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Making Friends: Books For Kids

Looking for a list of the best children's books about making friends?

We all need friends! Friends never stop being important, but they can have an especially big impact on us when we’re growing up. These stories help our little readers learn about how to make friends, how to choose good friends, and maybe most importantly, how to be a good friend.

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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
Written by J. K. Rowling & illustrated by Mary GrandPré
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Rescued from the outrageous neglect of his aunt and uncle, a young boy with a great destiny proves his worth while attending Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry.

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The Tale of Despereaux
Written by Kate DiCamillo & illustrated by Timothy Basil Ering
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A brave mouse, a covetous rat, a wishful serving girl, and a princess named Pea come together in Kate DiCamillo’s Newbery Medal–winning tale.

Welcome to the story of Despereaux Tilling, a mouse who is in love with music, stories, and a princess named Pea. It is also the story of a rat called Roscuro, who lives in the darkness and covets a world filled with light. And it is the story of Miggery Sow, a slow-witted serving girl who harbors a simple, impossible wish. These three characters are about to embark on a journey that will lead them down into a horrible dungeon, up into a glittering castle, and, ultimately, into each other’s lives. What happens then? As Kate DiCamillo would say: Reader, it is your destiny to find out.

With black-and-white illustrations and a refreshed cover by Timothy Basil Ering.

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Bridge to Terabithia
Written by Katherine Paterson & illustrated by Donna Diamond
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

All summer, Jess pushed himself to be the fastest boy in the fifth grade, and when the year’s first school-yard race was run, he was going to win.But his victory was stolen by a newcomer, by a girl, one who didn’t even know enough to stay on the girls’ side of the playground. Then, unexpectedly, Jess finds himself sticking up for Leslie, for the girl who breaks rules and wins races. The friendship between the two grows as Jess guides the city girl through the pitfalls of life in their small, rural town, and Leslie draws him into the world of imaginations world of magic and ceremony called Terabithia. Here, Leslie and Jess rule supreme among the oaks and evergreens, safe from the bullies and ridicule of the mundane world. Safe until an unforeseen tragedy forces Jess to reign in Terabithia alone, and both worlds are forever changed. In this poignant, beautifully rendered novel, Katherine Paterson weaves a powerful story of friendship and courage.

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Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea
Written by Ben Clanton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

“Hilarious and charming. The most lovable duo since Frog and Toad.” –NYT-bestselling creator of the Dog Man and Captain Underpants series, Dav Pilkey Narwhal is a happy-go-lucky narwhal. Jelly is a no-nonsense jellyfish. The two might not have a lot in common, but they do they love waffles, parties and adventures. Join Narwhal and Jelly as they discover the whole wide ocean together. A wonderfully silly early graphic novel series featuring three stories. In the first, Jelly learns that Narwhal is a really good friend. Then Narwhal and Jelly form their own pod of awesomeness with their ocean friends. And finally, Narwhal and Jelly read the best book ever – even though it doesn’t have any words…or pictures! Ben Clanton showcases the joys of friendship, the benefits of working together and the power of imagination in the delightful Narwhal: Unicorn of the Sea.

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Marsha Is Magnetic
Written by Beth Ferry & illustrated by Lorena Alvarez
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-7

It turns out that the best way to draw others to you is by being yourself in this sweet, STEAM-minded picture book from New York Times bestselling author Beth Ferry.

Marsha is a scientist who has never met a problem she couldn’t solve. But when it comes to making friends to invite to her birthday party, she is stumped. Luckily, Marsha knows the solution to being stumped: the scientific method. With equal parts creativity, determination, and humor, Marsha sets out to attract as many friends as she can–what could possibly go wrong? In this hilarious celebration of friendship and ingenuity, Beth Ferry and Lorena Alvarez show readers that the best way to attract friends is to simply be yourself.

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  • The Terrible Two - The Terrible Two (Terrible Two Series #1) by Mac Barnett and Jory John, Kevin Cornell

  • Caleb and Kit - From award-winning author Beth Vrabel comes a powerfully moving story about a magical friendship, coping with disability, and the pains of growing up and growing apart. Twelve-year-old Caleb is shorter, frailer, and more protected than most kids his age. That’s because he has cystic fibrosis, a diagnosis meaning lungs that fill with mucus and a shortened lifespan. Caleb tries not to let his disorder define him, but it can be hard with an overprotective mom and a perfect big brother. Then Caleb meets Kit–a vibrant, independent, and free girl–and his world changes instantly. Kit reads Caleb’s palm and tells him they are destined to become friends. She calls birds down from the sky and turns every day into an adventure. Her magic is contagious, making Caleb question the rules and order in his life. But being Kit’s friend means embracing deception and danger, and soon Caleb will have to decide if his friendship with Kit is really what’s best for him–or her. This new paperback edition includes a Q&A with the author as well as a sneak peek at Beth Vrabel’s next middle grade novel, The Humiliations of Pipi McGee.

