The best books about twins

27 authors have picked their favorite books about twins and why they recommend each book.

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The Forgotten Legion

By Ben Kane,

Book cover of The Forgotten Legion

Ben instantly became one of my favourite authors after this. It’s not often you can feel an author’s passion for their work, but it shone from every page in this book. I was already hooked on ancient Rome, but I just found this stood out amongst its peers. Ben didn’t concentrate on the generals and senators that would write their names into history, but on the everyday soldiers that lived by the edge of their sword. It is a book I will certainly never forget

Who am I?

I first became obsessed with the ancient world at around seventeen, and have spent the subsequent years researching and gathering knowledge on all aspects of ancient life. It was through fiction that this love first blossomed and the yearning for books has not yet ceased. In 2015 I decided I didn’t want to just be a reader anymore, and I began work on what would in 2017 become my debut novel, The Centurion’s Son. I have no plans to stop any time soon.

I wrote...

The Centurion’s Son

By Adam Lofthouse,

Book cover of The Centurion’s Son

What is my book about?

Albinus, the son of a revered Roman veteran Silus, has always longed to be a farmer, not a soldier, and lives his days ploughing and reaping the harvests, with his bride-to-be, Licina. But Silus’ has darker ambitions, and wishes for Albinus to follow in his footsteps in the army. As the conflicts between father and son come to a head, a growing threat comes down from the vengeful Germanic tribes to the north. Just as Albinus and Licina are about to marry, their settlement is raided by barbarians and Silus and his veteran comrades are brutally killed, while Licina is kidnapped by the raiders and taken to their king as a gift.

Believing her to be alive, Albinus sets out on a quest to find Licina, finally fulfilling his father’s wishes. As the barbarian hordes gather and plan a major rebellion against the Romans, Albinus finds a new fighting spirit within him and grows in stature among the legionaries. Licina meanwhile has a fight of her own, to escape from slavery and find Albinus. Time is running out, as the northern tribes head for Rome, decimating everything in their path…

I'll Give You the Sun

By Jandy Nelson,

Book cover of I'll Give You the Sun

Teen twins, once close but now estranged, tell their tale in alternating sections. In an intriguing twist, Noah’s account takes place 3 years ago while Jude’s is in the present.

The reader gets bits of the full picture from each sibling until their turbulent narratives coalesce in a way that is both appropriately artistic and moving. Nelson weaves a great plot, but it’s her characters’ depth that makes this book exceptional.

Who am I?

Anyone with siblings knows the deal. Your sibling becomes your first best friend and closest confidant but also your first competitor and fiercest critic. Navigating that relationship as a teen is fraught with peril. If done poorly, it can leave deep scars. If successful, it can teach you the foundations of how to build healthy relationships for the rest of your life. This theme has everything a writer needs to craft an emotional narrative, and these books do it best.

I wrote...

The Finest Lies

By David J. Naiman,

Book cover of The Finest Lies

What is my book about?

High schooler Nicole Hallett has just about had it with her brother, so when a mysterious man appears with an offer to replace him with a better one, she doesn't hesitate. Nicole has always been impulsive, but this time, she finds herself in a predicament far worse than anything she's experienced. 

The intractable sibling rivalry of my children inspired this novel. What if they were forced to rely on each other to survive the day? Could forgiveness and redemption even be possible in such a constricted time frame? I let it play out with all its twists and turns.


By Joyce Scott, Brie Spangler, Melissa Sweet (illustrator)

Book cover of Unbound: The Life and Art of Judith Scott

I loved reading this book to my kids, who were immediately drawn into the heartbreaking story of Judith, a girl with Down Syndrome, who was separated from her twin sister, Joyce, and institutionalized for many years. This separation led to great pain for both sisters, until decades later, when Joyce brought Judith home, and enrolled her in an art program for differently-abled people. Slowly, Judith flourished, going on to become an artist of renown, with work displayed in museums and galleries around the world. 

This tremendous story, of the bond between sisters, the therapeutic value of the creative process, and the potential for creating meaning and joy through artistic expression, helped my very young children develop empathy for and a deeper understanding of differently-abled people.

Who am I?

I am an award-winning author who grew up in a family of painters, poets, sculptors, and novelists; people who designed their lives around, and dedicated their lives to, artistic expression. I knew I wanted to be a writer at age three when I began dictating a poem every day to my mom. I first fell in love with Jane Austen as a student at Oxford, where I read my favorite of her novels, Persuasion.

I wrote...

