Two Friends by Dean Robbins



A few years ago, while my son was attending summer camp at the University of Rochester’s Eastman School of Music, we visited the Susan B. Anthony House. It was the number one attraction on my “things to see in Rochester” list, and thanks to our knowledgeable tour guide, it was the high point of our visit.  Among the many things I learned about Anthony during our tour was her friendship with Frederick Douglas. It made sense, of course, that the two champions of equal rights would be friends and drink tea together; they didn’t have the option of going to Starbucks!


Now there is an inspiring new picture book celebrating their friendship and their shared commitments to rights for women and rights for African Americans.  Dean Robbins’s picture book, Two Friends, is the perfect book for teachers to read to a classroom of students between first and fourth grade to spark a discussion about commitment and dedication to a cause. The illustrations of the two leaders convey their passion and their willingness to do whatever it took to change minds.

Look at this picture with the words coming out of Douglas’s tea. I love how the characters are connected by a shared belief in the power of words:


Two new books to look forward to…..

Ghosts, Raina Telgemeier’s new graphic novel will be published in September, but after showing this picture to a few of Raina’s devoted fans, it’s clear I need to order two copies for the school library.


And another picture book from the team that brought two favorites, Iggy Peck, Architect and Rosie Revere, Engineer.….Ada Twist, Scientist.


On my own nightstand is Elizabeth Strout’s new novel, My Name is Lucy Barton. I love the cover so much that sometimes I leave it out on the kitchen table so I can see it more often.


On the first page (no spoilers here!), the narrator talks about the view from her hospital bed in New York City:

“….and at night a view of the Chrysler Building, with its geometric brilliance of lights, was directly visible from my bed. During the day, the building’s beauty receded, and gradually it became simply one more large structure against a blue sky, and all the city’s buildings seemed remote, silent, far away.”

I feel like the white square on the cover is a hospital blind and the narrator has a clouded and obstructed view.  Everything feels far away when you’re in a hospital room.

So far, Strout’s book is as beautiful as the cover. A story that reads like poetry….





2 thoughts on “Two Friends by Dean Robbins

  1. Hi there!!! I enjoy your e-mails so much. A mutual friend, Pam Toto Duffy, introduced me to your blog.

    I am now working as a literacy specialist at an elementary school in Newton, MA. My passions outside of school include knitting, cooking and Children’s Literature.

    Your blog/e-mails have led me to many treasures. Thank you.

    I’m interested in starting the tradition of an all school read at my school. I’m excited about choosing the title. A few I have in mind are: The War That Saved My Life, Crenshaw, A Long Walk to Water, A Long Way Gone, The Running Dream, The One and Only Ivan, Circus Mirandus, Fish in a Tree.

    Do you have another idea for a title to use for an all school read?

    Of course I’d love to suggest something new, which none have already read…. so I thought of asking you…naturally!

    I’d love to hear back from you,

    Thank you,

    Jeanne Conley Literacy Specialist Lincoln-Eliot Elementary School

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