Welcome to Book Explorers! It’s like a book club for kids that you can do anytime, anywhere. This month we’re reading books about friends and friendship.
Books about Friends
Check out any of these books from the library. Anyone who lives in Colorado can get a free library card. Register for a library card online.
Red Shoes by Karen English - “Malika is delighted when Nana surprises her with a beautiful new pair of red shoes! And with a click-clack-click and a swish, swish, swish, Malika wears her wonderful new shoes everywhere she goes. But one day, the shoes begin to pinch Malika's toes...Soon Malika and Nana are off to the Rare Finds Resale Shop, where the shoes can be resold -- so another little girl can enjoy them!” (publisher’s description).
Tag Team by Raúl The Third - “Luchadores El Toro and La Oink Oink are the perfect tag team as they clean up together in this playful and visually stunning early reader! Perfect for fans of Elephant and Piggie, comic book fans, and kids looking to practice both Spanish and English” (publisher’s description).
New Kid by Jerry Craft - “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” (publisher’s description).
El Deafo by Cece Bell - “The author recounts in graphic novel format her experiences with hearing loss at a young age, including using a bulky hearing aid, learning how to lip read, and determining her ‘superpower’” (publisher’s description).
Measuring Up by Lily LaMotte - “Having just moved to Seattle from Taiwan, twelve-year-old Cici enters a cooking competition to win the chance to see her grandmother again, but she only knows how to cook Taiwanese food” (publisher’s description).
Cardboard Kingdom by Chad Sell - “Welcome to a neighborhood of kids who transform ordinary boxes into colorful costumes, and their ordinary block into cardboard kingdom. This is the summer when sixteen kids encounter knights and rogues, robots and monsters--and their own inner demons--on one last quest before school starts again” (publisher’s description).
Pie in the Sky by Remy Lai - “Knowing very little English, eleven-year-old Jingwen feels like an alien when his family immigrates to Australia but copes with loneliness and the loss of his father by baking elaborate cakes” (publisher’s description).
Get a Grip, Vivy Cohen by Sarah Kapit - “In this perfectly pitched novel-in-letters, autistic eleven-year-old Vivy Cohen won't let anything stop her from playing baseball--not when she has a major-league star as her pen pal” (publisher’s description).
Mindy Kim and the Yummy Seaweed Business by Lyla Lee - “Mindy Kim wants to fit in at her new school, but her favorite lunch leads to scorn, then a thriving business, and finally big trouble” (publisher’s description).
Rescue & Jessica: A Life-Changing Friendship by Jessica Krensky and Patrick Downes - “Based on a real-life partnership, the heartening story of the love and teamwork between a girl and her service dog will illuminate and inspire” (publisher’s description).
Books in Spanish
Un trineo para Gabo por Emma Otheguy - “Gabo, shy with other children and having no sled or winter clothing, yearns to go sledding and his neighbor's granddaughter, Isa, helps him find a way” (publisher’s description).
Brillantes nuevos amigos por Heather Ayris Burnell - “Unicorn and Yeti run into each other (literally) while looking for sparkly things, and despite some differences, (for instance Unicorn is magic, Yeti is not, Yeti likes snowball fights, Unicorn can not throw snowballs)--the two become friends over a shared love of hot chocolate with rainbow sprinkles” (publisher’s description).
Stef Soto, la Reina del Taco por Jennifer Torres - “Mexican-American Stef Soto is hoping to break free from her overprotective parents and embarrassing reputation from her family's taco truck business, but she soon learns that family, friendship, and the taco truck are important and wonderful parts of her life” (publisher’s description).
Compañeros de Aventuras : la familia que no se rindió jamás por Cisco Garcia y Raquel Rostro - “Gonzalo details his adventures with his family, including his experiences with his father Cisco García, an athlete whose snowboarding accident left him disabled” (publisher’s description).
Before You Read
Think about it. Before you read one of these books about friendship, take a moment to think about the friends you have in your own life.
- Describe a time when you became friends with someone new. Did you know right away that you wanted to be friends? Or did it take a while for you to become friends?
- Sometimes it seems like there are more books and movies about girls being friends than there are about boys being friends. Why do you think that is? Do you think that’s fair? Is friendship important to boys, girls and people of all genders?
- How are your friends the same as you? How are they different? How do you make friends with someone who is different from you?
Try a buddy read. Ask a friend to read a book about friendship with you. Maybe you can read it out loud to each other. Or, you can each read the book on your own and then talk about what you read. Use the discussion questions on this page to get started.
- In the book you just read, was staying friends always easy? Or did the friends face challenges that made it hard to stay friends?
- How did the friends take care of each other?
- What do you think makes a good friend?
Make a Friendship Bracelet
Get started by cutting four long pieces of colored embroidery thread.
- Organize the four threads and tape them to a table.
- Move left to right and wrap the lead thread around the first color and pull the knot up.
- Move left to right and wrap the lead thread around the second color and pull the knot up.
- Wrap around the last color and pull the knot up.
Join Book Explorers every month for more book discussions and activities for kindergarten through fifth grade!
Educators and caregivers, print these activities to share with the young people in your life: