Trust is a challenging concept for 12-year-old Ben Coffin, who has spent most of his life in foster care with people constantly coming and going like a revolving door. But how can a boy’s life not change when a stray dog enters, even “a girly little dog” named Flip? In When Friendship Followed Me Home, Paul Griffin brings his hard-hitting, realistic fiction, once reserved for teens, to the middle grade set.
Meeting Flip is equally as important as meeting spunky Halley, dubbed the “Rainbow Girl” for the colorful accessories she wears to complement her appearance after chemotherapy treatments. Together, the trio forms a fierce bond, but when tragedy strikes the only home that has made Ben feel safe, he is left to forge his own way again.
People come and go from Ben’s life, but they all have a meaningful impact and give him the sense of belonging he needs—and deserves. Even hardened readers will find it impossible to keep a dry eye at the bittersweet ending, which is full of love’s magic.