Happy Friday, everyone! This weekend is Valentine’s Day, and I am a big Valentine’s Day fan–red, hearts, chocolate, bring it on. So for today’s Friday Fifteen, I’m going to change it up a little and make some book recommendations.
When I was a teen, I never dated anyone. I had a ton of guy friends, but there was never anyone I was interested in dating, so my closest relationships were with my friends and family. And I’m guessing I wasn’t the first nor the last teen to feel this way. When people get down on Valentine’s Day for being all about couples, I want to remind them that love exists in all kinds of relationships, and that love is just as real as romantic love. Today, I want to share fifteen favorite YA/children’s lit book recommendations that put the focus on friend and family love.
- Anne of Green Gables by L.M. Montgomery: the ultimate book about kindred spirits and sometimes you have to find your family.
- The Book Thief by Markus Zusak: in case you didn’t cry enough at Anne of Green Gables.
- A Greyhound of a Girl by Roddy Doyle: four generations of women come together to help one move on in this beautiful portrayal of family.
- Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell: about being sisters, being friends, and learning how to grow apart and together.
- The Off Season by Catherine Gilbert Murdock: DJ Schwenk is my favorite, and this is the Dairy Queen book that focuses most on her family; so genuine and so touching.
- This One Summer by Mariko Tamaki and Jillian Tamaki: a touching, beautiful story about growing up and realizing your family is more complicated than you thought.
- Feeling Sorry for Celia by Jaclyn Moriarty: forever my go-to book about how friendships form and grow and change.
- How to Save a Life by Sara Zarr: love Zarr’s look at grief and loss and hope and how families can evolve.
- Imaginary Girls by Nova Ren Suma: the complicated and dangerous devotion of two sisters who can only rely on each other.
- Code Name Verity by Elizabeth Wein: a devastating story of bravery and friendship and all my feels.
- Just Visiting by Dahlia Adler: even when their paths may be diverging, Reagan and Victoria’s supportive friendship rings so true to me.
- Tell the Wolves I’m Home by Carol Rifka Brunt: this story about the messiness of grief and love and illness sticks with me.
- Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta: this layered story of generations of friends wrecked me in the best way.
- The Miseducation of Cameron Post by Emily M. Danforth: I got to the end of this book and thought, “Oh my gosh, this is a family love letter.”
- Beware the Wild by Natalie C. Parker: fighting for your family with a creepy Southern gothic style.
Other favorite non-romantic love stories? Share them in the comments. Happy Valentine’s day, everyone!