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
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.