Growing Reader

10 Books About Friendship for Kids Ages 6 – 8

by Melissa Taylor

growing reader friendship
Image credit: Jenny Madrid / EyeEm/Getty Images

As our children grow, we’re constantly on the lookout for different ways to support and develop their social skills. Reading books about friendship can both model what friendship looks like, and also encourage meaningful conversations about what makes a good friend.

These 10 books teach growing readers that we can be friends with people who are different from us and that friendship – like every relationship – requires compromise, kindness, and problem-solving.

  • Want to Play Trucks?

    by Ann Stott, illustrated by Bob Graham

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    Jack and Alex like different things – Jack prefers trucks, while Alex likes dolls. When they get into a fight about dolls in tutus driving a crane, it leads to compromise and, even better, finding things in common they love – playing together and ice cream. A warm-hearted example of friendship that shows that boys can have many interests, even dolls.

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  • Our Friend Hedgehog

    by Lauren Castillo

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    Hedgehog's beloved stuffed animal friend, Mutty, is blown away by a storm, so Hedgehog embarks on a journey to find Mutty. As she searches, she makes new friends like Mole, Owl, and Annika May who help her on her quest. This beautifully illustrated early chapter book feels reminiscent of the colorful animal characters in Winnie-the-Pooh.

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  • A Friend for Bear

    by Steve Smallman, illustrated by Caroline Pedler

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    An exuberant Bear wakes up from hibernation ready to do everything – including run, jump, smell flowers, and find a friend. As things pass her by, Bear gets a reminder from Tortoise to slow down and notice all the things she is not noticing – like the animals who want to be friends. This enchanting story reminds us to savor the precious moment in life that we share with our friends.

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  • Frank and Bean

    by Jamie Michalak, illustrated by Bob Kokar

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    If you are looking for a good laugh, look no further. Kids will crack up reading these funny stories about solitary Frank and his new, exuberant friend Bean. Their opposite personalities show us that anyone can be friends, no matter how different.

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  • My Friend Maggie

    by Hannah E. Harrions

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    To fit in, Paula listens to a mean girl named Veronica and ignores her best friend Maggie. When Veronica begins to say mean things about Paula, her old friend Maggie defends Paula, teaching Paula a valuable lesson about true friendship. Kids need to read this important story about peer pressure and standing up for your friends.

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  • Sweety

    by Andrea Zuill

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    It’s not just the headgear and glasses that make it hard for a naked mole-rat named Sweety to fit in, but it’s also that she’s a little bit intense and weird. Her Aunt Ruth encourages Sweety to stay true to herself, adding that Sweety will find her people soon enough. Sweety takes her aunt's advice and eventually befriends another weirdly cool kid named Sandy in this joyful celebration of individuality.

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  • Good Rosie!

    by Kate DiCamillo, illustrated by Harry Bliss

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    Rosie’s owner takes lonely Rosie to a dog park to make new friends. At first, the other dogs overwhelm her, but Rosie keeps trying, giving the other dogs a chance even though they’re very different than her and some are scarily big. And her persistence pays off with new friends and happiness.

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  • Sadie and the Silver Shoes

    by Jane Godwin, illustrated by Anna Walker

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    Sadie is devastated when she loses her beloved, silvery sparkle shoes – the only new thing she had owned. Sadie doesn’t expect to meet a girl wearing Sadie’s missing silver shoe. With a remarkable generosity of spirit, Sadie and her new friend Ellie share the silver shoes in heartwarming and creative ways.

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  • We Found a Hat

    by Jon Klassen

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    How can two turtles share one hat that they both want? Initially, the friends decide neither one will get the hat, but one turtle internally struggles with wanting the hat, while the other dreams of two hats. This quirky story with brilliant, narrative illustrations will prompt fruitful discussions about sharing and disagreements.

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  • One Cool Friend

    by Toni Buzzeo, illustrated by David Small

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    In this charming story with whimsical illustrations, young Elliot visits the aquarium with his distracted father. Elliot discovers a love for penguins and, in a humorous misunderstanding with his father, takes a penguin home. At home, Elliot hides his new friend from his seemingly clueless father. But his father has a surprise of his own.

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