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Sassy Sidekicks of Children's Literature

December 1st, 2014 (10:41 am)
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They are the best friends. The siblings. The next-door-neighbors.
They help solve mysteries. Stand up to bullies. Run student council campaigns.
They are the Sassy Sidekicks of Children's Literature.

They don't have to be sassy, mind you. I just like that word. However, they do have to be true sidekicks. For example, the members of The Baby-Sitters Club are main characters, not sidekicks, because each member has boonks written from his or her point of view. By contrast, in Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery, Anne Shirley is definitely the protagonist, with Diana Barry as her best buddy and loyal sidekick.

Add your suggestions to the list by posting a comment with the book or series title followed by the name of the sidekick(s). I will add the suggestions of others and mark the books I haven't read with an asterisk. I put my own favorite sidekicks in bold.

The List (70 sidekicks so far)
An Abundance of Katherines: Hassan
Alice McKinley series: Liz and Pam
Anatopsis: Uno
Anne of Green Gables series: Diana Barry
Artemis Fowl series: Butler
Bartimaeus trilogy: Kitty
The Bermudez Triangle: Parker
Betsy and Tacy series: Tacy and Tib
The Book Thief: Rudy
Casson Family series*: Sarah
Charlie and the Chocolate Factory: Grandpa Joe
Coraline: The unnamed cat
Edgar and Ellen: Pet
Emily of New Moon trilogy: Ilsa
Enthusiasm: Ashleigh
Escape to Witch Mountain: Winkie the Cat
Freaky Friday: Boris
The Great Brain series: J.D.
Green Knowe series: Grandmother Oldknow
Gregor the Overlander*: Luxa and Boots
Harriet the Spy: Janie and Sport
Harry Potter series: Hermione and Ron
Heidi: Peter and Clara
Henry Huggins series: Ribsy
His Dark Materials trilogy: Pantalaimon
Inkspell*: Farid
Jimmy Coates series: Felix Muzbeke
Johnny Dixon series: Fergie
Keys to the Kingdom series: Suzy Turquoise Blue and Leaf
King Matt the First: Klu-Klu
A Little Princess: Becky
Little Women: Laurie
The Lone Ranger stories*: Tonto
Looking for Alaska: The Colonel
Lord of the Rings: Samwise Gamgee
May Bird trilogy: Somber Kitty
M.T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales: Lily and Jasper Dash
My Side of the Mountain trilogy: Frightful
Nancy Drew series: Bess, George, and Ned
The NeverEnding Story: Falkor
The Narnia series: Eustace Scrubb, Jill Pole
Nina Tanleven trilogy: Chris
Penny from Heaven: Frankie
Percy Jackson & the Olympians series: Annabeth and Grover
Peter Pan: Tinker Bell
Pippi Longstocking trilogy: Mr. Nilsson the monkey
Prydain Chronicles*: Eilonwy
Sabriel: Mogget
Series of Unfortunate Events: Duncan and Isadora Quagmire
Silverwing trilogy*: Kate de Vries
The Sisters Grimm series: Puck
Swallows & Amazons series: Captain Flint
Then There Were Five*: Mark Herron
To Kill a Mockingbird: Dill
Trixie Belden series: Honey
Un Lun Dun: Deeba
Under the Lilacs: Phebe
Voyage of the Dawn Treader: Reepicheep
Winnie-the-Pooh: Piglet
What Katy Did*: Clover
What Katy Did At School*: Rose Red

This list was inspired by Jen Robinson's Cool Girls from Children's Literature and Cool Boys from Children's Literature and Journey Woman's Great Antagonists of Children's Literature.

Comments

Posted by: kidslitinfo/Kelly (kidslitinfo)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC)

For me, Hermione is the best "sassy sidekick" ever!
I also love Kitty in the Bartimaeus Trilogy

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 06:31 pm (UTC)

Added and added.

Posted by: kidslitinfo/Kelly (kidslitinfo)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 06:30 pm (UTC)

Um, that last comment was from me--Kelly at Big A litte a (http://kidslitinformation.blogspot.com/)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 06:32 pm (UTC)

Three cat-like characters in a row. What are the odds?

Posted by: kim! (kimexclaimation)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 06:40 pm (UTC)

LW, I hate to barge in on this post, but I need your help! I know you've posted young adult lit lists before, but my copy is on my laptop, which is currently on it's way back to HP. Can you repost or email me YA lit lists? I have a few 8th grade boys who absoutely refuse to read. I want to give them some options. Also, a couple of parents asked for suggestions.

Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 03:53 am (UTC)

You have email.

