This week’s theme was surprisingly tough, I only made it to 9! Here are my Top 10 Books About Friendship
Anne of Green Gables (Anne & Diana) – LM Montgomery
Who didn’t want to be friends with Anne Shirley? Feisty, intelligent and enthusiastic, she brings a fearsome energy to everything. As is often the way, her best friend Diana is her opposite; quiet, gentle and softly spoken. The two are fast friends from the start and always try to balance each other out. It’s hard not to envy their devotion!
Just as long as we’re together (Rachel and Stephanie) – Judy Blume
I loved this book when I was growing up. Steph and Rachel have been friends forever, but are put in different classes once they start high school. Steph’s body has changed over the summer and her parents are splitting up, making her feel more distant from her over-achieving friend. Add new girl Alison into the mix and Steph and Rachel’s friendship is increasingly strained. I liked the way these two old friends learn to grow with each other and make room for the new things in their lives. A more realistic portrayal of friendship as a kid (well, it is Judy Blume…)
The Book Thief (Liesel and Max) – Marcus Zusack
Liesel feel like a very solitary, lonely child for much of The Book Thief. However, the friendship she develops with Max, (who they are hiding from Nazis) through their mutual love of stories and books is incredibly touching. It shows that friendship can bloom under the most difficult of circumstances and gives both characters a sense of hope in a dark time, as the very best friendships should.
Fearless series (Gaia and Ed) – Francine Pascal
Does anyone else remember these books? I was completely obsessed as a teenager with this series about a girl born without the fear gene. Crazy nonsense but totally addictive. I always liked Gaia and Ed’s friendship. Ed is motivated by romantic undercurrents, yes, but he and Gaia push and challenge each other and have to adjust to someone not treating them as they’d each come to expect. I always enjoyed their banter and willed then to make it through the various tests of their friendship.
P.S Longer Letter Later (Tara and Elizabeth) – Paula Danziger and Ann M Martin
My best friend and I both read this book as children. It tells the story of two friends, Tara and Elizabeth, who are writing to each other after Tara’s parents move. The book was written by Danziger and Martin writing to each other in voice, which gives the book a genuine two-sidedness. Tara and Elizabeth seem like total opposites but their determination to stay friends despite being apart is really uplifting.
Bridge to Terabithia (Jesse and Leslie) – Katherine Paterson
I feel like I might cry every time I think about Bridge to Terabithia. It’s a lovely, heart-breaking novel about two kids who became unlikely friends when they both needed someone to understand and appreciate them for who they were. They create an amazing imagined world together and anyone who ever played make-believe games as a kid will enjoy their commitment to their stories. Be prepared to cry though; it’s got a kicker of an ending.
Harry Potter series (Ron, Harry and Hermione) – J K Rowling
Anyone who’s read any of the Harry Potter novels knows that one of Rowling’s enduring themes of the series is the importance and benefit of true friendship. Ron, Harry and Hermione come together as children and stay united for the rest of the series (and presumably, the rest of their lives). Nothing would be accomplished or celebrated in HP without friends. Also, Harry would have died in book one, without Ron and especially Hermione to rescue him. I’m not sure that there’s a better or more balanced depiction of friendship around – sometimes our friends annoy us, sometimes they disagree with us and sometimes we don’t understand them, but they are always there when we need them.
The Outsiders (Ponyboy and Johnny) – S E Hinton
Oh, this book! This is yet another sad tale of friendship (why do I have so many on this list?). Their dedicated loyalty to each other is so admirable and Ponyboy reading to Johnny gets me every time.
The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants – (Tibby, Carmen, Bridget and Lena) – Ann Brashares
I raced through this book the first time I read it. I loved the idea of four close friends growing up together and finding a way to support and encourage each other, even when hundreds of miles apart. I have a close knit group of girlfriends and we are navigatiung this now – being separated but trying to find a way to keep up with each other’s lives. It’s also great to get to that point where you know that nothing about your friendship will really change and I think Sisterhood… really embodies that (let’s just ignore the later books, shall we?)