Friendship Stories


210 pages
ISBN 0-14-301766-7
DDC jC813'.54




Reviewed by Dave Jenkinson

Dave Jenkinson is a professor in the Faculty of Education at the University of Manitoba and the author of the “Portraits” section of Emergency Librarian.


As the title suggests, this collection of a dozen stories, ranging in
length from 10 to 23 pages, focuses on a common preoccupation of
adolescents—friendships. But they are not, as Wilson explains in her
introduction, peer friendships. With one exception, “Escape Route,”
the stories are set in Nova Scotia, usually Halifax, and the main
characters, mostly 15 or 16 years of age, are divided almost equally
into male and female.

As teens become older, changes occur in their relationships with
parents. As happens with the mothers and daughters in “My Heroine,
Murphy Brown” and “Maid of Honour” and the father and son in
“Father by Mail,” sometimes a friendship emerges. In “Escape
Route,” it’s an older sibling who becomes the friend. But in
“Bruno,” a bullying brother causes his younger brother to discover
friendship with a senior citizen.

Teachers are the surprising new friends in “Fear” and
“Lillian,” while the most unusual friend, a wild serpent, is found
in the opening story, “The Snake.” The actions of skipping school in
“The Poem” and making eye contact across a street in “The Music
Festival” both launch new friendships. “Big Little Jerome”
suggests that we cannot become friends with others until we are first
friends with ourselves.

Although most of the stories are narrated by contemporary teenagers, in
“Justice” and “Lillian,” an elderly woman recalls her
adolescence and a friendship squandered.

This fine collection of stories for young adults is recommended.


Wilson, Budge., “Friendship Stories,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed July 14, 2024,