Skip to main content
Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Fab Four Friends

Fab Four Friends

The Boys Who Became the Beatles

Susanna Reich; illustrations by Adam Gustavson

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)


In 1957 in Liverpool, England, a young lad named John Lennon and his band played music at a local church fair. In the audience was Paul McCartney, who liked what he heard and soon joined the group. Paul's friend George Harrison kept showing up at rehearsals until the older boys finally let him in. Eventually they found the perfect drummer, Ringo Starr, and the perfect name: The Beatles.

Told through a lyrical text and stunning paintings, this book spotlights four ordinary boys growing up amid the rubble of postwar England who found music to be a powerful, even life-saving, force.

Praise for Fab Four Friends

A Bank Street College Best Book of the Year

“Gustavson's naturalistic oil illustrations capture individual band-members' personalities and fans' excitement, complementing the well-orchestrated text.” —The Horn Book

“[A] grand and archetypal tale . . . the closing cornucopia of Beatles books, audio, video, and websites will also help to fill in the blanks. First steps on the long and winding road.” —Kirkus Reviews

“Reich concentrates on the qualities that brought them together, focusing especially on their humor, their work ethic, and their consummate musicianship. Gustavson's luminous oil paintings capture likenesses and personalities that are utterly recognizable, even when the bandmates are just little boys and teens.” —Booklist

“A fine recipe for pleasure: Julia Child, the culinary arts, Paris and a lucky cat. Magnifique!” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review on Minette's Feast

“[A] charming conceit.” —Booklist, starred review on Minette's Feast

“...feast for the senses” —School Library Journal, starred review on Minette's Feast


Reviews from Goodreads

Susanna Reich; illustrations by Adam Gustavson

Susanna Reich is an author of many books for children, including Fab Four Friends, and has won such awards as an Orbis Pictus Honor and an SLJ Best Book of the Year, among other honors. She lives in New York's Hudson Valley with her husband, author Gary Golio.

Adam Gustavson is the award-winning illustrator of over twenty books for children, including Rock and Roll Highway: The Robbie Robertson Story. Adam holds an MFA from the School of Visual Arts and teaches at the University of the Arts in Philadelphia. He lives in New Jersey with his family and several guitars.

Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)

Latest on Facebook