Friends with Boys

Friends with Boys

by Faith Erin Hicks


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A coming-of-age tale with a spooky twist!

Maggie McKay hardly knows what to do with herself. After an idyllic childhood of homeschooling with her mother and rough-housing with her older brothers, it's time for Maggie to face the outside world, all on her own. But that means facing high school first. And it also means solving the mystery of the melancholy ghost who has silently followed Maggie throughout her entire life. Maybe it even means making a new friend—one who isn't one of her brothers.

Funny, surprising, and tender, Friends with Boys is a pitch perfect YA graphic novel full of spooky supernatural fun.

This title has Common Core connections.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781250068163
Publisher: Square Fish
Publication date: 10/06/2015
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 180,970
Product dimensions: 5.90(w) x 8.40(h) x 0.60(d)
Age Range: 12 - 16 Years

About the Author

FAITH ERIN HICKS is a writer and artist in Halifax, Canada. Her first two graphic novels, Zombies Calling and The War at Ellsmere, were published by SLG Publishing. Most recently, she illustrated First Second's Brain Camp. Hicks has three brothers and was homeschooled until high school. She has never seen a ghost.

Reading Group Guide

For Discussion:

Friends With Boys is a graphic novel, a story told in words and pictures. How do you think this story would be told differently if it was a novel, with only words? How would it be different if it was a movie, with just pictures?

Maggie goes to public school for the first time at the beginning of the book. What do you think it would be like to go from homeschooling to public school?

Has a prosthetic hand ever solved anyone's problems? Why or why not?

How do you think your family dynamics would be different if you acquired four older brothers?

Why do you think the ghost follows Maggie around all the time?

What did you think about Lucy and Alistair the first time you saw them? Did your first impression change after Maggie got to know them better?

Maggie's mom leaves before the book starts. Do you think Maggie's behavior changed after her mom left? How might she act differently if her mom was around?

Maggie's twin older brothers have problems because people expect them to be the same. Do you know any twins? List three ways they're similar and three ways they're different.

Friends With Boys is a black and white book. How would it be different if it was told

in color?

