In the rich history of literature, the enduring bonds between friends have inspired many books about friendship. The power of friendship holds a powerful place in many people’s minds; lovers may come and go, but true friends remain. Many people’s childhoods are filled with cherished memories of great experiences and misadventures between best friends. Books about friendship help to explore this territory, reminding readers of their own favorite friends.
Friendship comes in many stripes, from fleeting acquaintances to lifelong soulmates. The struggle to make and keep friends is a common theme; self-help authors have written many books about friendship to help readers of all ages improve their friendships. Fiction authors have also tapped into the well of friendship to give readers models of enduring friends, from Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee to Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer. If you’re in the mood to read about fast friends or want to learn how to be a better friend, consider reading one of the many books about friendship.
#1 – How Do Dinosaurs Play with Their Friends?
Featuring cute illustrations and fun rhymes for children, this book teaches the importance of sharing with the help of friendly dinosaurs. As they watch the gargantuan dinosaurs engage in silly antics, the book’s young readers are encouraged to always play nice. Children will also learn how to make the most of their playtime.
#2 – A Little Book About Friendship
In this heartwarming book about an unlikely friendship, a friendly lion named Lionel meets a lamb named Louie. The two quickly become friends, but must face an obstacle to their friendship when Lionel accidentally scares his new friend. Their adventures teach the new pair of friends about forgiveness, understanding and friendship.
#3 – The Giving Tree
This children’s book about selfless friendship follows the story of a young boy and an apple tree who can talk to each other. As the boy ages, the tree offers him many gifts, including apples and wood. The boy learns the value of selflessness through the actions of the kind tree.
#4 – The Rainbow Fish
One day, a small and plain fish asks Rainbow Fish, an elegant fish with sparkling scales, for one of his scales. Rainbow Fish declines, causing the other fish to avoid Rainbow Fish. After seeking advice from an octopus, Rainbow Fish learns how to share his beauty with the other fish and makes friends in the process.
#5 – Tomas Loves…: A Rhyming Book about Fun, Friendship – and Autism
This book, like many children’s books about friendship, uses playful rhymes and colorful illustrations to introduce young children to autism. Tomas is a young boy who loves his dog and his trampoline, but doesn’t like sudden changes and loud noises. Through the lessons in the book, children can learn that their autistic friends are just like them in many ways.
#6 – Wonder
Auggie is a shy young boy with a rare medical deformity on his face, making him an easy target for bullies. At his new school, Auggie thinks he has made some friends, but some of them talk about him behind his back. Auggie doesn’t give up, however, and his good example teaches the other students how to be kind.
#7 – Armond Goes to a Party: A Book about Asperger’s and Friendship
For children with Asperger’s, attending a party can be a frightening challenge. Armond, however, is determined to go Felicia’s birthday party, and with the help of his mother and friends, he makes it to the party and has a grand time.
#8 – Corduroy
Tucked on a shelf in a department store, a stuffed teddy bear named Corduroy awaits a friend and an owner. One day, a young girl spots him, but her mother decides against buying the bear because he is missing a button on his overalls. The bear embarks on a journey to find the missing button, wandering all around the store. Although he isn’t successful in his quest, the young girl returns the next day and buys the bear with her own money, starting a beautiful friendship between the two.
#9 – The Crayon Box That Talked
In this tale about learning how to get along, talking crayons stuck together in a crayon box argue and fight constantly with each other. The story’s narrator shows the crayons how to get along after drawing a complete picture with each of them. The crayons begin to understand the value of their differences and how working together can produce amazing results.
#10 – Wiggle-Dee-Dee: A Story About Friendship
Ellen S. Cromwell
After crawling out of an egg, a young caterpillar begins a quest to find her mother. She comes across a worm and wonders if the worm is her mother. The worm befriends the lonely caterpillar, beginning a friendship between two tiny creatures despite the big differences between them.
#11 – My Friend Rabbit
On a sunny day, Mouse lets his friend Rabbit borrow his toy airplane. Rabbit is thrilled, but trouble soon follows as the toy ends up stuck in a tree. Mouse, however, is a patient friend and doesn’t get mad at Rabbit. This book, like many other children’s books about friendship, teaches valuable lessons about loyalty, patience and understanding between friends.
#12 – Charlotte’s Web
Wilbur, a lonely pig on a farm, befriends a spider named Charlotte. When Charlotte learns that Wilbur is facing the possibility of becoming dinner, she concocts a plot to leave messages about Wilbur in her webs, making the farm locally famous. She succeeds in saving his life and weaves an important message about love for all readers.