A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice

By Jasmine A. Stirling, Vesper Stamper (illustrator),

Book cover of A Most Clever Girl: How Jane Austen Discovered Her Voice

What is my book about?

A Most Clever Girl tells the story of the world’s most beloved novelist, Jane Austen, and how she found her singularly witty, mischievous, and rebellious voice as a writer, despite losses that left her financially devastated, emotionally adrift, and unable to write for nearly a decade. 

I wrote this book to help my children, and all children, better understand the creative process—its fits and starts, its moments of exhilaration and frustration, and how it must be nurtured and tended to fully develop. I also enjoyed debunking the image of Jane as a dull spinster. Quite the contrary—Jane was a savage wit and proud rebel, who didn’t hesitate to put mighty men in their place with a few well-placed words. The book’s illustrator, also a devoted Janeite, visited all of the locations in the manuscript to create the artwork, which is lush and pitch perfect, making this book heirloom quality.

The Black Tides of Heaven

By Neon Yang,

Book cover of The Black Tides of Heaven

As a fellow genderqueer/non-binary Asian writer, I’m happy to champion the first in Neon Yang’s Tensorate series. A YA novella set in a non-Western fantasy landscape, this book tackles issues of gender identity and choice head-on, introducing us to a society where children are referred to individually using they/them pronouns, and can select one of the binary genders when they come of age or chose to remain non-binary. We see the world through the eyes of twins Mokoya and Akeha as they come into their gender expressions and their powers in a feudal, monastic society largely reminiscent of those found in Asian history.

Who am I?

I’m a non-binary, neurodivergent, queer speculative fiction writer who loves a good revolution story—whether that’s a quiet, personal revolution, or a big, explosive overthrowing of the 1%. These books have helped me create my own odd fictional worlds as well as space for my psyche to survive in. I wanted to represent a variety of perspectives here from writers who are subversive, LGBTQ, BIPOC, and, for lack of a better word, brave. As a university writing teacher, I believe that the written word holds power and drives us closer to a utopia, or at least towards a more colorful future community where all are welcome and supported.

I wrote...

Binary Stars

By Kristin Yuan Roybal, Corin Reyburn (editor),

Book cover of Binary Stars

What is my book about?

VV is a biosynthetic android facing accidental electronic enlightenment. Jensun is a bigender, translucent creature who almost remembers a time when his people, the Arkena, weren’t subjugated.

Soon after Jensun is placed under VV’s supervision at mTac—the agricultural facility that provides food for the entire planet of Vox—a global frost threatens to destroy their crops. The two of them must find a way to stop this cataclysm, but it sure would be easier if VV would stop updating themselves with illegal software causing them to malfunction, and quit flirting with Jensun. And although Jensun may grudgingly find VV’s quirky glitches cute, that superiority complex of theirs makes them stardamned difficult to work with. But as the climate worsens, they’ll have to cling to their commonalities and see past their differences.

Nooks & Crannies

By Jessica Lawson, Natalie Andrewson (illustrator),

Book cover of Nooks & Crannies

This story differs from the others on my list, as it takes place in England in the early twentieth century. Setting and time period aside, the plucky main character Tabitha along with her pet rat and fellow detective (in her mind) steal the show and our hearts. We can’t help but root for her despite all she comes up against and all who belittle her as she follows clues in her unique and endearing manner through a giant and possibly haunted estate. Nooks & Crannies does a fine job balancing humor and wit with more serious subjects such as murder and abuse, and is sure to appeal to fans of Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

Who am I?

I grew up believing there was a mystery or puzzle around every corner. That guy holding a paper bag by the garbage can? Definitely a Russian spy about to make a drop. The giant house at the top of the street? For sure, haunted (or at least hiding buried treasure). My love for clue games and solving puzzles stemmed from the books and movies I loved as a child. Now, as a children’s author, I get to continue conjuring up clue games and secret spies and puzzling old houses from an ordinary world, one that with the right imagination can turn heartache and heavy things into something close to magic.

I wrote...

Molly Pepper & the Night Train

By Courtney King Walker,

Book cover of Molly Pepper & the Night Train

What is my book about?

When Molly Pepper receives a secret invitation promising a night of magic and adventure aboard the mysterious Night Train, she is definitely skeptical. In her experience, most promises prove too good to be true. The fact that she lost her mom is proof enough. Still, Molly decides to give hope another chance, and with the help of her loyal friend Noah, she sneaks out of the house to follow more clues to the Night Train. 

