Did you know that there’s a National Best Friends Day in June? Well, neither did we to be honest, and it’s probably just an American thing, but let’s go with it anyway for the sake of a good book list. Because some of the best books focus on intense friendships – in fact, friendships in literature are a reoccurring theme in both children’s and adults books, and many books encompass these relationships beautifully. Below are just a few of our favourite immortal friendships.
One of the most talked about books of recent years, My Brilliant Friend follows the lives of Elena and Lily, two girls who grow up on the outskirts on Naples. There is a brutal psychological intensity between the two that makes for gripping reading.
In Anne of Green Gables, orphan Anne is starved of love and friendship. She goes to live with Martha and Matthew, finding happiness and stability in life. She also finds Di, becoming lifelong friends and true kindred spirits.
Streetwise George and his big, childlike friend Lennie are drifters, searching for work in the fields of California. This is a powerfully moving story of friendship, Of Mice and Men is a simply told masterpiece.
Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants is the story of four girls who are best friends who are preparing to spend their first summer apart. Luckily a pair of magic jeans come into their lives and unite them. One of the more intelligent young adult out there, the rest of the series is pretty good too.
The Harry Potter series depicted a great friendship between Harry, Ron and Hermione. These kids grew up together, learnt a lot, became a family for Harry, and also managed to defeat Voldemort and save the world. Y’know, all in a days work.
Bridge to Terabithia is a pretty powerful children’s book. Jess and Leslie form an unlikely friendship – Jess helps her through the pitfalls of life in a small rural town, and Leslie draws him into a world of imagination and magic and they create a place called Terabithia.
In a somewhat unconventional friendship, A Thousand Splendid Suns is the story of Mariam and Laila – Mariam is the first wife of Rasheed, and Laila becomes his second. Their subsequent friendship and support of each other are set over the backdrop of Kabul in the 20th and 21st century.
The ultimate bromance, Frodo and Sam are the best friends. Frodo has to get the ring to Mount Doom, and Sam does everything he can to help him get there, their story becomes the heart of the Lord of the Rings trilogy.
The Help is the story of Skeeter, Aibileen and Minny, set in Mississippi in the early 1960s. This friendship crosses race and class boundaries, and these women come to depend and rely on each other.
If you haven’t read this series yet, go out immediately and do so. The Amulet of Samarkand is the first book in the series, and is the beginning of the story of Nathanial (a wizard), Kitty (a commoner) and Bartimaeus (a 5,000 year old djinni). Complex and brilliant.