Customer Reviews

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Friends with Boys 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
High speed _2011 5 days ago
One of the best graphic novels I ever read
BrittDonohueWhite on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Easy to read and enjoyable story of a girl trying to make her way in the world of high school.
abbylibrarian on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
For Maggie, a lot of stuff is changing. Not only is she starting her first day of high school (also her first day of public school ever since she was homeschooled before), but her mom's left the family and her dad's got a new job. Her brothers are fighting and she's being haunted by a ghost. It's a lot for a girl to take. But as Maggie learns to navigate the crowded halls of high school, she'll also start to figure out that you have to move on with your life and take the changes as they come. I was attracted to pick up this book because I'm interested in reading more stories about homeschoolers. Maggie is NOT a girly girl. She's much rather run around with her brothers, but in high school she'll have to start making her own way. Soon she learns that there's more about everybody than meets the eye and the decent people are the ones who embrace differences instead of making fun of them. Expressive art combines with a relatable storyline to make a graphic novel that many teens will identify with.
ElizaJane on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Reason for Reading: I enjoy the author/artist and was intrigued that the book was about homeschooled teens.The author is obviously writing from her own life seeing as she was homeschooled until high school and has three brothers. This is the background of the main character in the book, added to Maggie's life is that her mom has just skipped out on them without her really knowing why and Maggie has been haunted by a 17th century ghost since she was about six. I really enjoyed this book. I think it gave a fairly accurate portrayal of homeschool life though Hicks did treat it like it was the 1990's, not now when it has become pretty much mainstream. (I was homeschooled for high school in the '80s and have been homeschooling my children in one way or another for the last 19 years.) The title is a little deceptive as I thought we might get into dating and stuff, but it refers to sisters being friends with their brothers and I really appreciated this theme. I don't have any brothers but I really envied the close relationship Maggie had with hers and how the relationship between Lucy and Alistair developed also. The book deals with other typical teen subjects such as being new to a school, dealing with bullies, how to make friends and what it's like when your brother is popular but you are not. Hicks artwork is as expected and truly measures up to her other work making it a delight to look at. The only problem with this could be that she draws her characters very similar and the main two females in this book are almost identical to the two females in "The War at Ellesmere" with different hairdos. I loved the characters, the story about the teens at school, the family dynamics, etc. but the bit about the ghost haunting was an oddity. It stuck out at first and didn't seem to fit in with the rest but eventually it came together and found a place within the larger scheme of things. Only, while I was happy with the way things ended for the humans in the story, the ghost ending was rather abrupt and left many unanswered questions. These kinds of endings bother me, but it does give one thoughts to ponder. Taken as a whole, this is my favourite book by Faith Erin Hicks so far and the small irritations I had with it don't amount to the lessening of my enjoyment, so I'm sticking with the full 5 stars.
zzshupinga on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Maggie McKay is a bit lost at the moment. See she¿s entering high school for the first time. Which would be bad enough, but Maggie has never been in a traditional school before. She¿s only been home schooled with her older brothers by their mother...who by the way has left the family for pastures unknown. So now Maggie¿s facing the real world for the first time, without her mom there for support, and to top it off her brothers seem to be busy with their own lives and forgetting about her! And oh yeah, there¿s a silent ghost that follows her around. So Maggie has to face the real world for the first time, attempt to grow up a bit and find her own place in the world and in her family. Along the way perhaps she¿ll make a new friend (one who isn¿t an older brother) and solve the mystery of the quiet ghost who has followed Maggie her entire life.I¿ve been following the webcomic release of this book for some time now and I¿ve really enjoyed it so far, in part because the author¿s commentary provides such great insight. some ways I really wish the book had the commentary because it describes so much of what the author is really thinking and it¿s just nice to be able to read that part of the creative process. Alas the book does not have this, but I¿m still excited to have this review copy. Faith accurately captures that feeling of confusion, of hopelessness when entering high school and does a fantastic job of making the characters feel real. You can easily identify them as someone that you may have come across in your own school and identify with that sense of confusion, of loss, of discovering who you are. It¿s a good coming of age story and it¿s nice to see how Maggie grows and changes during the pages of the book as she finds her place in the world at large. And in her family. And I love the other characters in the story, especially Lucy. She¿s so energetic, so confident in who she is and what she is that I love seeing her on the pages of the story. What really stands out to me though is the fact that Maggie and Lucy are both strong female characters. They¿re completely grounded in reality so they have their faults, but they don¿t ever fall into that ¿woe is me, I¿m a girl and can¿t do anything mode.