The best friendship books 📚

Browse the best books on friendships as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of How to Lose All Your Friends

How to Lose All Your Friends

By Nancy Carlson

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.
From the list:

The best books for kids about making friends and friendship issues

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Book cover of My Ántonia

My Ántonia

By Willa Cather

Why this book?

This may be the most surprising pick on my list. While Cather’s 1918 novel has been celebrated as a classic of midwestern literature and as an insightful feminist critique (rightly, in both cases), but it is also a book that is obsessed with memory and time. How, if at all, do we preserve memories of the times that shaped us? Does the passage of time diminish memories or give them iconic status? Does writing preserve or distort that which has happened? This is a book that can be read at any age, but the more you think about it, the…

From the list:

The best American novels that mess with time

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Book cover of Garcia & Colette Go Exploring

Garcia & Colette Go Exploring

By Hannah Barnaby, Andrew Joyner

Why this book?

Garcia the bunny craves to shoot up to space while Colette the fox dreams of exploring the deep seas. Garcia builds a rocket and Colette, a submarine. Off they go on their separate adventures with their peanut butter sandwiches, of course! In this cleverly worded book, the author compares the two journeys – their similarities and differences, and how the two friends miss each other’s company. Garcia and Colette finally find a way to enjoy their interests together. The illustrations complement the words perfectly. A great read for little humans.
From the list:

The best picture books on space exploration

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Book cover of Mrs. Paine's Garage: And the Murder of John F. Kennedy

Mrs. Paine's Garage: And the Murder of John F. Kennedy

By Thomas Mallon

Why this book?

Award-winning novelist Thomas Mallon explores the serendipitous world of Ruth Paine, the Quaker who befriended Lee and Marina Oswald in the fateful months leading up to the assassination. In this fast-paced nonfition read, Mallon takes the reader through the tumultuous nine months before the assassination and then along for the often-bizarre years following in which Paine’s largesse is interpreted and twisted by conspiracy theorists to somehow accuse her of being in the middle of a giant plot against Kennedy. 

From the list:

The best books about who killed JFK

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Book cover of The Wind in the Willows

The Wind in the Willows

By Kenneth Grahame

Why this book?

Old fashioned these days perhaps, echoing a very English landscape too, like me sometimes, Wind in The Willows is still an unmissable gem. The tale of the friendship between ratty, mole, and badger, and of course the irrepressible Mr. Toad, shines with a beautiful innocence, but also the pure lyricism of the writing. So producing one of my favorite chapters in all literature – "Piper At The Gates of Dawn." That addresses a particular spiritual element too, when the little animals have a vision of the great God Pan, too powerful for them to remember safely. Which underlines why animals…

From the list:

The best fantasy novels with themes on animals, nature and the environment

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Book cover of Imaginary Fred

Imaginary Fred

By Eoin Colfer, Oliver Jeffers

Why this book?

Can imaginary friends count as best friends? Totally. Imaginary Fred is a brilliant riff on imaginary friendship, told from the point of view of the imaginary friend. When imaginary Fred befriends non-imaginary Sam, the two have so much fun that Fred panics he’ll be replaced by a real kid (again!). But when real Sam brings home his new friend real Sammi, Sammi befriends Fred too…and her own imaginary friend Freida becomes Fred’s total B(I)FF! The book is quirky/funny, but really moving too. Everybody gets a best friend.

From the list:

The best books about best friends

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