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When Friendship Followed Me Home
by Paul Griffin


Overview - A breathtaking middle-grade novel about happiness, loss, and an unforgettable dog named Flip

"This story convinced me all over again that love and imagination are life's biggest magic." --Rebecca Stead, author of Newbery Award winner When You Reach Me

Ben Coffin has never been one for making friends.  Read more...


 
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More About When Friendship Followed Me Home by Paul Griffin
 
 
 
Overview
A breathtaking middle-grade novel about happiness, loss, and an unforgettable dog named Flip

"This story convinced me all over again that love and imagination are life's biggest magic." --Rebecca Stead, author of Newbery Award winner When You Reach Me

Ben Coffin has never been one for making friends. As a former foster kid, he knows people can up and leave without so much as a goodbye. Ben prefers to spend his time with the characters in his favorite sci-fi books...until he rescues an abandoned mutt from the alley next-door to the Coney Island Library.

Scruffy little Flip leads Ben to befriend a fellow book-lover named Halley--yes, like the comet--a girl unlike anyone he has ever met. Ben begins thinking of her as "Rainbow Girl" because of her crazy-colored clothes and her laugh, pure magic, the kind that makes you smile away the stormiest day.

Rainbow Girl convinces Ben to write a novel with her. But as their story unfolds Ben's life begins to unravel, and Ben must discover for himself the truth about friendship and the meaning of home.

Paul Griffin's breathtaking middle-grade debut will warm your heart as much as it breaks it.

"Full of pace and laughter, bruises and heart. Paul Griffin is the sort of writer you're torn between telling the whole world about and keeping all to yourself."--Markus Zusak, author of Printz Honor Winner The Book Thief

"'Friendship' is an absolutely beautiful, heart-expanding book. I cried, but more than that I felt this giant balloon of love for everyone. This story convinced me all over again that love and imagination are life's biggest magic. It'll make you want to grab hold of everyone important to you and lick them on the nose." --Rebecca Stead, author of Newbery Award winner When You Reach Me

"Some books change the way you see the world. Some change the way you breathe. This book will leave you breathless. This is Paul Griffin's best book yet--and that's really saying something." --Patricia McCormick, author of National Book Award Finalist Sold

"When Friendship Followed Me Home is both a beautiful book, and an honest book; it is, in fact, beautiful because it is honest. We see the pain of loss, and the glory of community. We see love in its many forms, and we witness the truth that love goes on despite all barriers. Cheer for Ben and Halley: it is kids like these who are our hope." --Gary D. Schmidt, author of Okay for Now

 
Details
  • ISBN-13: 9780803738164
  • ISBN-10: 0803738161
  • Publisher: Dial Books
  • Publish Date: June 2016
  • Page Count: 256
  • Reading Level: Ages 10-14
  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.7 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.8 pounds


Related Categories

Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Friendship
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Social Themes - Death & Dying
Books > Juvenile Fiction > Books & Libraries

 
Publishers Weekly Reviews

Publishers Weekly® Reviews

  • Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
  • Review Date: 2016-03-28
  • Reviewer: Staff

After growing up in foster care, 12-year-old Ben Coffin is just happy to have a home and a loving mother; living in Coney Island is icing on the cake. Ben adores the beach, the boardwalk, and the local librarian, Mrs. Lorentz. When he meets her daughter, Halley, there is an instant connection, fueled in part by Flip, a dog Ben rescues from the street. Soon Ben and Halley are best friends, collaborating on a fantasy story and hanging out all the time, even as she undergoes chemotherapy. But Ben has learned that good things don’t tend to last, and when his mother dies, and Halley’s treatments begin to fail, he has to dig deep to find faith in people, the world, and himself. As in his young adult books, Griffin (Adrift) handles hard topics with penetrating insight and honesty, while balancing painful moments (and there are many) with levity, such as Flip’s need to lick everyone on the mouth. Ben wrestles with big questions in relatable, realistic ways, and his huge heart and optimism will win over even the most hardened skeptics. Ages 10–up. Agent: Jodi Reamer, Writers House. (June)

 
BookPage Reviews

A little dog named Flip

Trust is a challenging concept for 12-year-old Ben Coffin, who has spent most of his life in foster care with people constantly coming and going like a revolving door. But how can a boy’s life not change when a stray dog enters, even “a girly little dog” named Flip? In When Friendship Followed Me Home, Paul Griffin brings his hard-hitting, realistic fiction, once reserved for teens, to the middle grade set.

Meeting Flip is equally as important as meeting spunky Halley, dubbed the “Rainbow Girl” for the colorful accessories she wears to complement her appearance after chemotherapy treatments. Together, the trio forms a fierce bond, but when tragedy strikes the only home that has made Ben feel safe, he is left to forge his own way again.

People come and go from Ben’s life, but they all have a meaningful impact and give him the sense of belonging he needs—and deserves. Even hardened readers will find it impossible to keep a dry eye at the bittersweet ending, which is full of love’s magic.

 

This article was originally published in the June 2016 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

 
BAM Customer Reviews