  • Darius the Great Is Not Okay - Darius doesn’t think he’ll ever be enough, in America or in Iran. Hilarious and heartbreaking, this unforgettable debut introduces a brilliant new voice in contemporary YA. Winner of the William C. Morris Debut Award “Heartfelt, tender, and so utterly real. I’d live in this book forever if I could.” –Becky Albertalli, award-winning author of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda Darius Kellner speaks better Klingon than Farsi, and he knows more about Hobbit social cues than Persian ones. He’s a Fractional Persian–half, his mom’s side–and his first-ever trip to Iran is about to change his life. Darius has never really fit in at home, and he’s sure things are going to be the same in Iran. His clinical depression doesn’t exactly help matters, and trying to explain his medication to his grandparents only makes things harder. Then Darius meets Sohrab, the boy next door, and everything changes. Soon, they’re spending their days together, playing soccer, eating faludeh, and talking for hours on a secret rooftop overlooking the city’s skyline. Sohrab calls him Darioush–the original Persian version of his name–and Darius has never felt more like himself than he does now that he’s Darioush to Sohrab. Adib Khorram’s brilliant debut is for anyone who’s ever felt not good enough–then met a friend who makes them feel so much better than okay.

  • Just a Teacher's Pet - Join Mercer Mayer’s classic and loveable character, Little Critter(R), as he sets out on a new adventure in this brand-new My First I Can Read storybook!Little Critter is not too happy when a new student gets special treatment. But when the teacher’s pet shows that she’s a team player, Little Critter and his classmates discover that they’ve made a great new friend. With fun illustrations and simple text, Mercer Mayer’s Little Critter stories are perfect for developing readers.I Can Read books are designed to encourage a love of reading. My First I Can Read books are perfect for shared reading with a child.

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Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 13-17

A Time Best YA Book of All Time (2021) A lyrical novel about family and friendship from critically acclaimed author Benjamin Alire Sáenz. Aristotle is an angry teen with a brother in prison. Dante is a know-it-all who has an unusual way of looking at the world. When the two meet at the swimming pool, they seem to have nothing in common. But as the loners start spending time together, they discover that they share a special friendship–the kind that changes lives and lasts a lifetime. And it is through this friendship that Ari and Dante will learn the most important truths about themselves and the kind of people they want to be.

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The Secret Promise
Written by Paula Harrison
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 7-10

These are no ordinary princesses–they’re Rescue Princesses! Princess Emily sometimes wishes that being a princess meant more than wearing fancy dresses and performing endless curtsies. She longs for a life-changing adventure-and she may just get one! Someone is plotting to hurt the deer who live in beautiful Mistberg Forest. Together with some new friends, Emily will have to use her smarts, her savvy, and even some newfound ninja skills to save them.

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Radio Silence
Written by Alice Oseman
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 13-18

From the critically acclaimed creator of the Heartstopper series comes a smartly crafted contemporary YA novel, perfect for readers who love Rainbow Rowell’s Fangirl. This is an utterly captivating and authentic teen novel from the author of Solitaire, which VOYA said “could put her among the great young adult fiction authors.”Frances Janvier spends most of her time studying.Everyone knows Aled Last as that quiet boy who gets straight As.You probably think that they are going to fall in love or something. Since he is a boy and she is a girl.They don’t. They make a podcast.In a world determined to shut them up, knock them down, and set them on a cookie cutter life path, Frances and Aled struggle to find their voices over the course of one life-changing year. Will they have the courage to show everyone who they really are? Or will they be met with radio silence?

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Forget Me Not
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

