The Sisters 8 #1 - Annie's AdventuresThe Sisters 8 is a quirky, humorous, and exciting series. And frankly, it’s pretty awesome. The series was written by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, along with her husband, Greg, and daughter, Jackie (I believe she was about 8 when they started writing the series). In short, the series revolves around 8 octuplet sisters (Annie, Durinda, Georgia, Jackie, Marcia, Petal, Rebecca, Zinnia). They were born on August 8th, 2000, each one minute after the next. The series begins on New Year’s Eve 2008 (December 31st, 2007) when the eight’s parents mysteriously go missing (or possibly, they’re dead). Their only clue appears behind a loose stone set in the wall of their drawing room telling them that they will each receive a power and a gift, one per sister, each month, until they all turn 8 on August 8th, 2008 – at which point, they will finally learn the whereabouts of their parents.

The Sisters 8 is rated Buy Two!
(One for You, One for a Friend)

Much like an Adam Sandler movie, that pretty much sets up the series. Each book takes place in a sequential month from January to August, where one of the eights (going alphabetically from Annie to Zinnia) will receive a power and a gift. Oh, and they have to pretend to go about their lives without parents for this eight month period. But much in the vein of Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events, there is an absurd comedic mood to the stories that makes it very plausible that these seven-year-old octuplets can take care of themselves for such a long period of time.

Each of the sisters has a very unique voice and character, and by the time you’re a few books into the series, you can pretty much tell who is speaking without the narration just based on the voice. And they are really humorous. Throwing eight completely different characters in this situation was seriously laugh-out-loud-inducing. Did I mention their dad is a male model and their mom is a super-genius scientist (who invented their talking refrigerator and incompetent robot maid)? Yeah, it’s funny!

The kiddie reading with me always had fun identifying the pictures of the sisters, which became relatively easy the more we read, despite the fact that to me, all of them look like they are drawn with nearly identical features. At one point, one of the characters got a haircut, which was immediately noticeable to the young’en. “Oh, my goodness! Jackie got a haircut!” she said after looking at the back of the book. Sure enough, somewhere in that volume, Jackie did, in fact, get a haircut.

And much like Pseudonymous Bosch’s The Secret Series, the narration is done in a very funny, yet mysterious way. It is told from the plural first person (we, the eights), but at times a character is left out of the plural (We all liked this idea, except for Marcia). But at different points, each character is left out of the collective “We” making it very comical. If this still doesn’t make sense, you’ll just have to read the books.

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When we began the series, all but the 9th (and likely final) book had been released, and we flew through the first 8. Flew!

But I realize that it’s really hard to end a long series of books with an ongoing mystery that appears to keep building on itself, adding more twists and questions along the way. I felt this way about both A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Secret Series. When you eventually find out what happened to the eight’s parents, you may be completely satisfied. My feeling was, “Oh, okay. So that’s what happened. I guess life goes back to normal now…”

The Sisters 8, along with A Series of Unfortunate Events and The Secret Series, is more about the journey than the solution to the mystery. Not every series can be Harry Potter or Percy Jackson & the Olympians (which, in my opinion, have both satisfying journeys and endings). But the fact that I can talk about The Sisters 8 in the same breath as any of those series is a testament to how truly amazingly entertaining it was.

The Sisters 8 Book List

  1. Annie’s Adventures
  2. Durinda’s Dangers
  3. Georgia’s Greatness
  4. Jackie’s Jokes
  5. Marcia’s Madness
  6. Petal’s Problems
  7. Rebecca’s Rashness
  8. Zinnia’s Zaniness
  9. The Final Battle … for Now

Book Information:

  • Reading Level: Grade 2-4
  • Interest: Age 6-9
  • Pages: 120-150 pages each
  • Pictures: one or two per chapter (partial pages)
  • Main Characters: eight (nearly) 8-year-old octuplets
  • Genre: Mystery, Humor, Suspense, Fantasy (a slight bit), Fiction

Update: See author’s response below.