The best books about friendship between young people and seniors

Darlene Jones Author Of When the Sun was Mine
By Darlene Jones

Who am I?

When I was a kid on the farm in Saskatchewan, I had a handful of books to read and re-read and read yet again. No television, no radio—just books. Then we moved to the city and I discovered the bookmobile, but I could only take out three books at a time. Deciding was torture. From bookmobile to library to bookstore to e-reader. Life is good. With all that reading, I knew I had to write a novel. I finally did. One became seven. How on earth did that happen? Re-reding my books I realized that teens play significant roles in all my novels. I’m a retired teacher—go figure!

I wrote...

When the Sun was Mine

By Darlene Jones,

Book cover of When the Sun was Mine

What is my book about?

Her dream was to go to university. Instead she’s working in a nursing home hunting a killer. When high school graduate, Brittany Wright, gets a job cleaning at Happy Hearts nursing home, she is terrified of old lady Flo and desperately wishes she could be in college instead. As an unlikely friendship develops between the two, Brittany discovers that Flo, who may or may not have Alzheimer’s, is in grave danger. But, from whom and why? 

The books I picked & why

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Fragile Beasts

By Tawni O'Dell,

Book cover of Fragile Beasts

Why this book?

I liked this book so much, I read it twice. What made it so good? O’Dell’s mastery of creating “real” people. I cared about them. I wanted to be in the story with them such was the power of her writing—a captivating story with an unusual set of characters, their lives intersecting in unexpected ways. Spain, the US, bulls and bullfighters, an old lady, a couple of teen brothers, a dysfunctional family, love and hate, baseball…

Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen

By Glen Huser,

Book cover of Skinnybones and the Wrinkle Queen

Why this book?

I was guilted into buying the book when I went to Glen’s book signing event. He’s a friend. After the reading, I noticed that everyone in attendance had one or more copies of his books along with their credit cards in their hands. I felt obligated to buy a copy. The book sat on my shelf for several weeks until guilt forced me to take it down and read. I finished the book that night, and reread it the next day. I recommend it all the time.  


By Emma Donoghue,

Book cover of Akin

Why this book?

I felt sorry for Noah even as I laughed at his predicament. He’s about to celebrate his eightieth birthday in Nice. Then he learns he’s responsible for his eleven-year-old great nephew. Noah refuses to give up his trip and takes the boy along. The ensuing adventures of this unlikely pair take Noah and the reader on a wild ride through Nice and back to WWII as they search for the answers Noah needs. 

The Reading List

By Sara Nisha Adams,

Book cover of The Reading List

Why this book?

Working at the local, almost defunct library, Aleisha comes across a reading list in one of the returned books. Bored, with little to do, she begins to read the books. When an old man wanders in one day, she shares the list with him. Reading and discussing the books leads them out of their shells and into new understandings of their worlds and to friendship. Reading this made me reflect on books that impacted me and on my friendships over the years with people much younger or much older and I realized that all of them had such value—value that I did not always recognize at the time 

News of the World

By Paulette Jiles,

Book cover of News of the World

Why this book?

Yes, this is the one they made into a movie (which I will not go to see). I like Tom Hanks, but he doesn’t fit the image I have in my head after reading the book. And, as always, when a book morphs into a movie, I fear the changes that will inevitably be made, will diminish the story. So, I’ll make a bowl of popcorn and read the book again. 

5 book lists we think you will like!

Interested in widower, Pennsylvania, and school?

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