A girl tries to hide her quirks at a new school in this middle-grade novel from debut author Ellie Terry. Astronomy-loving Calliope June has Tourette syndrome, so she sometimes makes faces or noises that she doesn’t mean to make. When she and her mother move yet again, she tries to hide her TS. But it isn’t long before the kids at her new school realize she’s different. Only Calliope’s neighbor, who is also the popular student body president, sees her as she truly is–an interesting person and a good friend. But is he brave enough to take their friendship public? As Calliope navigates school, she must also face her mother’s new relationship and the fact that they might be moving–again–just as she starts to make friends and finally accept her differences. Partially in verse and partially in prose with two intertwined points of view, Ellie Terry’s affecting debut will speak to a wide audience about being true to oneself.Praise for Forget Me Not “Terry’s debut novel thoughtfully traces the fragile emotions of two seventh graders: Calliope, a girl painfully self-conscious about having Tourette syndrome, and Jinsong, a popular boy she meets in her new town. Terry, who has Tourette syndrome herself, offers enormous insight into an often-misunderstood condition, writing in verse for Calliope’s chapters and prose for Jinsong’s. Her poetic explorations of Calliope’s anxiety and Jinsong’s moral struggles are honest and moving.” –Publishers Weekly”Terry, who herself lives with Tourette’s syndrome, movingly draws from her own experience as she describes Callie’s experiences and behaviors. The narrative alternates between Callie’s and Jin’s perspectives, with Callie’s chapters in affecting, varied poems and Jin’s in plain prose and e-mails. This heartfelt, multivoice story with a meaningful message about friendship and acceptance is perfect for kids who appreciate realistic, character driven stories, such as Rebecca Stead’s Goodbye Stranger (2015).” –Booklist”Written in a patchwork of prose poetry and free verse, Terry’s narrative deftly represents the reality of TS in its fullness. It works to deconstruct common misconceptions, such as that those who have TS have a propensity to swear, and sheds light on the raw confusion and the frightening nature of a physical experience that is utterly unpredictable . . . This exploration of Calli’s neurological disorder and her struggle to find her place will stay in the hearts and minds of readers for a long time….” –School Library Journal”Terry’s debut novel is a rare treat–a beautiful story of middle grade friendship, crushes, accepting differences, and how to deal with the school bullies. Terry’s use of figurative language and symbolism is magical. It will offer lessons in tolerance, acceptance, and kindness toward those different than themselves.” –School Library Connection

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Generation Misfits
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Generation Misfits by Akemi Dawn Bowman is a heartwarming, fish-out-of-water own voices story about an eleven-year-old Japanese-American girl who finds her true friends–through the power of J-Pop!Millie is attending a real school for the first time, and she dreams of finally having friends and a little bit of freedom. She finds her chance when she joins an imitation band of her favorite J-Pop group, where she’s thrilled to meet a group of misfits who quickly become a tightknit group of friends that are like family. But Millie soon realizes that one of them is dealing with problems bigger than what notes to hit when it comes time for their performance. Can Millie help her friend, even when their problem feels too big to say out loud?

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  • The Startup Squad - Girls mean business in a brand-new middle grade series about friendship and entrepreneurship! All the great leaders had to start somewhere. And Theresa (“Resa” for short) is starting with the lemonade stand competition her teacher assigned to the class—but making it a success is going to be a lot harder than Resa thinks. The prize: line-skipping tickets to Adventure Central. The competition: Val, Resa’s middle school nemesis. And the biggest obstacle to success: Resa’s own teammates. Harriet is the class clown, Amelia is the new girl who thinks she knows best, and Didi is Resa’s steadfast friend—who doesn’t know the first thing about making or selling lemonade. The four of them quickly realize that the recipe for success is tough to perfect—but listening to each other is the first step. And making new friends might be the most important one… The back of each book features tips from the Startup Squad and an inspirational profile of a girl entrepreneur!

  • Save Me a Seat - Save Me a Seat joins the Scholastic Gold line, which features award-winning and beloved novels. Includes exclusive bonus content! Joe and Ravi might be from very different places, but they’re both stuck in the same place: SCHOOL. Joe’s lived in the same town all his life, and was doing just fine until his best friends moved away and left him on his own. Ravi’s family just moved to America from India, and he’s finding it pretty hard to figure out where he fits in. Joe and Ravi don’t think they have anything in common – but soon enough they have a common enemy (the biggest bully in their class) and a common mission: to take control of their lives over the course of a single crazy week.

  • The Way Home - All Owly wants is a friend…Owly is a good-natured little owl, and he’s always helping those around him. But despite his kindness, he seems to frighten would-be friends away before they even give him a chance, just because he’s an owl. That all changes, though, once Owly meets Wormy. Like Owly, Wormy is in need of a good friend, too – someone who can be counted on for a helping hand, a good laugh, and a great adventure! Through a unique blend of words and symbols, Owly can be read by the youngest readers, and is a great introduction to graphic novels!

  • The Season of Styx Malone - A CORETTA SCOTT KING HONOR BOOK AND THE WINNER OF THE BOSTON GLOBE HORN BOOK AWARD FOR FICTION! “Extraordinary friendships . . . extraordinary storytelling.” –Rita Williams-Garcia, Newbery Honor and Coretta Scott King Award-Winning author of One Crazy Summer Meet Caleb and Bobby Gene, two brothers embarking on a madcap, heartwarming, one-thing-leads-to-another adventure in which friendships are forged, loyalties are tested . . . and miracles just might happen. Caleb Franklin and his big brother Bobby Gene are excited to have adventures in the woods behind their house. But Caleb dreams of venturing beyond their ordinary small town. Then Caleb and Bobby Gene meet new neighbor Styx Malone. Styx is sixteen and oozes cool. Styx promises the brothers that together, the three of them can pull off the Great Escalator Trade–exchanging one small thing for something better until they achieve their wildest dream. But as the trades get bigger, the brothers soon find themselves in over their heads. Styx has secrets–secrets so big they could ruin everything. Five best of the year lists! NPR, HornBook, Kirkus Reviews, SLJ, Shelf Awareness Five starred reviews!