#13 – Friends to the End: The True Value of Friendship
Bradley Trevor Greive
This short and charming book about friendship shares nuggets of wisdom about companionship. Each page features a vivid picture of friendly animals with a caption designed to make the reader smile. The author includes quotes highlighting the whole spectrum of friendship experiences, from the positive to the negative.
#14 – Frog and Toad Are Friends
This beloved children’s book about friendship explores the wonderful relationship between Frog and Toad. The book includes five stories to illustrate the devotion between the two, starting with Frog trying to get Toad to wake up and get out of bed so that they can play together.
#15 – Because of Winn-Dixie
After moving to a new town with her father, young Opal is struggling to find her place while constantly thinking about the mother who abandoned her. Opal comes across a dog outside the local grocery store and names him Winn-Dixie. The two become fast friends, and the scruffy dog helps Opal make new friends and let go of the past.
#16 – Bridge to Terabithia
In “Bridge to Terabithia,” two lonely children, Jessie and Leslie, become friends and form their own imaginary kingdom in a nearby forest. The pair use the Terabithia kingdom to escape the difficulties and stresses in their own lives, including bullies. Tragedy strikes, however, and Jessie must learn how to move on without Leslie at his side.
#17 – Holes
After a series of unfortunate events, Stanley Yelnats finds himself at Camp Green Lake, a desolate wasteland with no lake that is supposed to build character for wayward youths. The camp warden forces the young boys to dig holes every single day. Stanley realizes that the warden is searching for something in this fun mystery book about friendship and family.
#18 – Rules
Young Catherine lives her life by the rules and is constantly trying to help her autistic brother David to follow the same rules. Catherine’s life is changed completely when she meets Jason, a boy who cannot speak or walk. Catherine comes to realize that normal is difficult to define as she makes new friends who are very different from her.
#19 – The Hunger Games
Life in District 13, the poorest district in the nation of Panem, is hard, but Katniss survives thanks to the bond she shares with her family and friends. However, when her younger sister is chosen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, Katniss volunteers to take her sister’s place in the fight to the death between representatives of the oppressed Districts. Katniss must rely on her own wits and the strength of her friends to make it through the Hunger Games alive.
#20 – The Outsiders
Ponyboy Curtis is a young man from the wrong side of town. Although he lives on the outskirts of society and doesn’t have much to call his own, he does have his brother and his gang, the Greasers. He and his friends often engage in minor scuffles with the rich kids, the Socs, but when something goes terribly wrong one day, the limits of Ponyboy’s friendships are stretched to the breaking point.
#21 – The Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants
In this book about friendship aimed at teenagers, four girls decide to stay in touch during their summer separation by mailing a pair of jeans between the four of them. The girls believe the pants are magical and experience amazing events while taking turns with the pants. The girls also exchange letters, telling stories of fun travels in Greece and first-time kisses at soccer camp.
#22 – Divergent
Tris lives in a dystopian future version of Chicago, in a society split between five factions. Upon reaching adulthood, each child is sorted into one of the factions. When Tris learns that she is divergent, the term for someone who possesses an affinity for multiple factions, she must choose her own fate. As she joins the Dauntless faction, Tris must grapple with authority, self-determination and friendship as she and her friends uncover evidence of a plot against the government.
#23 – Fangirl
Cath and her sister Wren have been best friends since childhood, but the two are separated when Wren decides to seek out a new roommate for college. Cath has trouble adjusting to this arrangement, and she feels even worse when she realizes that Wren will no longer help her with the fan fiction she’s been writing. Lonely without Wren, Cath begins to reach out to her roommate, Reagan, and learns to make new friends.
#24 – Freak the Mighty
Maxwell, a towering student with a learning disability, befriends Kevin, an intelligent young boy with physical disabilities. Together, the two are able to successfully fend off attacks from bullies and go on many adventures, including escaping the clutches of Maxwell’s murderous father.
#25 – Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone
Harry Potter has spent his entire life sleeping in a broom closet, the unloved child that his aunt and uncle never wanted. However, when Harry discovers that he is actually a young wizard, he is swept up into a new world of magic and wonder. When he goes off to wizard school, he finds love and friendship for the first time in his life. However, before his first year of school is over, with the help of his new friends, he must confront the dark past that left him orphaned.
