Every child has a voice — if we take the time to listen.
In this appealing, energetic picture book, two kids with different challenges and strengths find they are just what the other needs to navigate classroom life.
Tyson does everything fast — so fast he often disrupts the class. His teacher is always saying, “Too fast, Tyson!” And often he ends up playing all alone.
Suze, the new girl, is nonverbal with special needs. Sometimes her classmates don’t know what those needs are.
But Tyson understands. Taking the time to interpret her cues, Tyson forms a special friendship with Suze, and teaches his classmates what it means to listen and understand others.
Claudia Dávila’s bright, energetic art captures the joy of moving at your own speed and connecting with a friend who can ride alongside.
About the authors
Heather M. O'Connor is an award-winning children's author and journalist based in Peterborough, Ontario. Her debut picture book Fast Friends (Scholastic Canada) won the Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award, and was nominated for the Blue Spruce, Shining Willow, and IODE Jean Throop awards.
Heather's dual language picture book Runs with the Stars / WIIJIBIBAMATOON ANANGOONAN, coauthored with Darcy Whitecrow, tells the story of the Ojibwe Horse, the only Indigenous-bred horse in Canada.
She is also the author of YA soccer novel Betting Game and writes short stories, fantasy and historical fiction.
An enthusiastic speaker and teacher, Heather enjoys sharing her love of reading and writing with children, teens, and adults.
CLAUDIA DÁVILA a été directrice artistique des magazines Chirp et ChickaDEE, en plus d’être l’auteure-illustratrice de la série de bandes dessinées primées The Future According to Luz et de l’album Super Red Riding Hood. Elle a également illustré l’ouvrage percutant et multi récompensé Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War de Michel Chikwanine et Jessica Dee Humphreys, ainsi que Viminy Crowe’s Comic Book de Marthe Jocelyn et Richard Scrimger. Claudia est née à Santiago, au Chili, et vit maintenant à Toronto avec sa famille.
Claudia Dávila is the former art director of Chirp and chickaDEE magazines, and is the author-illustrator of the award-winning graphic novel series The Future According to Luz and the picture book Super Red Riding Hood. Claudia illustrated the powerful and multi-award-winning book Child Soldier: When Boys and Girls Are Used in War by Michel Chikwanine and Jessica Dee Humphreys, Viminy Crowe's Comic Book by Marthe Jocelyn and Richard Scrimger and The Canadian Kids Guide to Outdoor Fun by Helaine Becker. Claudia was born in Santiago, Chile, and lives in Toronto, Ontario, with her husband and two children.
- Commended, TD Grade One Giveaway Book
- Short-listed, IODE Jean Throop Award
- Short-listed, Shining Willow Award (Saskatchewan Young Readers' Choice)
- Winner, Ruth and Sylvia Schwartz Award
- Short-listed, OLA Blue Spruce Award
- Commended, Toronto Public Library First & Best booklist
- Commended, OLA Best Bets, Honourable Mention
- Commended, Best Books for Kids and Teens, Canadian Children's Book Centre
Praise for Fast Friends:
"Authentic representation of students with special needs in literature is so important. In this book, our students see themselves and identify with the characters. Fast Friends will be added as a resource for our self-advocacy student groups and will be a staple in our Disability Awareness Program. We are so excited about this book and what it means to our students.” — Teacher-Librarian, Bloorview School Authority