When Friendship Followed Me Home

By: Paul Griffin

A boy’s chance encounter with a scruffy dog leads to an unforgettable friendship in a moving story about life, loss, and the meaning of family.

ISBN: 9780803738164

JLG Release: Oct 2016


Sensitive Areas: Suggestions of domestic violence
Topics: Friendship , Dogs , Cancer , Adoption , Middle schools , Schools , Libraries , Aunts , Coney Island, Brooklyn

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Awards & Honors

The Kirkus Prize 2016 Nominee, Young Readers

Praise & Reviews

Starred or favorable reviews have been received from these periodicals:

Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books, Booklist, Kirkus Reviews*, Publishers Weekly*, School Library Journal, Voice of Youth Advocates (VOYA)

School Library Journal

Twelve-year-old Ben, a science fiction fan with low self-esteem after years of foster care, meets a stray dog outside the Coney Island Public Library. Flip, with his big eyes and propensity to lick everyone’s mouth, in turn helps Ben get to know a girl who is fighting cancer, and her family. When Ben’s life gets turned upside down again Twelve-year-old Ben, a science fiction fan with low self-esteem after years of foster care, meets a stray dog outside the Coney Island Public Library. Flip, with his big eyes and propensity to lick everyone’s mouth, in turn helps Ben get to know a girl who is fighting cancer, and her family. When Ben’s life gets turned upside down again, Flip remains. This is a “kitchen sink” book; it has bullying, adoption, homelessness, death, abuse, and cancer. However, the optimism of the protagonist combined with the positivity lent by the presence of this loving canine makes this book somehow less hard-hitting than the author’s usual YA dramas. Griffin never throws too much at readers at once, taking his protagonist through each successive challenge, and the dialogue remains consistently light and free of overt emotion. References to science fiction and middle grade literature abound, and there’s some serious admiration for dogs, librarians, and Jacqueline Woodson’s Feathers. The weakest part of this novel is the convoluted science fiction story Ben and the aforementioned girl unspool throughout. The plot-within-a-plot is written by these two imaginative kids with unfettered fancy, with the same quality of a child’s writing. If readers can get past those sections, however, the relentless pull of Ben’s slow character growth through his drama and the big loving doggy presence will pull misty-eyed readers to the very end. VERDICT If you have middle schoolers who are too young to fully grasp John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and love dogs, give them this sweet tearjerker.—Rhona Campbell, Georgetown Day School, Washington, DC

Book Details

ISBN

9780803738164

First Release

October 2016

Genre

Fic

Dewey Classification

Trim Size

5 1/2" x 8 1/4"

Page Count

256

Accelerated Reader

Level 4.1; Points: 7;

Scholastic Reading Counts

Level 4.3; Points: 13;

Lexile

Level 590L

Format

Print Book

Edition

Hardcover edition

Publisher

Dial

Potentially Sensitive Areas

Suggestions of domestic violence

Topics

Friendship, Dogs, Cancer, Adoption, Middle schools, Schools, Libraries, Aunts, Coney Island, Brooklyn,

Standard MARC Record

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Cover Art

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