Batchelder – The Friends by: Kazumi Yumoto

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Part one:

Yumoto, K., & Hirano, C. (1998). The friends. New York: Bantam Doubleday Dell Pub. Group.

Young Adult Realistic Fiction/ 5th, 10+yrs old

Part Two:

This book was about death. Three teenage boys become friends with an older man, who they eventually find dead one day. All of them have different obstacles in their life and I feel this book brings up lots of issues and has several ways for children to connect to the story. First of all death is a hard subject to combat and talk about, but the book wasn’t primarily about death, before the old man dies he teaches the boys to find beauty in life. Another subject loosely approached is single parents and alcoholic parents. As I said all these boys are combating different issues in life so this book delicately touches all of them.

Part Three:

Personally I found the book to be enjoyable. It was much different than others I had previously read in this course. I could even relate to the book because the book starts off with these three boys whose whole world revolved around school! More School! And sports. After meeting the old man he introduces them to reality, there is life outside of school and things to find joy and beauty in.When someone in the family dies the boys suddenly become interested in this concept of death and soon after become friends with a dying old man. I think what I like about this book most was the touch with reality, life isn’t perfect, everyone has problems, people change and you just have to find joy in the small things and enjoy the company of those around you.

Part Four:

Objective: After reading the story The Friends, students will pick one character and provide three examples of how that character has changed through the book.

1)How old were the three boys when the book first started?

2) At the end of the book, which character didn’t continue school?

3) Why did the boys spy on the old man?

Resources:

https://www.enotes.com/topics/friends-kazumi-yumoto

https://childdevelopmentinfo.com/how-to-be-a-parent/communication/talk-to-kids-death/

http://www.kidspot.com.au/parenting/parenthood/parenting-style/helping-kids-cope-with-change

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