But when Molly discovers detectives on her tail who are determined to squash her dreams, she must figure out how to outsmart them without losing hope. Because, it turns out, hope and ‘magic’ might not only fix broken promises; they make you believe in them again.

We Dream of Space

By Erin Entrada Kelly,

Book cover of We Dream of Space

I was gutting part of an old house when the radio announced the Space Shuttle Challenger’s explosion. Suddenly, I was gutted too. This devastating historical event offers an emotional center to a sensitively-told tale of a family experiencing a more insidious kind of destruction. The three Nelson Thomas siblings orbit elliptically around endlessly bickering parents. Cash isn’t good at anything, Fitch’s temper is growing hard to control, and quiet Bird is the family’s logic board. As her science class counts down together to the shuttle launch, Bird hatches dreams of going to space herself someday. My favorite part of this wonderful book? When the launch goes so horribly wrong, it’s her brothers who help her pick up the pieces of her dreams and start to redraw the landscape of family.

Who am I?

Truth may be stranger than fiction, but fiction is truer.” Frederic Raphael. When I was a child, a relative often told stories of a cowboy gear clad cousin who visited our New York family from Texas and claimed he’d once served in Pancho Villa’s army. These tales were the spark that eventually led to Viva, Rose! and my interest in storytelling as well. There’s something about the combination of lived experience and fiction that I find irresistibly engaging and exciting. I’ve worked as a journalist, ghostwriter, and editor, but my happiest happy place is writing and reading stories birthed from a molten core of real life.

I wrote...

Viva, Rose!

By Susan Krawitz,

Book cover of Viva, Rose!

What is my book about?

When Rose’s brother left their El Paso family, he told them he was heading east, to Brooklyn. But he lied, Rose discovers, when she spots a newspaper photo showing Abe standing with the notorious Pancho Villa and his army!

He must return before their parents find out, but her attempt at contact backfires, and she’s kidnapped by Villa's revolutionaries. In the group of ragtag freedom fighters in Villa’s desert hideaway, she meets an impassioned reporter, sharp-shooting sisters with a secret past, and Dorotea, Villa's tyrannical young charge. As Rose waits for Abe to rescue her, she learns to lie, hide, and ride like a bandit. And when that rescue doesn't come, she’s forced to discover the true meaning of freedom, and what she's willing to risk to get hers back. 

The Wish Granter

By C.J. Redwine,

Book cover of The Wish Granter

Two words: Princess Ari. She loves butter as much as I do, but that is not why I love her. This character is far from perfect, but she doesn’t let that stop her. She embraces who she is and refuses to let others’ perceptions of her dictate her sense of self-worth. She is no victim, even when she literally is one. Ari would have your back at all times, and then bake you tasty pastries after your adventures.

Who am I?

I once thought I was broken, because I became so invested in the characters I read about. I carried them with me out into the real world, where their struggles kept me from focusing on my own tasks. Then I learned this connection is a feature of reading, not a bug. While some people collect book boy/girl-friends–and I do enjoy swooning over a love interest–I am more drawn to those characters I’d want to share a rum with or meet for a beer. Authentic characters show us we’re not alone and inspire us to grow. They become so much more to us than mere words on the page.

I wrote...

On These Black Sands

By Vanessa Rasanen,

Book cover of On These Black Sands

What is my book about?

An awkward stowaway. A troubled pirate captain. Is she the key to his quest or will she be his ruin? 

In a world of secrets and legends, a lost dagger may be the key to saving a nation. But it will take far more than wit and a cutlass to retrieve it. Can a runaway heir and a pirate work together--or will their secrets drown all hope? An enchanting tale of deceit, magic, and love on the high seas perfect for fans of Adrienne Young, Tricia Levenseller, and Danielle L. Jensen.

The Land of Roar

By Jenny McLachlan, Ben Mantle (illustrator),

Book cover of The Land of Roar

As someone who has always had a somewhat overactive imagination, as soon as I heard the premise of this book – a land created by twins Rose and Arthur that comes to life – I was hooked. The Land of Roar is filled with incredible things – dragons, mermaids, ninja wizards! But it is also filled with their childhood fears, personified by the truly terrifying Crowky. This is a heart-in-your-mouth series with a celebration of childhood adventure at its heart. 

Who am I?

Whatever story I’m telling, I try to write female characters who are smart, funny, kind, and ultimately empowering; characters that drive the narrative, not the other way around. It is really important for me that my female characters have agency – that they actively move the story forward, make decisions and step up. Those are the kind of stories I like to read too. The books on this list are some of my favourites and all contain strong female protagonists. I hope you enjoy.

