Best Friend on Wheels

In second grade, Mrs. Poole asks our narrator to show the new girl around school. Imagine the surprise when our narrator first meets Sarah—Sarah uses a wheelchair! For a moment, our narrator feels awkward. Then she sees a button Sarah wears. It says “Rockhound” on it. “Do you collect rocks?” Sarah says she does! “So do I,” says our narrator. And soon it’s clear that these new friends are more alike than different. They scrapbook, draw cartoons, and even go hot-air ballooning. Lively verse and bright pictures celebrate this very close friendship.

  • 9780807592366
  • March 2015

Other Places to Buy


  • Shirley celebrates friendship and helps dispel many misconceptions about life in a wheelchair. Stead’s energetic illustrations add to the atmosphere of exuberance with bright yellows and pinks and the pure delight shining from the girl’s faces.

    - Kirkus Reviews

  • A rhyming text looks at two friends who share good times. It begins with a list of interests they share, and the colorful cartoon illustrations delightfully capture them in their favorite activities—reading, playing Frisbee, eating pizza (both pick off the peppers). It’s not until several pages into the book that Sarah’s wheelchair is revealed…This is an excellent addition that will work for groups as well as individual reading.

    - School Library Journal

  • A teacher or parent can use this as an opportunity to discuss the feelings we all have when confronted with something unfamiliar…It would give children a chance to see how Sarah feels when people focus on the chair, ignoring her as a person.

    - Children's Literature

  • This book is appropriate for all children. It also would be useful for open circle discussions. Two lessons seem most important: children must look beyond the handicap, and handicapped children should project their interests to be seen as individuals. In the end, readers learn that the girls have much in common, despite initial appearances.

    - Library Media Connection


Common Core

RL.K.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10 RL.1.1,2,3,4,5,6,7,9,10 RL.2.1,2,3,4,5,6,7


  • Accelerated Reader Points: 0.50
  • ATOS Level: 2.80