The best books for kids about friendship

Eileen Kennedy-Moore Author Of Growing Friendships: A Kids' Guide to Making and Keeping Friends
By Eileen Kennedy-Moore

The Books I Picked & Why

How to Lose All Your Friends

By Nancy Carlson

How to Lose All Your Friends

Why this book?

For ages 4-6, this silly parody of a How-To book gets a laugh from young elementary school children, while also helping them recognize the impact of various common but ungenerous behaviors. It offers backward “tips” such as: “Be a poor sport. When you play tag and someone tags you, lie and say they missed.” Kids enjoy feeling smarter than the book. It ends on a warm note and also prompts children to share their ideas of how to be a good friend.


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Should I Share My Ice Cream?

By Mo Willems

Should I Share My Ice Cream?

Why this book?

Mo Willems is simply brilliant in his ability to capture children’s authentic feelings in a way that’s funny and engaging. I love the whole Elephant and Piggie series! They’re great for reading aloud, but newly independent readers can also manage them. In this book, Elephant struggles with sharing, which, as every child knows, is not easy. This is aimed at ages 3-6.


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The Season of Styx Malone

By Kekla Magoon

The Season of Styx Malone

Why this book?

Caleb doesn’t want to be ordinary. When he and his brother Bobby meet an older adventurous boy named Styx, Caleb is eager to be part of his schemes, while Bobby is more cautious. Funny and exciting, this book helps kids consider peer pressure and what it means to be a true friend. Aimed at ages 8-12.


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Wonder

By R. J. Palacio

Wonder

Why this book?

A boy who was born with a facial deformity goes to fifth grade after years of being homeschooled due to multiple surgeries. What fuels the development of children’s friendships is being able to imagine other people’s perspectives. This book is written from different kids’ points of view. It explores courage, acceptance, bullying, betrayal, and loyalty. Aimed at ages 8-12.


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Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers

By Celia C. Pérez

Strange Birds: A Field Guide to Ruffling Feathers

Why this book?

Four very different girls don’t get along initially, but end up bonding over a common cause: changing a local scout troop’s outdated traditions involving a hat decorated with feathers from endangered birds. This book offers an exciting and funny view of a friendship group and encourages kids to think about activism, collective power, belonging, and being oneself. Aimed at ages 9-12.


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