Friends Like These

 friendsI was walking along the road in just-below-freezing weather, wearing running shoes, jeans, gloves, and a short-sleeved T-shirt, carrying a winter jacket with a nearly dead dog wrapped inside. Great sight.

I couldn’t see any farmhouses, and I had no idea where the first one would be. I started talking out loud to God.

“I sure could use some help here, Lord. I mean, I need a lot of help. But if you want this dog to survive, you had better do something. I know I can’t do any more. I’m likely going to get pneumonia as it is. So please, if you aren’t too busy, could you help out”…

I heard a motor behind me and turned just in time to see a brown minivan speed by. It made no attempt to stop.

People are like that sometimes. They walk right by without even seeming to notice you. I wonder if they don’t care or if they’re just too busy with their own thoughts.

“Thanks a lot, God,” I said. Then I felt ashamed. Like it was his fault the van hadn’t stopped. The person driving the van had made that choice.

I heard another motor, and I turned again. It was the tow truck from Winter’s Garage, pulling a car behind it. As the truck went past, my heart sank.


Glen thought being Charlie Thornton’s friend was difficult. Now he discovers how it feels to be Charlie’s enemy. As for the people in his life—especially Phil, Nicole, and Marta—Glen sometimes wonders if he really has a friend in the world. Things are changing at home, too. His parents assume he will be going to college next year and are preparing for life without him. As everything goes topsy-turvy again, Glen has to work hard to understand his friends, his parents, and most of all himself. But in the process, he grows in self-awareness and learns that a real friend is someone who sticks around and helps out even when it hurts.

A 2007 Read For Life pick

Back Cover

Glen Sauten

He’s just seen his life go from happily boring to roller-coaster crazy to better than his widest dreams. But it’s about to go back on the roller-coaster because of…

Nicole Grant

She seemed happy with Glen at first, but now he gets the feeling she’d like him to change. Is she confused, too, or has she made a mistake? Does she really like…

Charlie Thornton

Having Charlie for a friend nearly got Glen killed. Dating the girl Charlie wants borders on suicidal. And Glen isn’t getting much help from…

Phil Trent

Glen’s long-time best friend seems to be making matters worse, not better. But then he’s got his own reasons for disliking both Charlie and Nicole. As does…

Marta Billings

Getting even with Charlie is one of Marta’s goals. Breaking up Glen and Nicole seems to be another one. Or, is she just plain crazy?

Life hasn’t become any easier for Glen. It may even have made things harder. At times, he thinks he would like to go back to the old uneventful days. But you can’t go back. You have to go forward. Even when you havne’t a clue where you’re going.


Christian Library Journal

Friends Like These continues the story of 17-year-old Glen Sauten as he begins his first dating relationship with Nicole, the pastor’s daughter, with sometimes humorous, often anxious moments. Charlie, now Glen’s ex-friend because of Nicole, knows he’s better looking and smarter and can’t understand why Nicole prefers average, ordinary Glen over him.

“But Glen isn’t ordinary; he’s searching for answers to real life questions, and frustrated with the youth group at church because they never talk about real problems. Overhearing his new mentor and friend, John, say, ‘People won’t grow unless they talk about real life issues with other believers,’ strikes a chord in Glen’s spirit.

“Glen begins meeting weekly with John’s small Bible study group and schedules time to read the Bible and pray. Becoming vulnerable as God works in him, Glen develops a growing relationship with God along with an overwhelming realization of who God is.

“Lindquist combines the angst of growing up with the need for an increasing relationship with God. Written from Glen’s viewpoint, the text allows teens to identify with the characters. Lindquist draws the characters with skill and warm insight. Parents will welcome the strong moral values and common-sense answers suggested to address everyday problems youths face today. Whether reading this as a stand alone book or part of the series, the reader will want more from this author who portrays kids with realism and heart.”

The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Reviewed by Debbie Doane

“These four books take you through the life of Glen and his friends. Glen is a guy who starts seeing the pastor’s daughter for the wrong reasons, but his life is changed eternally because of it. His life has its ups and downs as he struggles with his new faith and old friends. …. Everyone knows someone who isn’t saved and can relate to the teenagers in these books. Maybe you know someone you or your teen just can’t reach; one of these books may be the key to opening that door of communication. These books are a great tool for sharing your faith and would be a great addition to your home library or your church library.”

Christian Week, Reviewed by editor, Doug Koop

“Don’t take my word for it. I had to ask a 16-year-old whether Nancy Lindquist’s “Circle of Friends” series of novels lived up to the promoter’s promise that “real issues and realistic teens” make for a compelling read. And without any prompting, “realistic” was the word my young informant provided. ‘Friends Like These was a touching book,’ he said. ‘It clarified things that I was doing wrong – and how to fix it.’ Those ‘things’ include struggles with jealousy, petty pride and romance – the stuff of life at any age, but of particular importance to young people learning their way in the world. If my young Christian reader’s response is any indication, That’s Life! Communications has a winning series in hand…”

Crystal E. Miller

“If you got the first book (Best of Friends) in this Circle of Friends series, you are going to want to get this one, too. It continues with the same characters of Book #1. Life is not simple for teenagers. More complications, more relationship interaction.”

Endorsements for the Circle of Friends series

Neil Anderson, author of The Bondage Breaker, Stomping Out the Darkness, Discipleship Counseling

“Capture the nature of friendship and what that means in this world of trials and temptations.”

Stephen and Janet Bly, authors of 100+ books

“N. J. Lindquist’s entertaining stories deal with a complex mix of teen relationships, moods, and motivations. Glen Sauten captured our sympathies as we rooted for him to stand up and discover himself. His problems challenge and develop his character, move the action along, and provide exciting moments. Lindquist has found the teen voice, but writes to the emotional needs of all ages.”

Herbie Kuhn, In-house Voice of the Toronto Raptors

“Circle of Friends is a fantastic series! I meet with a lot of teens and speak to a lot of youth groups. I see the things they go through in N.J.’s novels. The authenticity of Glen’s (main character) journey is impressive. I kept thinking how is she going to be able to top this book, but she did, each book got better and better.”

Linda Hall, award-winning author and Christie nominee

“These teen novels don’t sound like an adult writing about being a teenager; they sound like teens writing and living through the challenges of being teens today. N. J. Lindquist has an authentic voice, credible story lines and a gentle, non-preachy way of getting her point across. I recommend the Circle of Friends novels to every teen I meet.”