Best Friends Day by Judith McLaughlin

Today is the day to celebrate our best friends! They make our days brighter, our lives fuller, our burdens lighter and our interactions real. Here’s a shout out to my besties (and all the best friends reading this), the most effective way this lover of words knows how, with one of my favorite poems:

How Many, How Much

How many slams in an old screen door?

Depends how loud you shut it.

How many slices in a bread?

Depends how thin you cut it.

How much good inside a day?

Depends how good you live ‘em.

How much love inside a friend?

Depends how much you give ’em.


― Shel Silverstein

Shel Silverstein! He was brilliant and his poems so riveting, that when I was in the first grade, I read Where the Sidewalk Ends in one, long, uninterrupted sitting. At least that’s how I remember it. Family lore says I was known to read for hours. When I was a little girl, my Mom used to tell me, “you’re never alone if you have a book.” Books were my friends and I loved to sit cross-legged under a tree, curled up in my bed, or splayed on the floor, reading.  I still remember the fascination I felt when Laura Ingalls Wilder heated a pencil over the fire and used it to curl her hair!

Perhaps it’s the combination of loving books and cherishing my friends that drew me to write the Mackenzie Goode chapter book series about best friends (and total opposites) Mackenzie Goode and Cherise Charbonneau, better known to fans as Mac and Cheese. They are the truest of best friends, the kind who make you smile just to be near them.

“Charise Charbonneau—just seeing her smiling face made Mac happy.  Everything about Charise made Mac happy, from reciting her poetic French name to sharing the silliest inside jokes…”

These books celebrate friendship, families and our ability to learn from our inevitable mistakes. But the beauty of these books, and these third-grade friends, is that it’s not only the kids who make mistakes, but the adults too, because I don’t know about you, but I’m still making them, and thankfully, learning from them too.

So Happy Best Friends Day, and happy reading too!  


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