Saturday, April 29, 2017

New Book Alert: Real Friends

Real Friends by Shannon Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham debuts this Tuesday! (I received a digital ARC through Net Galley. All thoughts are my own.)

The ARC cover included the sub-title: a true story about cool kids and crybabies, which perfectly sums up this graphic novel memoir. In a similar vein to Raina's Sisters and Smile, Shannon Hale brings the realities of her own childhood troubles with friends and self-acceptance to this popular format.

The reader sees young Shannon through her own eyes as she faces the realities of second through fifth grades: how to make friends, how to keep friends, and how to deal with the complications that arrive with friends. I love the intimacy that comes from knowing a book is a memoir and not "just a story," and I think that kids will appreciate this inside peak into a beloved author's life.

This is a book that will appeal to a wide-range of readers. Even though many think of the struggles of friendship and girl-drama as a primarily middle school issue, the inclusion of memories from early elementary school as well helps draw in younger readers too.

I can see this book as one that my third graders would have loved but that my seventh graders could even better appreciate. (Ending the book with fifth grade keeps it in solidly middle grade territory, though I am curious to see if there will be a sequel that might get into more YA-types of topics.)

Definitely one to add to your classroom or library!

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