They aren't great literature but they are fun light reading.

    1. dysfunctional families are popular with writers. i don't think they're quite as common in children's books, but still i was surprised that "amelia bedelia" was the one they picked.

    2. I never read Amelia Bedelia,but I'm sure there are better examples of dysfunction. After all normal people or families don't make for riveting reading.

    3. my kids loved the amelia bedelia books. amelia bedelia is the maid of a couple who have to learn how to give better instructions. for example, they learn to tell her to un-dust rather than dust the furniture. really funny language-based humor, but i didn't see it as the story of a dysfunctional family.