Jacob Have I Loved is a children's novel by Katherine Paterson. It was published by Crowell in 1980 and it won the annual Newbery Medal next year. The title refers to the sibling rivalry between Jacob and Esau in the Jewish and Christian Bible, and comes directly from Romans 9:13: "As it is written, Jacob have I loved, but Esau have I hated."
The novel follows the story of the Bradshaws, a family who depends on the father, Truitt Bradshaw, and his crabbing/fishing business on his boat, the Portia Sue. Truitt's two daughters, Sara Louise and Caroline, are twins, and Caroline has always been the favorite. She is prettier and more talented, and better at receiving more attention not only from their parents but also from others in the community.
The book traces Louise's attempts to free herself from Caroline's shadow, even as she grows into adulthood.