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Ruby on the Outside
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Ruby’s mom is in prison, and to tell anyone the truth is to risk true friendship in this novel from the author of The Summer Before Boys that accurately and sensitively addresses a subject too often overlooked. Eleven-year-old Ruby Danes is about to start middle school, and only her aunt knows her deepest, darkest, most secret secret: her mother is in prison. Then Margalit Tipps moves into Ruby’s condo complex, and the two immediately hit it off. Ruby thinks she’s found her first true-blue friend–but can she tell Margalit the truth about her mom? Maybe not. Because it turns out that Margalit’s family history seems closely connected to the very event that put her mother in prison, and if Ruby comes clean, she could lose everything she cares about most.

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See You in the Cosmos
Written by Jack Cheng
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 10-14

11-year-old Alex Petroski loves space and rockets, his mom, his brother, and his dog Carl Sagan—named for his hero, the real-life astronomer. All he wants is to launch his golden iPod into space the way Carl Sagan (the man, not the dog) launched his Golden Record on the Voyager spacecraft in 1977. From Colorado to New Mexico, Las Vegas to L.A., Alex records a journey on his iPod to show other lifeforms what life on earth, his earth, is like. But his destination keeps changing. And the funny, lost, remarkable people he meets along the way can only partially prepare him for the secrets he’ll uncover—from the truth about his long-dead dad to the fact that, for a kid with a troubled mom and a mostly not-around brother, he has way more family than he ever knew.

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Sandry's Book
Written by Tamora Pierce
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-15

Part of the 8-book Tamora Pierce reissue for Fall 2006, this title in the Circle of Magic quartet features spellbinding new cover art. Coincides with the release of WILL OF THE EMPRESS in trade pb. Four elements of power, four mages-in-training learning to control them. In Book 1 of the Circle of Magic Quartet, gifted young weaver Sandry is brought to the Winding Circle community. There she meets Briar, a former thief with a way with plants; Daja, an outcase gifted at metalcraft; and Tris, whose connection with the weather unsettles everyone, including herself. The four misfits are taught how to use their magic, but when disaster strikes, it’s up to Sandry to weave together four different kinds of power to save herself, her friends, and Winding Circle.

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The Lost Stone
Written by Jordan Quinn & illustrated by Robert McPhillips
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-9

Welcome to the Kingdom of Wrenly—a new chapter book series full of fantasy and adventure.

Meet Lucas, the eight year-old prince, and Clara, the daughter of the queen’s seamstress. Lucas is an only child who longs to make friends and go on adventures. Clara knows the kingdom well, so she and Lucas team up and explore the lands of Wrenly!

In The Lost Stone, Lucas and Clara search for Queen Tasha’s missing emerald. On their exciting adventure, they travel to all the main attractions of Wrenly: Primlox (the island of fairies), Burth (the island of trolls), Crestwood (the island of dragons), Hobsgrove (the island of wizards), and the beautiful Mermaid’s Cove. King Caleb has promised to reward the person who finds the precious stone, and Lucas and Clara are determined to search the entire kingdom until they find it!

With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, The Kingdom of Wrenly chapter books are perfect for beginning readers.

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The Wind in the Willows
Written & illustrated by Kenneth Grahame
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

The much-loved classic tales of Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad. When Mole goes boating with Ratty instead of doing his spring-cleaning, he discovers a whole new world. As well as adventures on the river and in the Wild Wood, there are high jinks on the open road with that reckless ruffian, Mr Toad of Toad Hall. Ratty, Mole, Badger and Toad become the firmest of friends, but after Toad’s latest escapade, can they join together and beat the wretched weasels once and for all?

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  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid - Boys don’t keep diaries―or do they? The launch of an exciting and innovatively illustrated new series narrated by an unforgettable kid every family can relate to It’s a new school year, and Greg Heffley finds himself thrust into middle school, where undersized weaklings share the hallways with kids who are taller, meaner, and already shaving. The hazards of growing up before you’re ready are uniquely revealed through words and drawings as Greg records them in his diary. In book one of this debut series, Greg is happy to have Rowley, his sidekick, along for the ride. But when Rowley’s star starts to rise, Greg tries to use his best friend’s newfound popularity to his own advantage, kicking off a chain of events that will test their friendship in hilarious fashion. Author/illustrator Jeff Kinney recalls the growing pains of school life and introduces a new kind of hero who epitomizes the challenges of being a kid. As Greg says in his diary, “Just don’t expect me to be all ‘Dear Diary’ this and ‘Dear Diary’ that.” Luckily for us, what Greg Heffley says he won’t do and what he actually does are two very different things. Since its launch in May 2004 on Funbrain.com, the Web version of Diary of a Wimpy Kid has been viewed by 20 million unique online readers. This year, it is averaging 70,000 readers a day.

