Friends and Frenemies

Friends are the family people choose.

“Friends are the figures who support us and who shape us, who help us become the best versions of ourselves.”  ~Angela Sheldrick, DSWT

F.R.I.E.N.D.S.

Fight for you.

Respect you.

Include you.

Encourage you.

Deserve you.

Stand by you.

For middle schoolers (kids in grades 5-8) finding and keeping friends is at the core of their early adolescent development. It’s really a small window of time—a speedbump in the whole scheme of things—but it’s also a period of great personal evolution. Middle schoolers begin puberty, seek more independence from their parents, and often struggle to define their sense of self.

Many middle grade novels revolve around the main character’s blossoming friendships and sworn enemies. These stories show middle schoolers as they move away from their friends they’ve had since kindergarten, test their limits (and often their parents’/guardians’ patience), and try to figure out how they fit in the world without getting lost in the shuffle.


ZENOBIA JULY
by Lisa Bunker

An important, well-written book that should be front and center on every bookshelf.
Trans girl struggles to find her place with a new school, new guardians, and new friends.

 


7 RIDDLES TO NOWHERE
by A.J. CATTAPAN

THE YEAR OF THE DOG
by Grace Lin

BECAUSE OF MR. TERUPT
by ROB BUYEA

 


SAVE ME A SEAT
by Sarah Weeks and Gita Varadarajan

STRANGE BIRDS
by Celia C. Pérez