Best Buds Book Recs

By: Shanleigh Klassen

July 30th is the International Day of Friendship, a day to recognize the value that friendships bring to us through trust, love, and togetherness. Some of the best examples of friendship come from books, which makes sense when you think of the kinds of stories these characters go through. Nothing bonds people more than shared adventure!

Take a look below for some of our favorite friendships featured in OwlCrate Jr books and discover your next read!

The Next Great Paulie Fink by Ali Benjamin

When Caitlyn Breen begins her disorienting new life at Mitchell School, it seems like nobody can stop talking about some kid named Paulie Fink, the legendary classroom prankster. But now that he's disappeared, Caitlyn finds herself leading a reality-show-style competition to find the school's next great Paulie Fink. Told in multiple voices, this funny, thought-provoking novel is a memorable exploration of what makes a hero and if anyone, or anything, is truly what it seems.


The Good Thieves by Katherine Rundell

When Vita’s grandfather’s mansion is taken from him by a powerful real estate tycoon, Vita knows it’s up to her to make things right. With the help of a pickpocket and her new circus friends, Vita creates the perfect plan. But it might take more than Vita’s ragtag gang of misfits to outsmart the city that never sleeps. This story is an utterly gripping tour de-force about loyalty, trust, and the lengths to which we’ll go for the ones we love.


The School for Whatnots by Margaret Peterson Haddix

Ever since they met in kindergarten, Max and Josie have been inseparable. Until the summer after fifth grade, when Josie disappears, leaving only a note, and whispering something about "whatnot rules." As Max sets to uncover what happened to Josie, little does he know that she's fighting to find him again. But there are forces trying to keep Max and Josie from ever seeing each other again. This middle grade thriller delves into the power of privilege, the importance of true friendship, and the question of humanity and identity.


Nevermoor: The Trials of Morrigan Crow by Jessica Townsend

Morrigan Crow is cursed and has always known she is doomed to die at midnight on her eleventh birthday. But then a strange and remarkable man named Jupiter North appears and whisks her away into the safety of a secret, magical city called Nevermoor. Jupiter has chosen her to contend for a place in the Wundrous Society. Suddenly surrounded by a bevy of memorable and magical people, Wunimals, and even a Magnificat, Morrigan will need to find a way to pass the tests — or she'll have to leave the city to confront her deadly fate.


Malamander by Thomas Taylor

Herbert Lemon, Lost-and-Founder at the Grand Nautilus Hotel, knows that returning lost things to their rightful owners is not easy — especially when the lost thing is not a thing at all, but a girl. No one knows what happened to Violet Parma’s parents twelve years ago, and when she engages Herbie to help her find them, the pair discover that their disappearance might have something to do with the legendary sea-monster, the Malamander. Eerie-on-Sea has always been a mysteriously chilling place, where strange stories seem to wash up. And it just got stranger . . .


Amari and the Night Brothers by B. B. Alston

When Amari’s brother Quinton mysteriously went missing she can’t understand why it’s not a bigger deal. Why isn’t his story all over the news? And why do the police automatically assume he was into something illegal? Then Amari discovers there was far more to Quinton, it seems, than she ever knew. Now Amari must compete against some of the nation’s wealthiest kids to join the secretive Bureau of Supernatural Affairs. Along with her new friends, a weredragon named Elsie and Dylan van Helsing, Amari will need to pass the three tryouts or she may never find out what happened to Quinton.


Voyage of the Frostheart by Jamie Littler

Ever since his parents were lost on a pathfinding expedition, Ash has spent his life as an outcast. As a budding song weaver, his village marked him as a potential threat, even though all he wants to do is protect them. Eager to find his place in the world, he and his cantankerous yeti caretaker seek passage on the Frostheart. There he meets a fast-talking, spunky navigator, a walrus captain with a peg leg who runs a tight sleigh, and a mysterious traveler who encourages him to hone his song. But will Ash’s untamed powers put his newfound friends in jeopardy?


Twelfth by Janet Key

Maren is sure theater camp isn’t for her. Theater camp is for loud, confident, artsy people, like her cinema-obsessed bunkmate, Theo. But then Maren gets drawn into the hunt for a diamond ring that may be linked to the camp’s namesake, a promising director in Blacklist Era Hollywood. When Maren connects the clues to Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night, she and her new friends are off searching through lighting booths, orchestra pits, and costume storages, discovering the trail and dodging camp counselors. But they’re not the only ones searching for the ring, and with the growing threat of camp closing forever, they're almost out of time.


The Marvellers by Dhonielle Clayton

Ella is the first Conjuror to attend the Arcanum Training Institute and though she knows some people mistrust her, she's eager to make a good impression. Quickly, Ella discovers that being the first isn't easy, and not all of the Marvellers are welcoming. Still, she connects with fellow misfits Brigit, a girl who hates magic, and Jason, who is never found without a magical creature or two. But then a notorious criminal escapes from prison, supposedly with Conjurors’ help. As tensions grow, Ella and her friends must find a way to clear her family's name before she loses her place at the Institute forever.


The Mirrorwood by Deva Fagan

Fable has been cursed by the Blight, a twisted enchantment that leaves her needing to steal the faces of others to stay alive. When the Blighthunter Vycorax comes to kill her, Fable narrowly escapes by fleeing into the Mirrorwood, a treacherous forest that has been ruled by a demon prince for centuries. Fable and her opinionated feline companion Moth, are the first to dare enter in a very long time. There, she encounters a tediously chatty skull, dangerously meddlesome deities, and friendships she never expected from unlikely sources. Fable will soon discover that, in the Mirrorwood, nothing is quite like the stories say.

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