  • The Un-Friendship Bracelet - In the first book of the Craftily Ever After chapter book series, a new student gets between best friends Emily and Maddie—and changes the meaning of their friendship bracelets! Emily Adams, Maddie Wilson, Bella Diaz, and Sam Sharma are eight-year-olds with one special thing in common: they love to create. They each have unique talents, too! Emily is great at constructing and building; Maddie has an eye for fashion, fabrics, and sewing; Bella is a gadget whiz; and Sam is a gifted artist. Together, these four crafty friends dream up new projects to design, build, and create and through their experiences, they’ll learn how to handle various obstacles at school and in their everyday eight-year-old lives. In the first Craftily Ever After book, best friends Emily and Maddie are so close that they spend most of their free time together, and wear matching friendship bracelets, too! One day, a new student named Bella Diaz shows up at Mason Creek Elementary. Maddie immediately befriends her, discovering that she too is really crafty. As Maddie and Bella spend more time together, Emily finds herself spending more time alone…until she realizes that the boy who’s been sitting next to her in class this whole time loves to draw and create just like she does. When Emily’s friendship bracelet falls off and Maddie doesn’t even notice, Emily begins to think that maybe it was an un-friendship bracelet after all. With easy-to-read language and illustrations on almost every page, the Craftily Ever After chapter books are perfect for emerging readers.

  • Turtle in Paradise - Life isn’t like the movies and 11-year-old Turtle is no Shirley Temple. She’s smart and tough and has seen enough of the world not to expect a Hollywood ending. After all, it’s 1935 and money and sometimes even dreams are scarce. So when Turtle’s mother gets a job housekeeping for a lady who doesn’t like kids, Turtle says goodbye and heads off to Florida to live with relatives. Florida’s like nothing Turtle’s ever seen before though. It’s full of rag tag boy cousins, family secrets to unravel . . . and even a little bit of fun. Before she knows what’s happened, Turtle finds herself coming out of her shell and as she does, her world opens up in the most unexpected ways. Inspired by family stories, three-time Newbery Honor winner Jennifer L. Holm blends family lore with America’s past, in this charming, gem of a novel rich in history, humor, and the unique flavors of Key West.

  • High Fidelity - Now a Hulu TV series starring Zoë Kravitz! I’ve always loved Nick Hornby, and the way he writes characters and the way he thinks. It’s funny and heartbreaking all at the same time.–Zoë Kravitz From the bestselling author of About a Boy, A Long Way Down and Dickens and Prince, a wise and hilarious novel about love, heartbreak, and rock and roll. Rob is a pop music junkie who runs his own semi-failing record store. His girlfriend, Laura, has just left him for the guy upstairs, and Rob is both miserable and relieved. After all, could he have spent his life with someone who has a bad record collection? Rob seeks refuge in the company of the offbeat clerks at his store, who endlessly review their top five films; top five Elvis Costello songs; top five episodes of Cheers. Rob tries dating a singer, but maybe it’s just that he’s always wanted to sleep with someone who has a record contract. Then he sees Laura again. And Rob begins to think that life with kids, marriage, barbecues, and soft rock CDs might not be so bad.

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Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret.
Written by Judy Blume
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

Margaret shares her secrets and her spirituality in this iconic Judy Blume novel, beloved by millions, that now has a fresh new look.

Margaret Simon, almost twelve, likes long hair, tuna fish, the smell of rain, and things that are pink. She’s just moved from New York City to Farbook, New Jersey, and is anxious to fit in with her new friends—Nancy, Gretchen, and Janie. When they form a secret club to talk about private subjects like boys, bras, and getting their first periods, Margaret is happy to belong.

But none of them can believe Margaret doesn’t have religion, and that she isn’t going to the Y or the Jewish Community Center. What they don’t know is Margaret has her own very special relationship with God. She can talk to God about everything—family, friends, even Moose Freed, her secret crush.

Margaret is funny and real, and her thoughts and feelings are oh-so-relatable—you’ll feel like she’s talking right to you, sharing her secrets with a friend.

