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Bishop's Stortford College librarian Lizzie Hall lists her top books about friendship including stories by Kate Mallinder, Ashley Woodfolk and Sally Rooney




Bishop's Stortford College Prep School librarian Lizzie Hall writes about the magic of storytelling...

Dear Reader. Friendships are so important to our children's health and emotional wellbeing so stories that show them how to be a good friend are invaluable.

Through books they teach themselves how to navigate social challenges, to listen when someone needs help and, most importantly, show them how a simple act of kindness can brighten someone's day.

Here are some books about friendship to read this week...

Babies and toddlers

While We Can't Hug by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar

"Hedgehog and Tortoise were the best of friends.

They wanted to give each other a great, big hug.

But they weren't allowed to touch.

'Don't worry,' said Owl. 'There are lots of ways to show someone you love them'."

While We Can’t Hug by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar (39509102)
While We Can’t Hug by Eoin McLaughlin and Polly Dunbar (39509102)

So the two friends wave to each other, blow kisses, sing songs, dance around and write letters. And even though they can't hug and they can't touch, they both know that they are loved.

A gorgeous, uplifting, inspiring picture book that makes social distancing fun!

Ages 5-8

The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons by Andy Shepherd

Eleven-year-old Tomas has a secret friend like no other: Flicker, a dragon with glittering eyes and scales that flicker from fiery orange to ruby red.

But Tomas is also having to get used to Flicker being away, now that his dragon's home is back in the frosty North.

Adventure is never far away for Tomas, though - as he finds out when another dragon hatches on the dragon fruit tree at the bottom of the garden, a dragon who quite quickly decides he is sticking firmly with Tomas! Zing is a tiny dragon with oversized wings, who causes havoc wherever he goes.

When a new girl, Aura, starts at school, proclaiming herself to be a dragon expert, Tomas is thrown into confusion. He is the one with the dragons and the dragon fruit tree, after all!

Before he knows it, Tomas has blurted out his secret to Aura, and sets in motion a chain of events which will lead to adventures and mayhem aplenty.

The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons by Andy Shepherd (39509100)
The Boy Who Dreamed of Dragons by Andy Shepherd (39509100)

Ages 9-12

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

A story about finding friendship when you're lonely - and hope when all you feel is fear.

Twelve-year-old Matthew is trapped in his bedroom by crippling OCD, spending most of his time staring out of his window as the inhabitants of Chestnut Close go about their business.

That is until the day he is the last person to see his next-door neighbour's toddler, Teddy, before he goes missing.

Matthew must turn detective and unravel the mystery of Teddy's disappearance - with the help of a brilliant cast of supporting characters.

The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson
The Goldfish Boy by Lisa Thompson

Tweens

Asking for a Friend by Kate Mallinder

A feel-good story about valuing the friends that value you.

Agnes, Hattie and Jake travel on the school bus together but don't know each other well. They plan a week in Weston as a 'study break' before exams but none of them admit the real reasons they need to get away.

Agnes must find her sister. Hattie can't bear being home now all her friends have ghosted her. And Jake is afraid he's ill and has absolutely no idea how to tell anyone.

Thrown together, what will happen when the secrets start to spill out?

Asking for a Friend by Kate Mallinder (39509098)
Asking for a Friend by Kate Mallinder (39509098)

Teens

When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk

"You can't rewrite the past, but you can always choose to start again".

It's been 27 days since Cleo and Layla's friendship imploded. Nearly a month since Cleo realized they'll never be besties again.

Now Cleo wants to erase every memory, good or bad, that tethers her to her ex-best friend. But pretending Layla doesn't exist isn't as easy as Cleo hoped, especially after she's assigned to be Layla's tutor.

Despite budding friendships with other classmates and a raging crush on a gorgeous boy named Dom, Cleo's turbulent past with Layla comes back to haunt them both.

Alternating between timelines of then and now, When You Were Everything blends past and present into an emotional story about the beauty of self-forgiveness, the promise of new beginnings and the courage it takes to remain open to love.

When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk (39509096)
When You Were Everything by Ashley Woodfolk (39509096)

Adults

Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney

Frances is 21 years old, cool-headed and observant. A student in Dublin and an aspiring writer, at night she performs spoken word with her best friend Bobbi, who used to be her girlfriend.

When they are interviewed and then befriended by Melissa, a well-known journalist who is married to Nick, an actor, they enter a world of beautiful houses, raucous dinner parties and holidays in Provence, beginning a complex ménage-à-quatre.

But when Frances and Nick get unexpectedly closer, the sharply witty and emotion-averse Frances is forced to honestly confront her own vulnerabilities for the first time.

Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney (39509094)
Conversations With Friends by Sally Rooney (39509094)


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