When Friendship Followed Me Home

Paul Griffin,Paul Griffin

When Friendship Followed Me Home
Text Publishing Co
27 June 2016

When Friendship Followed Me Home

Paul Griffin,Paul Griffin

Ben Coffin has never felt like he fits in. A former foster kid, he keeps his head down at school to avoid bullies and spends his afternoons reading sci-fi books at the library. But all that changes when he finds a scruffy abandoned dog named Flip and befriends the librarian’s daughter, Halley. For the first time, Ben starts to feel like he belongs in his own life. Then everything changes, and suddenly Ben is more alone than ever. But with a little help from Halley’s magician father, Ben discovers his place in the world and learns to see his own magic through others’ eyes.

Equal parts heartbreaking and heartwarming, When Friendship Followed Me Home is a must-read for dog lovers and fans of emotionally resonant middle-grade novels.


Ben Coffin spent 10 years in children’s homes before 67-year-old Tess adopted him. It was almost worth the wait. Tess is the kind of mum who, when Ben walks into the apartment one day with a stray mutt in his arms, doesn’t even wait for the question. ‘Yes,’ she says. And that’s how Ben ended up with the best dog in the whole world. Flip is such a great companion that Ben’s friend, the bright and boundless Halley, suggests Ben enrol him as a service dog to help kids read. Right after this, Halley enrols Ben as a coauthor for her scifi adventure novel, one of 111 she says she must complete before she dies.

At 12 and 13, you might mistake the friends’ lack of cynicism for naivety but you would be wrong. They have both dealt – and are dealing with – a lot more than most adults have served up to them. It was so much I almost couldn’t handle reading about it. When things get tough, and then tougher still, and then finally unbearably tough, Ben’s strength and sensibility, Flip’s companionship and Halley’s attitude and magical imagination help us through the last few pages. It’s hard to talk about this book without giving anything away, but read it for Ben who is one of the best written and most real kids I’ve read all year. Then read it again for Halley, and again for Flip, and Tess, and Tess’s wife, Laura, who only ever appears as a photo but still has such a strong presence. Paul Griffin is now one of my new favourite authors.

Dani Solomon

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