Title Image

“Those five famous tots in Callander, Ontario,


are the little princesses of the entire world.”

When they were born on May 28, 1934, weighing a grand total of just over 13 pounds, no  one expected them to live so much as an hour. Overnight, Yvonne, Annette, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie Dionne captivated the world, defying medical history with every breath they took.

In an effort to protect them from hucksters and showmen, the Ontario government took custody of the five identical babies, sequestering them in a private, custom-built hospital across the road from their family — and then, in a stunning act of hypocrisy, proceeded to exploit them for the next nine years. The Dionne Quintuplets became a more popular attraction than Niagara Falls, ogled through one-way screens by sightseers as they splashed in their wading pool at the center of a tourist hotspot known as Quintland. Their faces sold everything from Baby Ruth candy bars to Colgate toothpaste.

In this masterful work of narrative nonfiction, Sarah Miller examines the lives of five identical sisters forced to endure the most publicized childhood in history — and how they survived their turbulent teenage years to forge identities of their own. Impeccably researched, with photos of the Dionnes from birth through adulthood, this is an enthralling, heartbreaking portrait of a unique sisterhood, imbued with the astonishing resilience of the human spirit.

Annette, Yvonne, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie Dionne holding candles, 1938
Annette, Yvonne, Cécile, Émilie, and Marie Dionne, 1938

The Miracle and Tragedy


of the Dionne Quintuplets


Amazon Editors' Choice, August 2019

Bookish.com Book Club pick, August 2019

Booklist starred review

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books starred review

Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books Blue Ribbon Book 2019

Junior Library Guild selection

Horn Book Magazine starred review

VOYA starred review

Youth Services Book Review starred review




November 2019
Constant Wonder

With Marcus Smith


August 2019
New York Post

With Susannah Cahalan

CTV News, Northern Ontario

With Eric Taschner

Bay Today

With Chris Dawson

North Bay Nugget

With Bill Steer

Almaguin News

With Laurel J. Campbell

November 2019
The Washington Post

With Gillian Brockell

Kirby Larson’s Friend Friday

With Kirby Larson


Miles Traveled (three times!)


Pages of Microfilm Scanned


Archives & Museums Visited


Newspaper & Magazine Articles Accumulated