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Publisher: Puffin Books$8.99When Friendship Followed Me Home (Library Binding)
Publisher: Turtleback Books$19.65When Friendship Followed Me Home (Audio Compact Disc - Unabridged)
Publisher: Listening Library (Audio)$35.00
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- 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
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)
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.