Books about Friendship – Recommended by Teachers

Making friends is not easy for every child. If some of your students are struggling, or if you just have one of those classes that doesn’t get along, reading a pertinent book out loud could help. I asked my Facebook followers for their favorite books about friendship, and of course, they had all kinds of great ideas. Thanks so much to all who contributed! If you want more details on a particular title, just click on the link in the book’s title or on the image and you will be taken to Amazon, where you can read more.Books about friendship are important for every classroom, whether they're the class novel you choose to read, the book you read aloud to the class, or options in your classroom library. Making friends isn't easy for every child, and some kids need guidance on how to make friends and how to be good friends.
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Chapter Books

The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes 
“I like the chapter book The Hundred Dresses by Eleanor Estes to start the school year in 4th grade. It has a wonderful message about not standing by and watching while someone else gets bullied. It also teaches kids not to be a follower.”-Michelle Byram James

“Great for talking about friendship and bullying. I always start out the year with it with my 4th graders.”-Susan Neel

Wonder by R. J. Palacio
Screenshot of cover of Wonder by R.J. Palacio“Sometimes being a good friend is hard.”-Sarah Miller

Wonder… New book!! I so love it!!!” -Stacey Thomas McNerney


Rules by Cynthia Lord
“I love that one of the main characters in this book is an EC child and the relationship that builds.” -Lisa Travis

Because of Winn-Dixie by Kate DiCamillo

“We find friends everywhere and in the least likely people and places.” -Danielle Dillon

“For my fourth graders, I use Because of Winn-Dixie to show that friendship comes in all shapes and sizes/ages.” -Cindy Corp

The Outsiders by S.E. Hinton 
“I don’t know how ‘old’ you want to go, but my 7th graders read The Outsiders every year and it is always well-received.” -Laurel Stone

Charlotte’s Web
by E.B. White

Charlotte’s Web to show what friends are willing to do for each other.” -Cindy Corp

“Friends come in all packages. In the end it is true friendship that endures!”-Gardner’s Book Service
“Greatest book about friendship ever! We used it in 4th grade as a whole novel study, including vocabulary, comprehension tests, and lots of crafts.” -Linda Jones Doherty


Farfallina & Marcel by Holly Keller
“It is about how friendship changes as we grow and develop (but told cleverly). It points out that even though we may be different, bigger, etc., we can still be friends because the friendship is greater than the change.”-Karina Darling
Lions of Little Rock by Krisin Levin
The Lions of Little Rock…story of two girls of different races in the 60s and their friendship. Very powerful book.”-Amanda Rayburn
There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Louis Sachar is one of my favorite read alouds with my 4th graders. The students can relate to the characters, and they learn valuable lessons about true friendship and acceptance from Bradley Chalkers and Jeff Fishkin.”-Melany McCauslin Rios
Just As Long As We’re Together by Judy Blume 
“One of my childhood favorite chapter books is Just As Long As We’re Together by Judy Blume. It always reminds me of the song ‘Make New Friends,’ the words of which go, “‘Make new friends, but keep the old. One is silver and the other’s gold. A circle is round. It has no end. That’s how long I want to be your be your friend.'”-Josette Soard Nase
The Sorta Sisters by Adrian Fogelin 
“I just finished reading The Sorta Sisters by Adrian Fogelin, which is about two girls who have never met but become friends through writing letters back and forth to each other. It would be neat to somehow incorporate reading this book with a pen pal activity.”-Josette Soard Nase 
Surprises According to Humphrey by Betty G. Birney 
“I like any Humphrey the Hamster books. They seem too young for my 4th graders but they love Humphrey. He is a classroom hamster who helps his human classmates with problems ranging from bullying to hurt feelings. He helps out some of the adults, as well. I also like the way the students in Humphrey’s class have personalities and lives that are found in my class.”-Rachel Geyer
Freak the Mighty by Rodman Philbrick 
“Tells a story of an unlikely friendship between two boys who rely on each other’s strengths to overcome their own weaknesses.”-Krista Moser “Two unlikely misfits find friendship. I have never met a middle school kid that didn’t relate to that book.”-Charlee Nall Allen
Fly Guy Series by Tedd Arnold 
“Great for the friendship between a boy and his pet fly! 1st-2nd grade reading level, but my 4th graders LOVE Fly Guy!”

-April Dawn Davidson


Picture Books

Yo! Yes? by Chris Raschka 
“Children’s book about friendship…Yo! Yes? It’s great! Not a lot of words, but kids get it. Great for inference!”

-Melanie Stubbs-Kight

Leonardo the Terrible Monster by Mo Willems 
“It is about the decision making to BE a friend.” -Lisa Weber Mattes 

Hugs from Pearl by Paul Schmid 
“The social worker and I (SLP) co-taught Hugs from Pearl. I got the idea from Pinterest. Super cute for the K-1 age group.”-Shelly Gehring Gervase

Enemy Pie
by Derek Munson 

“I use it with my fourth graders (although it would be appropriate for younger kids, too) because it tells about one boy deciding not to like another boy until he actually spends time with him and gets to know him. They become fast friends.”-Kim Arnold


My Best Friend by Mary Ann Rodman 
“Great book teaching kids about to like themselves and to not be someone they’re not.”-Allison Perani Hogan 

Elmer the Elephant by David McKee 
“Themes of friendship, differences, acceptance. Easy to do extension art project: tissue paper pieces on a white elephant–cut out, spritz with water, watch the beautiful colors run, shake off tissue when dry – voila! Your very own Elmer!”-Lynn M. Chiafullo


More Teacher Suggestions

Cork & Fuzz: Best Friends by Dori Chaconas

The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein (though you might want to have a discussion about establishing boundarie and how much giving is too much)

Holes by Louis Sachar

Bridge to Terabithia by Katherine Paterson

Andrew Henry’s Meadow by Doris Burn

Maniac Magee by Jerry Spinelli

The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania of Jordan

The Crayon Box that Talked by Shane Derolf

Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch by Eileen Spinelli

Christina Katerina and the Box by Patricia Lee Gauch

The Frog and Toad Collection by Arnold Lobel

Each Little Bird that Sings by Deborah Wiles

A Taste of Blackberries by Doris Buchanan Smith

If you are working on friendship in your class, then you might also want to download these free friendship cards.

Friendship Task Cards for Grades 1-5 - Social skills prompts to help your students make and keep friends

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