Reading fiction is delightful for many reasons, but especially because of the connection we often feel to the characters. When I read as a kid, I definitely immersed myself in the friendships in stories.
I absolutely felt like an extra member of the Babysitter’s Club when I read those books, and I remember discussing which character I was with my friends. I wanted to be Dawn, with her California cool, but was probably more like Kristy.
One of my favorite literary friendships is that of Anne (with an “E”) and Diana in Anne of Green Gables. L. M. Montgomery beautifully sketches an amazing friendship between these two girls as they navigate adolescence, even though they are different and follow different paths. Many children’s chapter books
chronicle wonderful friendships.
Characters Ivy and Bean—in the series by the same name—initially seem like they won’t get along because they are so different. Ivy is quiet and bookish, and Bean is always on the move. But when they need to work together to get back at Bean’s sister, they become the best of friends.
In the Track series by Jason Reynolds, Ghost and the other members of the track team, Patina, Sunny, and Lu bond and support each other through challenging times. Haley, whose mother has died and whose father is incarcerated, navigates sixth grade with the help of her best friend Holly as they adjust to a new teacher in a class of struggling kids in Harbor Me. Florian Bates, kid detective in the Framed series, is recruited by the FBI and allowed to join, provided he can finish his homework first. Thankfully, his best friend and fellow detective, Margaret, assists with his cases.
I also love the friendship of Harry, Ron, and Hermione in Harry Potter. I especially appreciate the connection between Harry and Hermione. Hermione is always a staunch and dedicated friend to Harry, and helps him through his darkest times.
We cannot forget about the best-est of friends—can you guess who? One has a long trunk, and the other is pink? Yes, Elephant and Piggie! Elephant is sometimes nervous, and Piggie is always up for a laugh—perhaps that’s why they are best friends!
So try out a new book—you may find your literary kindred spirit!