Welcome to our first Book Review of the new year. For this post, educational writer Barbara Jolie brings four books about friendship for younger readers. Take it away Barbara:

Back to school is an exciting time for everyone; new classes, new teachers, new clothes and new responsibilities. Sometimes our friendships are even new. Learning how to be a good friend is one of the most difficult, yet least talked about, parts of growing up, and parents often don’t know how to react when their children experience social issues at school.

There are several children’s books that cover the topic of friendship and can help your child work through the ups and downs of making and keeping friends. Below are four top-rated examples.

A Smart Girl’s Guide to Friendship Troubles

This book, written by Patti Kelley Criswell, comes from the American Girl Library and has received top ratings from both parents and young readers (ages 8-12). Whether your child is having trouble keeping friends or making friends, “A Smart Girl’s Guide to Friendship Troubles” has them covered. Along with helpful tips on how to deal with bullying, backstabbing, being left out and making new friends, the book also includes real life stories about girls who have solved their friendship problems.


Friendship according to Humphrey

Written by Betty G. Birney, “Friendship according to Humphrey” is part two of the “Humphrey” series. The book tells the story of Humphrey, a classroom pet hamster, who is trying to make friends with the new classroom pet frog, Og. Og doesn’t seem too interested in getting to know Humphrey, though, and to top it off, all the kids in the class have stopped giving Humphrey all the attention. This book will teach your child what to do when someone isn’t so friendly at first, and how to deal with losing all the attention when a new, more interesting person joins the group. Published by Penguin Group USA. For ages 8-12.

Bad Apple: A Tale of Friendship

This short narration by Edward Hemingway is perfect for pre-school and kindergarten students. With simple sentences and endearing illustrations, “Bad Apple” tells the easy-to-understand story of Mac the apple and Will the worm. Mac and Will are great friends, but everyone keeps telling Mac that apples aren’t supposed to be friends with worms. They call Mac “rotten” and “bad”. Mac isn’t quite sure what the truth is, but he sure knows that it isn’t fun to be alone and friendless. Young children won’t have any trouble understanding the lessons taught in the conclusion of this slightly humorous and sweet story.

Making Friends is an Art!

Written by Julia Cook and illustrated by Bridget Barnes, “Making Friends is an Art!” explains how to make new friends in a very cute and genius way. The book tells the tale of Brown, the least used pencil in the box. One day, Brown asks all the other brightly colored pencils in the box why no one likes him. Turns out, Brown just needs to be a good friend to have friends. The book continues with all the pencils helping Brown learn how to use his good friendship skills. Published by Boys Town Press. For ages 4-8.

All of these books can be purchased online or at your local bookstore, including Amazon and Barnes & Nobles.


Barbara Jolie is passionate about education and studying online. When not writing and thinking about all things education, Barbara is busy planning her next vacation and caring for her pet cat and bird. You can reach her at barbara.jolie876@gmail.com.

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