#26 – The Lightning Thief
Inspired by the stories of Greek mythology, this adventure follows the story of Percy Jackson as he learns that he’s the son of Poseidon. Percy must learn how to harness his special powers and meets a colorful cast of characters, including the daughter of Athena. Together, he and his friends must enter the lair of Hades to retrieve a stolen thunderbolt.
#27 – The Fault in Our Stars
Hazel is a 16-year-old cancer patient who has resigned herself to death. Her mother, saddened by Hazel’s depression, insists that Hazel attend a support group for cancer patients to help her deal with her condition. While at the group, Hazel meets Augustus, a fellow cancer patient who has lost his leg to his cancer, but not his sense of humor. After bonding over movies and books, the pair develop a friendship that grows into love.
#28 – Just As Long As We’re Together
Stephanie Hirsch is feeling overburdened with many life changes happening at once, including starting middle school and watching as her parent’s relationship breaks apart. Her friendship with her childhood friend, Rachel Robinson, seems threatened when a new girl moves into town, disrupting their normal dynamic. Together, the girls will have to learn how to handle some of the challenges of growing up.
#29 – If I Stay
After a horrific car accident, Mia’s entire family is killed, leaving her in a coma as the only survivor. Mia finds her consciousness separated from her body, allowing her to watch events unfold as her physical body is taken to the hospital. As she watches over her body, Mia reflects on her life and on her friendships. She must decide whether to stay in the land of the living or move on.
#30 – Code Name Verity
Set during World War II, this book about friendship centers on two British women. One of the women, Verity, is a spy for the British government and is captured by the Nazis. Through her handwritten confession, she reflects on her friendship with Maddie, her pilot. The second portion of the novel tells the story from Maddie’s perspective and details her efforts to save her friend.
#31 – MWF Seeking BFF: My Yearlong Search for a New Best Friend
After getting married and moving to Chicago, Rachel Bertsche realizes her new life is missing one major thing: friends. To find a best friend, Rachel decides she will go on platonic dates once a week for an entire year. This funny memoir recounts the experiences of the author as she realizes just how awkward it can be to make new friends as an adult.
#32 – The Help
The Help, set in the civil rights movement of the 1960s, chronicles the lives and friendships of African-American maids working in Mississippi. Skeeter is a recent college graduate who dreams of becoming a published author. After asking Aibileen, an African-American maid, for help writing an advice column about household tips, Skeeter begins to make friends with Aibileen and the other maids that serve her community. When an injustice strikes one of the maids, the friends work together with Skeeter to share their stories and expose the truth about the abuses they have endured from their white employers.
#33 – Breaking the Male Code: Unlocking the Power of Friendship
The author of this book about male friendship argues that men today are prone to hiding their emotions due to pressure from society. This emotional dishonesty can lead to depression and anger. With this book, men can learn how to improve their own emotional communication skills, leading to deeper friendships and relationships.
#34 – Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood
In the 1930s, a group of women became close friends, dubbing themselves members of the “Ya-Ya Sisterhood.” Years later, Siddalee, the daughter of one of the members of the sisterhood, struggles to get along with her mother. She receives a scrapbook detailing the exploits of the “Ya-Ya Sisterhood” and begins to see her mother in a new light.
#35 – Home Is Where My People Are: The Roads That Lead Us to Where We Belong
Sophie Hudson takes her readers on a journey through the southern United States, meeting interesting people and retelling funny anecdotes along the way. Through it all, Hudson shares an important message. Home is more than a building with a roof; home is also the people in your life.
#36 – Of Mice and Men
John Steinbeck’s classic novel about friendship follows the lives of two migrant workers, Lennie Small and George Milton, as they embark on a journey to find work during the Great Depression. The two friends are inseparable and share a dream of owning their own land. Although they manage to find work at a ranch, trouble awaits them at the hands of the ranch owner’s son, Curley.
#37 – Summer Sisters
This book about friendship covers the lasting closeness between two childhood friends, Caitlin and Victoria. Although the two were very close for many years, adulthood has caused gaps to appear in their relationship. As Caitlin prepares to get married, she invites Victoria to the wedding, giving the two a chance to figure out what went wrong in their friendship.
#38 – The 5 Love Languages Singles Edition
Gary D Chapman
This book takes the concept of love languages, first introduced in Chapman’s “The 5 Love Languages: The Secret to Love that Lasts,” and applies it to singles. Love is not the exclusive domain of married couples; whether you’re a friend, sibling, coworker or anything else, you still need to love and be loved. By teaching how to best show love and accept love from those around us, Chapman hopes to improve all types of friendships.
