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Sassy Sidekicks of Children's Literature

September 21st, 2009 (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: 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!

I love Escape! The movie (the original one) is one of my all-time favorites, even though it's fairly different from the book. I loved how Tia couldn't talk out loud in the book.

Hope that you like Penny! I'm actually mid-way through because I'm listening on MP3.

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

I have yet to read the book, actually.

I did see BELL, BOOK AND CANDLE today for the first time. It had a Siamese cat _and_ Jack Lemmon. Two of my favorite things.

Have you read THE CREEK? If not, you should. I may have already asked you that. I ask everyone that when they post about PENNY or BABYMOUSE.

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

No, I haven't read The Creek, but I will add it to my list. Thanks!

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

:)

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