¿ I really like the artwork in the book. Faith has a way of capturing the characters perfectly. They have a lot of depth to their expressions so that even without the words of the story you can tell what¿s going on. I get lost looking at the expressions sometimes while reading, because it is just so pitch perfect. Faith also has a way of capturing the feelings and movements of being in high school. That sense of being crowded and all alone at the same time. And that sense of relief at finding someplace to be yourself. And I love the maps that Maggie draws to find her way around the school and identifying the places not to go, like the makeout corner. It almost feels like maybe this is part of a series as there are a couple of questions left unanswered, such as where is Maggie¿s mom and what¿s the story with the ghosts? Even if there are no sequels this is a good coming of age tell with strong female characters and I give the book 4 out of 5 stars. A review copy of this book was provided by Gina at FirstSecond
kmartin802 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I liked this graphic novel about a young girl adjusting to some big changes in her life. Maggie McKay is starting her first day of school at the start of ninth grade. She had been home-schooled by her mother along with her three older brothers. When the story begins, her mother is gone, maybe left to find herself, her father has accepted the job as chief of police and gotten a haircut, and Maggie is going to school for the first time. Her brothers are there but are busy with their own thing leaving Maggie a bit lost and lonely. She makes friends with Lucy, who believes in ghosts, and Lucy's older brother Alastair. They are all sort of outcasts together. There is some tension between Alastair and the Big Man on Campus - Matt - who is the leader of the volleyball team and some tension between Alastair and Maggie's oldest brother Daniel.Adding to the adjustment problems is the fact that Maggie sees a ghost and has seen her for years. From Lucy she learns that the ghost is the wife of a ship captain whose ship vanished. The woman lost her husband and all three of her sons. When the ship reappeared, everyone was gone. There was nothing left but the captain's prosthetic hand which is now housed in a local museum. Lucy and Maggie want to see if they can find out what the ghost wants so that they can lay her to rest - but Lucy would really love to see her first.The story is well-drawn in a sort of manga, anime sort of way. The characters all seem to have big eyes and pointy chins. The color palate makes most of the characters look sort of scruffy. There are lots of shades of gray along with the black and white. The story is very clear and understandable and easy to follow for this graphic novel novice. I thought that the author/illustrator got quite a lot of character development in despite the relatively small amount of text in the story. I recommend it for fans of graphic novels who want something that doesn't involve any sort of superhero.
LauraMoore on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This was my first graphic novel that i've ever read, and to be honest I think I would have enjoyed it a lot more if I had a physical copy opposed to reading an ARC galley on my nook, that I recieved via Netgalley. The format was a bit screwey, with about 10-20 pages of words and then the corresponding pictures after that, which in my opinion took away from the overall effect of it, and through no fault of its own, I felt like I had a different experience then most people because of that. I did enjoy the story though, The main character Maggie was adorable in my opinion, and I loved her three older brothers. I felt like that they made the story what it was. Maggie had been homeschooled her whole life, and now that she's in highschool she is no longer being homeschooled but needs to move on and go to public school which means she needs to make friends, and become a part of a society that she knows nothing about. Maggie also has a secret, she see's a ghost, and has for many years. This ghost dosen't scare her, but she dosen't quite understand why its there. This book overall was a quick, and fun read. I just don't know if I got the full experience I would have from reading a physical copy versus a e-book version, that had a bit of a weird format.
Sandy5 More than 1 year ago
Maggie is starting high school. It’s going to a difficult transition from being homeschooled and with no friends besides her brothers; Maggie is not thrilled at what lies ahead for her. Her brothers and her father tell her what an exciting time high school is and what fun awaits her and she hopes that they are correct. Maggie’s mother homeschooled all her children until they reached their high school years and now that her youngest child has reached the age where she will enter high school, her mother has decided to leave the family, the family will have to survive without her. Guilt has fallen on Maggie’s shoulders, another burden that she will have to carry as she walks through the doors of high school. Maggie is excited that first day, eager to see what awaits her, but when she arrives her expectations immediately fade. It’s more than she envisioned, it’s chaos and she can’t imagine being a part of it. There is one girl that Maggie notices that hangs out with her brother, who seems not be a part of the masses and she notices them. This just might be the connection that she needs. Her brothers try to assist her at school but they have their own issues to deal with and Maggie needs to find a friend that she can connect with. While walking to school, the ghost who has been haunting her for years makes her appearance. This upsets Maggie for why does she haunt her and what does this ghost want? Maggie wants to call it quits but she can’t as she has no other options. It’s difficult but yet somehow, the day has ended and she has survived. Tomorrow is a new day and with new possibilities. I am not sure what character I like more, Maggie or Lucy. Maggie was a great strong character, who was not afraid of speaking out or going after what she wanted. I thought Lucy was brave and I loved her attitude. Even with everything that was going on, she was positive and happy. Maggie and Lucy were good for each other. I really enjoyed the relationships of the boys in this story, their rough-housing, their confrontations and the way they resolved their issues. I enjoyed this graphic novel; I felt it conveyed a great story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Humor & heart, it's a realistic school story with supernatural elements. The characters are so interesting, I wish it had a sequel so we could see what they do next.