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Anything But Typical
Written by Nora Raleigh Baskin
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-15

Told from the first-person perspective of an autistic boy, Nora Raleigh Baskin’s novel is an enlightening story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in. Jason Blake is an autistic twelve-year-old living in a neurotypical world. Most days it’s just a matter of time before something goes wrong. But Jason finds a glimmer of understanding when he comes across PhoenixBird, who posts stories to the same online site as he does. Jason can be himself when he writes and he thinks that PhoneixBird-her name is Rebecca-could be his first real friend. But as desperate as Jason is to met her, he’s terrified that if they do meet, Rebecca wil only see his autism and not who Jason really is. By acclaimed writer Nora Raleigh Baskin, this is the breathtaking depiction of an autistic boy’s struggles-and a story for anyone who has ever worried about fitting in.

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The Egypt Game
Written by Zilpha Keatley Snyder & illustrated by Alton Raible
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

This classic 1968 Newbery Honor Book, The Egypt Game, is available in a brand new paperback edition!

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After Tupac & D Foster
Written by Jacqueline Woodson
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 12-18

A Newbery Honor BookJacqueline Woodson is the 2018-2019 National Ambassador for Young People’s Literature The day D Foster enters Neeka and her best friend’s lives, the world opens up for them. D comes from a world vastly different from their safe Queens neighborhood, and through her, the girls see another side of life that includes loss, foster families and an amount of freedom that makes the girls envious. Although all of them are crazy about Tupac Shakur’s rap music, D is the one who truly understands the place where he’s coming from, and through knowing D, Tupac’s lyrics become more personal for all of them.The girls are thirteen when D’s mom swoops in to reclaim D–and as magically as she appeared, she now disappears from their lives. Tupac is gone, too, after another shooting; this time fatal. As the narrator looks back, she sees lives suspended in time, and realizes that even all-too-brief connections can touch deeply.

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Tuck Everlasting
Written by Natalie Babbit
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

The classic novel about a young girl who stumbles upon a family’s stunning secret What if you could live forever? Is eternal life a blessing or a curse? That is what young Winnie Foster must decide when she discovers a spring on her family’s property whose waters grant immortality. Members of the Tuck family, having drunk from the spring, tell Winnie of their experiences watching life go by and never growing older. But then Winnie must decide whether or not to keep the Tucks’ secret—and whether or not to join them on their never-ending journey. Praise for Tuck Everlasting by Natalie Babbitt: “A fearsome and beautifully written book that can’t be put down or forgotten.” —The New York Times “Exciting and excellently written.” —The New York Times Book Review “With its serious intentions and light touch the story is, like the Tucks, timeless.” —Chicago Sun-Times “Probably the best work of our best children’s novelist.” —Harper’s “Natalie Babbitt’s great skill is spinning fantasy with the lilt and sense of timeless wisdom of the old fairy tales. . . . It lingers on, haunting your waking hours, making you ponder.” —The Boston Globe “This book is as shapely, crisp, sweet, and tangy as a summer-ripe pear.” —Entertainment Weekly

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  • The Boy with Big, Big Feelings - Meet a boy with feelings so big that they glow from his cheeks, spill out of his eyes, and jump up and down on his chest. When a loud truck drives by, he cries. When he hears a joke, he bursts with joy. When his loved ones are having a hard day, he feels their emotions as if they were his own. The boy tries to cope by stuffing down his feelings, but with a little help and artistic inspiration, the boy realizes his feelings are something to be celebrated. Written by debut picture book author Britney Winn Lee and boldly illustrated by Jacob Souva, The Boy with Big, Big Feelings is relatable for any child, but especially for children experiencing anxiety and extreme emotions, or who have been diagnosed with autism or as a Highly Sensitive Person.

  • Trevor - Jim Averbeck’s and Amy Hevron’s illustrated Trevor is the charming, simple tale of an unlikely friendship between a lonely caged canary and the lemon that hangs from the tree outside his window…

  • It's Your First Day of School, Busy Bus! - Today is the very first day of school! Busy Bus is excited, but he also has some first-day jitters. Will the children like him? Will he be homesick? What if he gets lost?! Luckily, bus driver Ben knows just what to do to make sure that the school year gets off to a great start.