#39 – The Joy Luck Club
Written as a series of connecting vignettes, this novel portrays the enduring friendship between four Chinese immigrants and their daughters. The four women meet regularly for games of mahjong to share stories from their lives and keep their spirits high. The story also follows the lives of the daughters as they age into adulthood and deal with their own conflicts.
#40 – Tuesdays with Morrie
In this book about friendship, Mitch Albom reflects on his relationship with his former sociology professor, Morrie Schwartz. The two had lost contact after Albom’s graduation, but they renewed their friendship when Schwartz began to suffer ill health. The book covers Albom’s time in college and reflects on the many lessons he learned from his teacher.
#41 – The Science of Making Friends: Helping Socially Challenged Teens and Young Adults
Elizabeth Laugeson and John Elder Robison
Aimed at parents of children with socialization challenges, including those with autism, this book about friendship offers concise steps to improve socialization skills. Topics covered include improving conversational skills, learning social etiquette and building strategies to deal with bullies.
#42 – When Friendship Hurts: How to Deal with Friends Who Betray, Abandon, or Wound You
Some friendships don’t last, and the consequences of a failed relationship can lead to pain and depression. In this book, Jan Yager discusses the common causes of failed friendships. She also gives advice on how to repair a broken friendship and explains the signs that indicate a friendship can’t be fixed, advice that is often missing from many books about friendship.
#43 – What Remains: A Memoir of Fate, Friendship, and Love
This memoir chronicles the life experiences of Carole Radziwill, who rose from a working-class background to become a television producer at ABC and marry Anthony Radziwill, the cousin of John F. Kennedy, Jr. When Kennedy’s plane plunged into the ocean, Radziwill lost her best friend, Kennedy’s wife, Carolyn Bassett Kennedy; weeks later, Carole lost her husband to cancer. Radziwill explores the aftermath of her tragedy, using her own experiences to help guide others through the ties of love and friendship.
#44 – The Kite Runner
Two young boys living in Afghanistan during the 1970s become friends, despite big differences between them; Amir belongs to a wealthy family, while Hazara is the son of the family’s servant. The two boys spend their days playing together, but huge changes loom in the country’s future, threatening to destroy their bond.
#45 – The Bridesmaid Guide: Modern Advice on Etiquette, Parties, and Being Fabulous
Kate Chynoweth and Neryl Walker
Accepting the role of the bridesmaid for your friend is an important job that requires poise and extra work to pull off successfully. In this book, friends of the bride can learn the latest wedding etiquette and how to host memorable events, including bachelorette parties and wedding showers. The book also includes templates for invitations for wedding parties.
#46 – Nobody’s Cuter than You: A Memoir about the Beauty of Friendship
Although we now have hundreds of so-called friends on Instagram and Twitter, true friends are a precious commodity. This book about lifelong friendships, written by bestselling author Melanie Shankle, reflects on the value of the friends who betray us, laugh at us and love us through the good times and the bad.
#47 – Kindred Spirits, Forever Wacky Friends
Using relaxed poetry and whimsical art, Suzy Toronto celebrates the extraordinarily deep friendships between women. As with all of her books about friendship, the author revels in the close and intimate relationships that develop when two women who could be sisters find each other. These friends are the ultimate treasures, the rocks that will be there to support you as you laugh and cry your way through life.
#48 – How to Make Friends as an Introvert: Discover Introvert-Friendly Ways to Meet New People, Improve Your Social Skills, and Make New Friends
Although there are millions of introverts in the world, their shy and reserved natures often work against them as they attempt to make friends. Most books about friendship assume that their readers are extroverts, but in this book, the author teaches introverts how they can bring their strengths to bear in the social world. By targeting common myths about introversion and giving practical advice, Nicholson hopes to improve the lives of introverts who want more friends.
#49 – How to Be a Friend: A Book about Friendship
In this charming children’s book about friendship, Molly Wigand helps children to learn solid friendship skills that will last them a lifetime. Although these skills are invaluable, many schools don’t teach children the basics of building and maintaining friendships. By teaching children about the essential values on which friendships are built, including loyalty, honesty and trust, Wigand hopes that children will develop the ability to make lifelong friends.
#50 – Friendship Factor
Alan Loy Mcginnis
Friendship Factor, originally published in 1979, explores how the warmth of friendship and caring forms the core around which healthy relationships are built. The author explores case histories from famous individuals, such as C.S. Lewis, to help teach about friendship. He also gives advice on cultivating friendships and creating healthy relationships, making this book one of the best practical books about friendship.