SleepDreamWrite More than 1 year ago
Where has this book been all my life?! Another win for GR and its suggestions! So, you have Maggie whose starting high school, has 3 brothers and a cop for a dad. Oh and she’s seeing ghosts, well a lady ghost. Not long till she makes friends with siblings Alistair and his awesome Mohawk and adorable Lucy. Can I just say I freaking adore those two. I freaking fell in love with this book. Its art style, the main characters, the awesome sibling love, just aww! Can I just say I freaking adore Alistair and Lucy. I couldn’t help but smile while reading this, especially I can somewhat relate to Maggie. I mean who wasn’t when they had to start high school? Anyway, this was a nice surprise. The art reminded me of Scott Pilgrim. Is it weird that I don’t know who Patti Smith is? Yeah I bet Lucy would find that weird. Lloyd, Zanders and Daniel are adorable and love their big brother relationship with Maggie. So sweet! And yeah shout out to Alien! That zombie play sounds fun by the way. It’s like this book was made for me. Which I noticed I don’t say often about books. Some but not a lot. Now I want to see what other works the author has done. And it seems there’s some questions, not a lot but some, that need answered. I want to say what but that would go to spoiler territory and we can’t have that. Tempting but no. So I’d say give this a read and you’ll get an idea on what I mean. Also, why haven’t you read this? No, really, this is a fun graphic novel. And Alistair is my new favorite book crush. Come on, dude rocks the Mohawk and you know it. I’m hoping there will be a sequel. There just has to be after an ending like that, how can there not be? Pretty please? I would love to read about these characters again. Nice break from all the characters with that are unlikable, all about the angst, drama this and drama that and the sibling hate. Thank you for that change of pace.
goshness More than 1 year ago
I loved the book because of its wit and humor. It has drama and yet it still seems realistic. The only problem is that the ghost is never really explained, but that's life, isn't it? No bad guy to come out of the shadows and explain his brilliant plot... Definitely read it! I engulfed this book in one sitting, but when you read it, don't rush. Instead, let Hicks' literary and artistic skills seep into your mind and lift your spirits. No pun intended.
BookSakeBlogspot More than 1 year ago
Book Review by Chris for Book Sake The artist, who also happens to be the writer, has a very charming style. Her characters have expressive faces and all look unique. It is really easy to fall in love with Maggie right away. The story has a bunch of fun moments. Maggie, the main character, getting accustomed to high school is just plain fun and creative. The problem I had was that it just seems like a collection of events that don’t really build on each or lead up to a conclusion. In a way it reminded me of a Wes Anderson movie (Royal Tenenbaums, Life Aquatic). A group of semi-dysfunctional people who have lives that aren’t perfect and they don’t really get a happy ending. In a way though, you realize that this was the happiest ending they could hope for. I guess you could call that a more realistic ending, real life doesn’t have a swelling orchestra as the hero defeats the villain. That being said, the ending did feel rather abrupt. Also the pitch of the story is ‘A coming-of-age tale with a spooky twist!’. The ghost element seems rather unneeded. At the end it isn’t explained. If anything, it tags on another element to the ghost story to make it more confusing. Book Rating: 4/5 Book Review by Jessica for Book Sake I wasn’t sure if I was going to like this book as much as Chris did, so before I read it I asked him if I should read it as well. I’ve had a love/hate relationship with graphic novels as I’m in it more for the story and often times I find graphic novels to be lacking in that department. This is a big exception to that thought. I freaking loved Friends with Boys. While I agree with Chris that this story didn’t need the paranormal aspect to make the story, it didn’t detract from how much I liked the book. The ghost portion isn’t a huge part, but it’s touched on a few times throughout the story, so it’s not like it’s mentioned once and then never thought of again. However there is really no reason for it to be in the story and it would have stood up well without it. What I did love about Friends with Boys was the fact that it had character development and a storyline that advanced forward smoothly. The main character Maggie is realistic and I felt for her being the new kid out of her element. Her family is entertaining and awesome even with their problems. The artwork was not only appropriate for the story, but was done very well and helped to show the storyline instead of hindering it. I was able to follow along with each frame – the artwork helping to lead my eye to the next frame easily. I finished this book in one sitting…instead of sleeping…and I love my sleep. This is definitely a graphic novel I’d recommend to those that have never read graphic novels and those that are avid readers. Book Rating: 5/5