  • Me and Earl and the Dying Girl - New York Times Bestseller The book that inspired the hit film! Sundance U.S. Dramatic Audience Award Sundance Grand Jury Prize This is the funniest book you’ll ever read about death. It is a universally acknowledged truth that high school sucks. But on the first day of his senior year, Greg Gaines thinks he’s figured it out. The answer to the basic existential question: How is it possible to exist in a place that sucks so bad? His strategy: remain at the periphery at all times. Keep an insanely low profile. Make mediocre films with the one person who is even sort of his friend, Earl. This plan works for exactly eight hours. Then Greg’s mom forces him to become friends with a girl who has cancer. This brings about the destruction of Greg’s entire life.Praise for Me and Earl and the Dying GirlSTARRED REVIEW “One need only look at the chapter titles (“Let’s Just Get This Embarrassing Chapter Out of the Way”) to know that this is one funny book.” -Booklist, starred reviewSTARRED REVIEW “A frequently hysterical confessional…Debut novelist Andrews succeeds brilliantly in painting a portrait of a kid whose responses to emotional duress are entirely believable and sympathetic, however fiercely he professes his essential crappiness as a human being. Though this novel begs inevitable thematic comparisons to John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars (2011), it stands on its own in inventiveness, humor and heart.” -Kirkus Reviews, starred review “It is sure to be popular with many boys, including reluctant readers, and will not require much selling on the part of the librarian.” -VOYA “Mr. Andrews’ often hilarious teen dialogue is utterly convincing, and his characters are compelling. Greg’s random sense of humor, terrible self-esteem and general lack of self-awareness all ring true. Like many YA authors, Mr. Andrews blends humor and pathos with true skill, but he steers clear of tricky resolutions and overt life lessons, favoring incremental understanding and growth.” -Pittsburgh Post-GazetteAwards: Capitol Choices 2013 - Noteworthy Titles for Children and Teens Cooperative Children’s Book Center (CCBC) Choices 2013 list - Young Adult Fiction YALSA 2013 Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers YALSA 2013 Best Fiction for Young Adults YALSA 2014 Popular Paperbacks for Young Adults

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The Word for Friend
Written & illustrated by Aidan Cassie
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

From author/illustrator Aidan Cassie, the creator of Sterling, Best Dog Ever and Little Juniper Makes It Big!, comes The Word for Friend, an adorable and timely picture book story about ways to welcome, friendship, and overcoming language barriers that will connect classmates and cultures alike.

Kemala the pangolin is sure she’s going to make friends at her new school in her new country. After all, Kemala loves to talk. The kids at school like talking, too–but their words are all different. This country speaks a language Kemala doesn’t know.

At first, no one understands Kemala either. This realization makes her curl into a little ball, like most pangolins do when they’re nervous. But a classmate helps draw her out with an art project that doubles as a vocabulary exchange. Soon, Kemala is learning the most universal language of all: friendship.

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Cornbread & Poppy
Written by Matthew Cordell
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 6-8

Caldecott medalist Matthew Cordell debuts his first early reader series about two best friends who are as different from each other as can be. Cornbread LOVES planning. Poppy does not. Cornbread ADORES preparing. Poppy does not. Cornbread IS ready for winter. Poppy…is not. But Cornbread and Poppy are the best of friends, so when Poppy is left without any food for the long winter, Cornbread volunteers to help her out. Their search leads them up, up, up Holler Mountain, where these mice might find a new friend…and an old one. Celebrating both partnership and the value of what makes us individuals, young readers will find this classic odd-couple irresistible as they encounter relatable issues with humor and heart. Publishing simultaneously in hardcover and paperback.

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School for Skylarks
Written & illustrated by Sam Angus
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 9-12

It is 1939. When Lyla is evacuated from her home in London to her great-aunt’s enormous house in the West Country, she expects to be lonely. She has never been to school nor had any friends, and her parents have been at the center of a scandal. But with the house being used to accommodate an entire school of evacuated schoolgirls, there’s no time to think about her old life. Soon there is a horse in a first-floor bedroom and a ferret in Lyla’s sock drawer, hordes of schoolgirls have overrun the house, and Lyla finds out that friends come in all shapes and sizes.

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Katy Duck Makes a Friend
Written by Alyssa Satin Capucilli & illustrated by Henry Cole
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

Dancing diva Katy Duck and her new neighbor Ralph must find a way to play together in this all-new Level 1 Ready-to-Read! When Katy Duck and her family get new neighbors, Katy can hardly wait to show off her dance moves. She is ready to curtsy, twirl and leap! Tra-la-la. Quack, quack! But when Katy’s new neighbor turns out to be a rough-and-tumble boy named Ralph, this dancing duck diva starts to wonder if she and Ralph will ever be able to have fun TOGETHER when their interests are so far apart. This Level 1 beginning reader features sweet text from bestselling author Alyssa Satin Capucilli and charming illustrations from acclaimed illustrator Henry Cole.

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The Shy Little Kitten
Written by Kristen L. Depken & illustrated by Sue DiCicco
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-6

The Shy Little Kitten stars in her first Step into Reading book! This Step 1 Step into Reading title has been adapted from the original Little Golden Book story The Shy Little Kitten, by Cathleen Schurr, for children just learning to read. Freshly illustrated in the style of the original book brought to life by Gustaf Tenggren, this simple, sweet story about a shy kitten and the colorful friends she makes at a picnic is the perfect addition to the Step into Reading line.

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  • The Secret Garden - The Fun Uncle -

    A fun classic filled with adventure and friendship. A story of a young girl who finds herself feeling alone, as many of our young readers will. However, through The Secret Gardner, readers can experience the fun of branching out and trying new things, and the friends that come along the way.

