Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #14: Top Ten Books About Friendship

Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by The Broke and The Bookish

This week's topic, Top Ten Books About Friendship, posed a real dilemma for me.  I've used the label Friendship 109 times so far, and I know there were other times I could have used it, but to choose the top ten friendship books?  No easy task, because they are all top draw.   Here, then,  are the 10 books about friendships that I have reviewed and that had the most impact on me:

1- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein- this is the best story of a friendship that I have ever read.  Wein follows the friendship between two young women, a young spy, Julie, and a ferry pilot, Maddie, by letting each character tell their own story.  This is one of the most poignantly written friendships I've ever read.

2- Traitor by Gudrun Pausewang - a dangerous friendship forms between a 16 year old German girl and a Russian POW hiding in her family's barn even though they don't speak each others language.  If caught, both would be immediately killed by the Nazis.

3- The Snow Goose by Paul Gallico - this is the story of the friendship that develops between a deformed recluse and the young girl who overcomes her fear of him when she finds an injured Canadian goose, bringing it to him and believing he can help it.  This beautifully written story still brings tears to my eyes whenever I think about it.

4- The Cay by Theodore Taylor - a friendship ultimately forms between a young white boy, Phillip, and Timothy, the black man who, despite saving his life after their boat is torpedoed, considers him to be inferior as he had been taught while living on the island of Curacao.  

5- Mister Orange by Truus Matti - though he is never mentioned by name, this is a fictional tale of the friendship between modernist artist Piet Mondrian, who has just escaped from Nazi occupied Holland, and Linus, the boy who delivers his oranges.  I wrote: "In a way, however, it is a nice example of how even a short lived friendship can impact our lives, in this case from September 1943 to February 1944."

6- Navigating Early by Clare Vanderpool - I loved the friendship that develops between Jack and "that strangest of boys" Early at boarding school.  They are bound together by their individual traumas and so they go on a quest together to try and heal their wounds.

7- The Dolphin Crossing by Jill Paton Walsh - two teen boys from different classes are brought together by the war and form an unusual friendship.  Events polarize the friendship but they are united again by their desire to help bring back soldiers stranded at Dunkirk, ferrying them to saftey in a small boat.

8- Warriors in the Crossfire by Nancy Bo Flood - Joseph, son of a Saipan chief, and his Japanese cousin Kanto have always been best friends, but now the war has come between them.  They must try put aside their differences to save Kanto's family from certain death ordered by the Japanese occupiers of Saipan.

9- Johnny and the Bomb by Terry Pratchett - I loved the friendship between Johnny, Yo-less, Bigmac, and Wobbler, three modern day boys who time travel back to the 1941 and the night of the Blackberry Blitz.  This is friendship as only Pratchett can write it - funny, serious, dangerous, slapstick.

10- Rose Under Fire by Elizabeth Wein - I started with an Elizabeth Wein book and I am ending with one.  When ferry pilot Rose Justice finds herself in Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, she meets a group of young Polish woman called the Rabbits, so-called because of the medical expiments performed on them by Nazi doctors.  The life-saving, life-affirming friendship that forms between Rose and the Rabbits in the midst of unutterable horrors is not to be missed.  Wein is a master at writing about female friendships.

What are your top ten books about friendship?

1 comment:

  1. I've seen CODE NAME VERITY on so many lists today. It's been on my TBR list for awhile, but now I feel a renewed need to actually get my hands on the book. Great list!