Best Friends is a children's novel by Jacqueline Wilson.

Best Friends

Release Date



Nick Sharratt


Doubleday, Corgi Yearling

Age Range



Gemma and Alice have known each other all their lives, but when Gemma reads Alice's diary at a sleepover, it eventually leads her to discover Alice is moving. Because of their distance, Gemma and Alice struggle to stay friends, with the possibility of each other making new friends. The story's theme throughout the whole story is that true friends will be together until the end.

Gemma and Alice have been best friends since birth. They were born on the same day, in the same hospital and have been inseparable ever since. Complete opposites (Gemma is athletic and messy, while Alice is graceful and tidy), they have a bond that is unbreakable and every year on their birthday they share the same wish: “We wish we stay friends forever and ever and ever.” Everything seems ruined when Alice's father gets a new job hundreds of miles away and the whole family has to move. Now Alice and Gemma have to navigate the rough waters of adjusting to life without each other. Alice has another friend Flora. Flora is really posh. Only Gemma hates Flora. Once Gemma visits Alice at the same time as Flora does. Gemma brings a cake and when she's there she throws it into Flora's face.

The book ends with a birthday card from Alice.


In this book Biscuits' surname is McVitie, but in Cliffhanger his surname is Baker, as Tim wrote a postcard to him with the name as Mr "Biscuits" Baker; this may be due to the fact that Gemma hates Biscuits, and McVitie's are a biscuits company, so she might be making fun out of him.

Main charactersEdit

  • Gemma Jackson: Gemma is the story's main protagonist and narrator. She is fairly tomboyish, hyperactive and clumsy, who enjoys football, bike riding and spending time with her Grandad. She is Alice's best friend and is devastated when she learns that Alice is moving away to Scotland, having seen each other nearly every day since the cradle. She has two brothers Jack and Callum. Her parents blame her when she runs away with Alice.
  • Alice Barlow: Gemma's best friend. In contrast to Gemma she is quite the girly girl, who loves dressing up, ballet and the colour pink. She appears traumatised when she and her parents move away to Scotland, having been parted from Gemma. However, she is spoiled with all sorts of glamorous items in their new home. She makes friends with snobby Flora. She writes Gemma at birthday card at the end of the book.
  • Billy "Biscuits" McVitie: The girls' schoolfriend, a tubby boy who loves food, both eating and cooking. Gemma and Alice form a temporary hatred for him when he "tells on them" to his mother about their plots on running away. When Alice is gone, Gemma and Biscuits become closer as friends and work together for a project on famous TV chef "Fat Larry", as well as Biscuits making Gemma her special birthday cake at her party. He is invited to Gemma's party.
  • Flora Hamilton: A girl who befriends Alice in Scotland. Gemma often frets that Flora is trying to "take Alice away from her" and becomes highly suspicious of them together. Flora is very pretty, mature and also a good ballet dancer. She lets Gemma email her to communicate with Alice, something Gemma feels very uneasy about. During Gemma's visit to Scotland Flora is disdainful of Gemma's childish ways and tries to get Alice to do what she wants to do. She ends up with the birthday cake in her face after Gemma loses her cool once and for all.