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Our next winner: Navigating Friendships series

The “Navigating Friendships” series by Jennifer Licate

Our latest award winner, Jennifer Licate, has been a school counselor for over a decade. She has the benefit of working with both young elementary children all the way up through high school. She creates, along with her illustrator Suzanne Beaky, books published by Boys Town Press. Her quick read chapter book series is perfect for readers 9-12 and help kids trying to navigate the challenges of growing up.

She has been awarded the Counselor’s Choice award for her series Navigating Friendships. This series helps kids who are struggling with changing friendships, learning about self-advocacy and figuring out how to get along with others. includes three quick-read chapter books focused on helping children learn about changing friendships, how to get along with others, and the importance of self-advocacy. The “Navigating Friendships” series includes He’s Not Just Teasing, I Lost my BFF and Am I Weird? He’s Not Just Teasing examines the differences between teasing and bullying, the fragile friendships of children and the power of both kindness and the role of the bystander. I Lost my BFF teaches children about jealousy and rejection within friendships and that friendships will change over time. I Lost my BFF encourages children to continue making new friends, even after a friendship changes or ends. Am I Weird? teaches children to value their uniqueness, that it is okay if they don’t fit in with everyone and to focus on finding friends who respect and value them for who they are. The series offers effective and easy to implement strategies and each story has an accompanying activity guide to help continue the lesson both in the classroom or at home. All books have a Teacher & Counselor Activity Guide with discussion questions and activities after each chapter. These Guides are great for leading small group discussions to encourage greater understanding of the stories and to develop skills that can be applied to real-life scenarios.

All of the stories were great, but our favorite was I Lost My BFF. At some point in time every child will go through a friendship struggle: either the dynamics will change, or a friendship will end. This story helps explain a challenging topic in a manner young kids will understand and gives them the strategies to adapt their own friendships. It shows readers that all friendships go through changes while empowering them with the tools to handle them.

Great work on these books Jennifer!

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