  • The Grizzly Bear Who Lost His GRRRRR! - From the award-winning author and illustrator of Blown Away, Rob Biddulph, comes a delightfully hilarious story about a grizzly bear named Fred who loses his GRRRRR. Each year, for as long as the forest has stood, a contest is held for the bears of the wood… Fred is the champion. He’s the best. But being the best takes time and training, especially when it comes to having the loudest growl. Then, one morning, disaster strikes—Fred’s GRRRRR is gone! Oh, no! Will Fred find his GRRRRR and realize that there’s more to life than being a winner?

  • To the Sea - Sometimes Tim feels invisible at school-until one day, when Tim meets Sam. But Sam isn’t just any new friend: he’s a blue whale, and he can’t find his way home! Returning Sam to the sea is hard work, but Tim is determined to help. After all, it’s not every day you meet a new friend! This picture book about the power of friendship by new talent Cale Atkinson is brought to life by charming, dynamic illustrations.

  • Blue Chameleon - Chameleon can turn himself into anything and appear to fit in anywhere, but it seems that neither the swirly snail, the green grasshopper nor the striped sock want to be friends. Will he ever find someone to talk to? Someone just like him? With a subtle and witty interplay between words and illustrations this introduction to colors and shapes (and chameleons!) is sure to delight kids of all ages.

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Albie Newton
Written by Josh Funk & illustrated by Ester Garay
picture book
Recommend Ages: 5-9

Meet Albie Newton: child genius. But when this whiz of an inventor enters a new preschool, his perfect plan for making friends turns into a disaster: he steals the hamster’s wheel, snatches the wings off a toy airplane, and generally creates a giant mess. Now everyone’s angry! Will his new invention delight the other kids enough to make everything right–and win their friendship?

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New Kid
Written & illustrated by Jerry Craft
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

Perfect for fans of Raina Telgemeier and Gene Luen Yang, New Kid is a timely, honest graphic novel about starting over at a new school where diversity is low and the struggle to fit in is real, from award-winning author-illustrator Jerry Craft.

Seventh grader Jordan Banks loves nothing more than drawing cartoons about his life. But instead of sending him to the art school of his dreams, his parents enroll him in a prestigious private school known for its academics, where Jordan is one of the few kids of color in his entire grade.

As he makes the daily trip from his Washington Heights apartment to the upscale Riverdale Academy Day School, Jordan soon finds himself torn between two worlds—and not really fitting into either one. Can Jordan learn to navigate his new school culture while keeping his neighborhood friends and staying true to himself?

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Spike, the Mixed-up Monster
Written by Susan Hood & illustrated by Melissa Sweet
Thoughts from The Fun Uncle
This cute monster has to figure out how to navigate through the adventure of making friends. Very fun!
picture book
Recommend Ages: 4-8

Meet Spike, a lovable monster—and a real-life salamander—who’s looking for friends in this lively picture book that includes Spanish vocabulary. Spike is a scary-looking salamander who keeps trying to frighten other animals—until he finds that using fear is not the best way to make friends. And since Spike lives in Mexico (he is an endangered species called the axolotl), this story is peppered with easy-to-understand Spanish words. In addition to a charming tale of friendship, this picture book contains nonfiction information about the axolotl and a Spanish/English glossary.

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Maurice the Unbeastly
Written by Amy Dixon & illustrated by Karl James Mountford
picture book
Recommend Ages: 3-6

No ordinary beast, Maurice is neat, polite, photogenic, and his roar is delightful to the ear, which leads his parents to enroll him at the Abominable Academy for Brutish Beasts, where he realizes he has a few things he can teach his fellow beasts.

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The Magic Misfits
Written by Neil Patrick Harris & illustrated by Lissy Marlin and Kyle Hinton
chapter book
Recommend Ages: 8-12

From award-winning actor, Neil Patrick Harris, comes the magical first book in a new series with plenty of tricks up its sleeve. When street magician Carter runs away, he never expects to find friends and magic in a sleepy New England town. But like any good trick, things change instantly as greedy B.B. Bosso and his crew of crooked carnies arrive to steal anything and everything they can get their sticky fingers on. After a fateful encounter with the local purveyor of illusion, Dante Vernon, Carter teams up with five other like-minded illusionists. Together, using both teamwork and magic, they’ll set out to save the town of Mineral Wells from Bosso’s villainous clutches. These six Magic Misfits will soon discover adventure, friendship, and their own self-worth in this delightful new series. (Psst. Hey, you! Yes, you! Congratulations on reading this far. As a reward, I’ll let you in on a little secret… This book isn’t just a book. It’s a treasure trove of secrets and ciphers and codes and even tricks. Keep your eyes peeled and you’ll discover more than just a story–you’ll learn how to make your own magic!)

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