Posted by: abbi (abbichicken)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 06:43 pm (UTC)
Daniel - beautiful


Clover, from What Katy Did by Susan Coolidge.

Posted by: rebel rebel (you've torn your dress) (tornyourdress)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 06:47 pm (UTC)
fred reading

And Rose Red from What Katy Did At School!

Posted by: abbi (abbichicken)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 06:48 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 07:02 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Wendy (ozlady)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 07:20 pm (UTC)

Posted by: tufted (tufted)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 07:22 pm (UTC)

Ilsa from the Emily of New Moon series.

Posted by: tufted (tufted)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)

IlsE, I mean, not IlsA.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 07:59 pm (UTC)
Sassy!

"Fergie" from John Bellairs' "Johnny Dixon" mysteries is the perfect lovable punk.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 08:00 pm (UTC)
Re: Sassy!

Great choice.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)

How about Pet from Edgar and Ellen? [He doesn't really DO much until Pet's Revenge, but still...]

Posted by: Morgan (morganlight)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 08:02 pm (UTC)

crap, that was me. sorry.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 08:03 pm (UTC)

Posted by: Morgan (morganlight)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 08:10 pm (UTC)

I was also always rather fond of Charlie Bucket's grandfather.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 08:13 pm (UTC)

Ooh, yes, good one.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 09:19 pm (UTC)
Sassy Sidekicks of Children's Literature

Gregor the Overlander--Luxa and Boots

M.T. Anderson's Thrilling Tales--Lily and Jasper Dash

Airborn and Skybreaker--Kate de Vries

From Gail @ Original Content (who is not a sidekick, but not Anonymous, either)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 10:16 pm (UTC)
Re: Sassy Sidekicks of Children's Literature

Thanks, Gail! The M.T. series cracks me up.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 23rd, 2006 11:49 pm (UTC)

Winnie-the-Pooh: Piglet
Charlotte's Web: Wilbur (and possibly Templeton)
A Little Princess: Becky
Heidi: Peter (and probably Clara, too)
Freaky Friday: Boris
Under the Lilacs (Louisa May Alcott): Phebe
Harriet the Spy: Janie and Sport
The Great Brain (and series): younger brother J.D.
My Side of the Mountain: Frightful
Pippi Longstocking: Mr. Nilsson the monkey

Becky at Farm School (http://farmschoolathome.blogspot.com)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 12:15 am (UTC)

Nice to meet you, Becky! Thanks!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 12:25 am (UTC)
Daisy

Little Women: Laurie

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 12:32 am (UTC)
Re: Daisy

Oh, Laurie. I love debating with students and adults like whether or not he married the wrong girl.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 12:28 am (UTC)
brilliant list...

How about Eilonwy from the Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander - LOVE her.

And I could probably go through each of the Narnia Chronicles and find a different sidekick from each one, but I'll just name my very fave: Reepicheep from Voyage of the Dawn Treader.

~eisha (http://blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 12:31 am (UTC)
Re: brilliant list...

Hey Eisha! Can you believe I've read very little Alexander? I know TIME CAT would be right up my alley, and the Vesper Holly series has always sounded interesting.

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 05:40 am (UTC)
Re: brilliant list...

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 04:38 pm (UTC)
Re: brilliant list...

Posted by: Rosemary (rclementmoore)
Posted at: February 25th, 2007 07:00 pm (UTC)
Re: brilliant list...

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 01:42 am (UTC)
Sassy Sidekicks

Sabriel--Mogget
The Lightning Thief--Grover (there's also a girl whose name I can't remember or find)

Gail @ O.C.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 01:50 am (UTC)
Re: Sassy Sidekicks

Yay, Lightning Thief! Annabeth.

Posted by: elswhere1 (elswhere1)
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 05:49 pm (UTC)

The Casson family series (Saffy's Angel, Indigo's Star, Permanent Rose, Caddy Ever After), by Hilary McKay--Sarah (though she may yet have her own book; I'm not the only one who'd be happy if she did)

Then There Were Five, by Elizabeth Enright--Mark Herron

Nightbirds on Nantucket, by Joan Aiken-- I suppose Dido Twite doesn't count, as she gets several of her own books later, but she's a very sassy sidekick in this one!

--elswhere, here via Big A Little A

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 05:52 pm (UTC)

Thanks!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 07:13 pm (UTC)

Klu-Klu from 'King Matt the First' (a recent read for me).... -- jules (http://www.blaine.org/sevenimpossiblethings)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 24th, 2006 07:24 pm (UTC)

I'll have to check that out.

Posted by: jensbookpage (jensbookpage)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 01:58 am (UTC)
What a neat idea!

