Friends can be a hard thing for kids to understand. Friendships are hard to get, keep and maintain for many. Here are books that explore friendships and help kids to understand them better.
What happens when your BFF becomes your EFF . . . EX-Friend-Forever?
When seventh-grader Mango Delight Fuller accidentally breaks her BFF Brooklyn’s new cell phone, her life falls apart. She loses her friends and her spot on the track team, and even costs her father his job as a chef.
But Brooklyn’s planned revenge—sneakily signing up Mango to audition for the school musical—backfires when Mango not only wins the lead role, but becomes a YouTube sensation and attracts the attention of the school’s queen bee, Hailey Jo.
Hailey Jo is from a VERY wealthy family, and expects everyone to do her bidding. Soon Mango finds herself forced to make tough choices about the kind of friend she wants to have . . . and, just as important, the kind of friend she wants to be.
*“Hyman marries traditional tween elements with a fresh and original plot, and his multicultural cast sparkles with individuality and authenticity. . . . Hyman’s supporting characters, both kids and adults, are vivid and dynamic. Mango is as delightful as her middle name indicates, and middle-grade readers will easily recognize their own experiences in her friendship struggles. This is Hyman’s first novel; here’s hoping it’s not his last.” —Booklist (Starred review)
Please Please the Bees
Benedict has a pretty sweet life for a bear. Every morning the bees leave a jar of honey on his doorstep, and every day he has honey for breakfast and honey in his tea. It’s an important part of his day. But all that changes when the bees go on strike. Now it’s up to Benedict to listen to the bees, and he realizes there’s a lot more he could be doing to help them. So he fixes up the hive and learns to be a better beekeeper. Will the bees be pleased?
“Kelley shows a knack for a wry turn of phrase, an effective economy with character development, and a good sense of textual pacing. The illustrations are frequently a hoot, in particular the many hovering bees holding their signs aloft as Benedict looks on in consternation, and Benedict’s transformed yard is lovely to behold. This indeed should please the bees!” —Kirkus Reviews
“Gerald Kelley’s charming Please Please the Bees joins the shelf of grumpy-bear-learns-a-lesson tales, and has a good reminder for gratitude and kindness in readers of all ages.” —BookPage
A New Friend for Sparkle
In A Unicorn Named Sparkle, Lucy found out that the unicorn she thought she didn’t want was the exact right unicorn for her. In this new story from children’s book author and illustrator Amy Young, A New Friend for Sparkle, Lucy makes a new friend and Sparkle is worried that it means she doesn’t care about him anymore. What happens when two’s company but three’s a crowd?
Big and Little are the very best of friends. They do everything together! That is until one day, when Big suddenly hides away inside his shell . . .
Little tries every method to get Big to come out and play again—he bakes him his favorite cake, he even asks all of his friends for help—but nothing seems to be working! What could possibly be wrong?
Roisin Swales is an illustrator and animator based in Manchester. She was the winner of the World Wide Picture Book Illustration Competition in 2015 for her book Johnny Dolans Cat.