Top Ten Tuesday is a weekly meme hosted by That Artsy Reader Girl, where book bloggers are invited to share their top ten lists centered on a certain theme.
This week’s theme was a thankful/thanksgiving freebie, so I wanted to write about Friendsgiving! Friendsgiving is all about celebrating friends, chosen family, and community, which for many are just as important as blood family. I love books about chosen families and tight-knit groups of friends, and the holiday season is an important time to acknowledge that families take many forms and don’t look one way.
I had a super fun time imagining which friend squads I’d want to have a Friendsgiving celebration with. Here are my picks:
1. Mia & the motel weeklies from Front Desk by Kelly Yang
In this adorable middle grade novel, a young immigrant kid named Mia helps her parents run a motel. Mia becomes fast friends with the “weeklies”— the folks who rent rooms by the week and live at the motel. They’re a diverse group of people from all different backgrounds, and they truly become family to Mia and her parents.
2. Goldie Vance & her pals from Goldie Vance by Hope Larson
A Friendsgiving with Goldie and her friends would be full of car racing and mystery solving. As a kid, I always wanted to be BFFs with Nancy Drew, and Goldie is essentially a queer, POC, hilarious version of Nancy, which is even better in my book!
3. Mari & her hiking buddies from The Other Side of Lost by Jessi Kirby
This novel about finding chosen family while hiking on the John Muir Trail was a pleasantly surprising read for me! I loved that Mari’s newfound friends didn’t care about her past, who she used to be, or what secrets she kept. They were so patient, understanding, and nonjudgmental and never made Mari feel guilty for how she processed her grief. I totally want to have a Friendsgiving day hike (but maybe not a 200 mile one!) and huge post-hike feast with them.
4. Wilder & the other misfits of Misfit City by Kirsten Smith
I’ll admit that up until a year ago, I’d never seen The Goonies before, but I still totally appreciate this all-girl graphic novel spin on it. Can I please have a friend squad that will go on wild treasure hunts with me? Wilder and her friends are all so unique and passionate about different things and I would definitely hang out with them.
5. Chris & the secret girl fight club from Heavy Vinyl byCarly Usdin & Nina Vakueva
Here’s another all-girl squad from a graphic novel! A diverse group of girls who work at a records store and run a secret fight club that solves mysteries? I totally want to hang out at the record store with them, solve mysteries, and maybe be Chris’s wing-woman.
6. The Bushwick community from Pride by Ibi Zoboi
I grew up in a small neighborhood where we would all get together for one giant Thanksgiving feast and those days will always be some of my most cherished memories. I imagine that the Bushwick neighborhood in Pride would do the same thing, since they’re a tight-knit community that loves enjoying food and good times together.
7. The CatStronauts by Drew Brockington
Honestly, I 100 % want to have Friendsgiving with a bunch of cats. Anyone who knows me is probably not in the least bit surprised by this.
I am who I am.
8. Anise & her surfer squad from Girl Out of Water by Laura Silverman
Anise and her friends are probably one of my favorite friend groups in any YA book. I love how close they are and how enduring their friendship is. Even though Anise spends so much of the book far away from her friends, they still felt like important characters in the book and I still felt like I got to know them!
9. Linden, Ham, & Seung from Where I Live by Brenda Rufener
This YA contemporary about a homeless teen had a beautiful depiction of how powerful and resilient friendship can be. Ham & Seung truly become Linden’s family and are such a huge support system for her in the novel. They’re the kinds of friends everyone deserves (and the kind to be so thankful for, if you have them in your life!).
10. Bun & her chosen family from The Agony of Bun O’Keefe by Heather Smith
This YA novel, albeit obviously unrealistic, was a lovely story of chosen family. Bun, a 14 year-old who finds herself alone on the street, is taken in by a group of outcasts. Together they form a family that weathers through so many obstacles. The other characters in this novel truly become parents, friends, and siblings to Bun, which I loved.
What literary squads would you be friends with?