How about Calvin O'Keefe from A Wrinkle in Time? I'm not sure if you want to have overlap between sidekick and (future) spouse, but he's a sidekick in that book. Also...

- Ashleigh from Enthusiasm by Polly Shulman.
- Rudy from The Book Thief by Markus Zusak.
- Uno, Barnaby's dog, from Anatopsis from Chris Abouzeid.
- Farid from Inkspell (Dustfinger's sidekick) by Cornelia Funke.
- Puck from The Sisters Grimm series by Michael Buckley.
- Cousin Frankie from Penny from Heaven by Jennifer L. Holm.
- Winkie the Cat from Escape to Witch Mountain by Alexander Key.

Thanks for linking back to the cool girl and boy lists, too. I think that this one is an interesting twist - the sidekicks don't get enough attention, but they can make a huge difference in the texture of a book. I'm sure that I'll be back for more.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:07 am (UTC)
Re: What a neat idea!

Calvin totally counts.
Oh, Ashleigh ROCKS.
Rudy... *cries*
Uno cracks me up.
I didn't like Inkheart, so I didn't read Inkspell.
The library just got the first two SG books.
Looking greatly forward to Penny.
I recently referenced Escape and no one got it.

Posted by: jensbookpage (jensbookpage)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:10 am (UTC)
Re: What a neat idea!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:50 am (UTC)
Re: What a neat idea!

Posted by: jensbookpage (jensbookpage)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 05:05 am (UTC)
Re: What a neat idea!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:33 pm (UTC)
Re: What a neat idea!

Posted by: Lisa Yee (lisayee)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:52 am (UTC)
books

Dill. Did anyone say Dill yet?

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:53 am (UTC)

No, no one has!

Posted by: Lisa Yee (lisayee)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:54 am (UTC)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:55 am (UTC)

Posted by: Becky Levine (beckylevine)
Posted at: September 28th, 2006 02:50 am (UTC)
Dill

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 12:44 pm (UTC)
Sidekicks

Arthurian Legends-Lancelot
Lone Ranger Stories-Tonto
Frog & Toad books-Frog and Toad

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 02:31 pm (UTC)
Re: Sidekicks

Thanks, anonymous soul!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 09:43 pm (UTC)

Swallows & Amazons series: Captain Flint
Green Knowe series: Grandmother Oldknow


RM1(SS) (ret)

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 25th, 2006 09:49 pm (UTC)

Thanks!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 26th, 2006 02:43 pm (UTC)

What a great idea!
Can I suggest the sidekick from my own series of books?

I write the Jimmy Coates series, published by HarperCollins. The first in the series is 'Jimmy Coates: Assassin?' and it's just out in paperback in the US. (It's already a year old in the UK, where I'm pleased to say it's won awards and some great reviews.)

Anyway, I'll stop plugging my book and tell you that Jimmy's sidekick throughout the series is his friend, Felix Muzbeke.

Thanks!
Joe Craig

www.joecraig.co.uk

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 26th, 2006 02:51 pm (UTC)

Nice to meet you. Of course you may add Felix to the list. I'll have to check out your books. Good luck!

Posted by: nrkii (nrkii)
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 01:03 am (UTC)
VERY cool list!

Just back from vacation and need to rack my brain on this as my initial thoughts are already listed....

From the Trixie Belden series: Honey
From the Harry Potter series: Ron
From Eight Cousins: Phebe
From the Series of Unfortunate Events: Duncan and Isadora Quagmire

That's all my brain can cough up for tonight. Be back with more later!

Posted by: nrkii (nrkii)
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 01:05 am (UTC)
Ooh, another one

This one actually came from Daisy, but I'm using her computer now:

From the Artemis Fowl series, Butler

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 01:28 am (UTC)
Re: Ooh, another one

Thank you both!

Posted by: ((Anonymous))
Posted at: September 27th, 2006 06:20 pm (UTC)
Re: Ooh, another one

(Deleted comment)
Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 17th, 2009 05:40 pm (UTC)

Added! Thanks!

Posted by: brimstonesoup.blogspot.com (ext_105949)
Posted at: September 26th, 2009 11:05 pm (UTC)

Yes to Falkor! I was always fond of Artax, too.

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: September 27th, 2009 12:52 am (UTC)

Artax! That scene . . . *sobbing*

Posted by: daisywhitney (daisywhitney)
Posted at: October 1st, 2009 11:30 pm (UTC)

I like The Colonel in Looking for Alaska!

Posted by: Little Willow (slayground)
Posted at: October 2nd, 2009 06:01 am (UTC)

Oh, yes! I'll add him now.

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