I wrote...

Girl (in Real Life)

By Tamsin Winter,

Book cover of Girl (in Real Life)

What is my book about?

Girl (in Real Life) is a funny and heartfelt novel exploring the highs and lows of online fame from award-winning author Tamsin Winter. Eva's parents run a hugely successful YouTube channel, and Eva is the star of the show. But she is getting sick of being made to pose in stupid mum-and-daughter matching outfits for sponsored posts. The freebies aren't worth the teasing at school. And when an intensely humiliating "period party" post goes viral, Eva is outraged. She's going to find a way to stop the channel, even if she has to sabotage it herself.

“Winter's funny and thought-provoking third novel vividly evokes the sense of powerlessness and exposure on the flip side of viral fame.” The Guardian

The God of Small Things

By Arundhati Roy,

Book cover of The God of Small Things

The God of Small Things is a beautiful book filled with multi-layered characters, compelling prose as lyrical as poetry and complex, heart-breaking themes. The hint of an unknown threat looming over the story adds a melancholic tone to this book about post-colonial India. Perhaps that’s why this book resonated so deeply with me – because here too, in post-colonial and post-apartheid South Africa, our small lives are shadowed by larger forces than we can comprehend and yet hope and the beauty of love echo throughout our land. Switching timelines from present to past, often speaking in a “special” language, Roy’s intense narrative highlights how small acts can have tragic consequences

Who am I?

An intuitive tarot reader descended from my father’s ancestral line of gifted dowsers and clairvoyants, the mysterious and magical have always been part of my life. An avid reader, it was inevitable that I’d fall in love with magical realism as a genre.  When completing my Master of Arts degree, I discovered poetry, magical realism stories, and tarot reading have more in common than one would think: their source is a connection to the unseen world that lies just beyond the horizon of our every day lives. I love that so many great novels use magical realism to challenge accepted norms in a way that’s both thought-provoking and entertaining.

I wrote...

Dancing in the Shadows of Love

By Judy Croome,

Book cover of Dancing in the Shadows of Love

What is my book about?

As a poet and an intuitive tarot reader, I’m fascinated by the layers upon layers of human relationships. In my novel Dancing in the Shadows of Love, three ordinary-but-extraordinary women struggle with the complexities and heart-wrenching sorrows of life. Lulu, Jamila, and Zahra search for the divine love that will fulfill their dreams and save their souls...if they can recognise the masks of those who seek to lead them astray. Each yearning to love and be loved, they come to understand what love really is, but first, they must learn to forgive. Along their paths, each woman forges a friendship with the mysterious stranger Enoch, their guide for this haunting spiritual journey of hope and redemption.

The Wishing Spell

By Chris Colfer,

Book cover of The Wishing Spell

This novel is the first of a 5-book series that served as the primary inspiration for my own, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. If the idea of reading about fairy tales that aren’t quite like the ones you heard when younger sounds intriguing, then this book will serve as an excellent introduction.

What’s more, The Wishing Spell has excellent artwork and a very detailed map, something rather rare in all but the most traditional of fantasy books. Having these to consult while reading truly made the story come alive!

Who am I?

With nearly a thousand novels under my belt (or time-worn Kindle, more accurately), I was itching to make my own mark in the world of literature as I entered my teenage years. Having all but one of the books I read be, puzzlingly, written by those definitively into their adulthood only strengthened that desire. Over 850 pages of my own story, drawing from all that I’d read and heard, finally satisfied it three years later — and placed me in a position to share with other readers my age, one teen to another, those tales that most influenced and inspired me.

I wrote...

The Trilogic Worlds: The Fictional War

By Simon Ilincev,

Book cover of The Trilogic Worlds: The Fictional War

What is my book about?

Upon receiving a mysterious letter, run-of-the-mill Emmanuel is thrust into a complicated battle encompassing all three worlds of Earth, Destroyia, and Fantasia. The latter two are fairy-tale worlds, filled with the classic fictional characters whose lives Emmanuel has loved to escape into. However, they come with a twist—despite the beauty fairy tales suggest, its villains, Destroyians, had the upper hand, dominating all in their once-united land of Destasia, and even going so far as to enslave their kind-hearted counterparts.

After decades of oppression, the Fantasians' only option was to flee to a whole new world. But united under one fearsome leader of suspicious origins, the Destroyians are once more coming for them, despite their powerful magical barrier… and don’t plan on stopping there.

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