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Best Friends
Cover of Best Friends
Best Friends
Real Friends Series, Book 2
A National and New York Times Bestseller!The creators of Real Friends Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham are back with a true story about popularity, first crushes, and finding your own path in the graphic...
A National and New York Times Bestseller!The creators of Real Friends Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham are back with a true story about popularity, first crushes, and finding your own path in the graphic...
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  • A National and New York Times Bestseller!

    The creators of Real Friends Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham are back with a true story about popularity, first crushes, and finding your own path in the graphic novel, Best Friends.

    Follow your heart. Find your people.

    Sixth grade is supposed to be perfect. Shannon's got a sure spot in the in-crowd called The Group, and her best friend is their leader, Jen, the most popular girl in school.

    But the rules are always changing, and Shannon has to scramble to keep up. She never knows which TV shows are cool, what songs to listen to, and who she's allowed to talk to. Who makes these rules, anyway? And does Shannon have to follow them?

About the Author-

  • Shannon Hale is the New York Times bestselling author of over thirty books, including fantasy novels The Goose Girl and Book of a Thousand Days, science fiction novel Dangerous, Newbery Honor winner Princess Academy, graphic novel memoirs Real Friends and Best Friends (with LeUyen Pham), and romantic comedy Austenland (now a major motion picture starring Keri Russell). She lives in Utah with her husband and frequent collaborator Dean Hale, their four remarkable children, and two ridiculous cats named Misty Knight and Mike Hat.

Reviews-

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from June 15, 2019
    After traveling the rocky road of elementary school friendship in Real Friends (2017), Hale returns with another graphic memoir delving even deeper into preteen tribulations. Now in sixth grade, young Shannon is a member of "the Group," an assortment of popular and pretty girls that most notably includes best friend and group ringleader Jen and unrelenting mean-girl Jenny. However, infighting and treachery proliferate, leaving Shannon feeling frequently off balance as she strives to fit in and suppresses things she enjoys. She captures the dynamic brilliantly: "Sixth grade friendships were like a game... / only as soon as I'd figure out the rules... / they'd change again." In addition to laying bare the back-stabbing and cattiness, Hale also examines her struggles with anxiety and obsessive-compulsive tendencies with openness and honesty. Shannon's story is ultimately empowering, showing the satisfaction she feels following her own path. Hale and illustrator Pham (working with colorist Sycamore) capture the nuances of a typical middle school life, balancing Shannon's public woes with her inner conflicts and adding a fun dose of 1980s nostalgia. Pham's art is evocative in its simplicity; detailed facial expressions add emotional depth and accessibility for even the most reluctant readers. An author's note talks earnestly and age-appropriately about anxiety. Consider this a must-read for fans of Raina Telegmeier or Victoria Jamieson. Hale and her friends are predominately white, although students of color are present throughout. This glimpse into middle school is insightful, introspective, and important. (Graphic memoir. 7-12)

    COPYRIGHT(2019) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

  • School Library Journal

    Starred review from September 1, 2019

    Gr 4-7-Hale follows up her poignant graphic memoir Real Friends, which depicted the twists and turns of elementary school relationships. This time the author looks back on sixth grade. In 1985, Shannon and her friends were the oldest students and anticipated being queens of the school. They belonged to "The Group," a crew of new and old friends who were cute and popular but whose rules of behavior were capricious and confusing, often leaving Shannon anxious and struggling to make sense of it all and fit in. With each page turn, every character becomes ever more believable and complex, and the situations they experience ring true. The artwork is appealing and animated, with backgrounds that darken and become shadowy when Shannon is feeling isolated and sad. Panels move the action along with crisp lines, fun 1980s references, and well-placed, expressive speech balloons. The frequent fantasy sequences are beautifully color saturated, with lovely, hazy shapes that let readers' imaginations soar right along with Shannon's. An author's note speaks honestly and compassionately about anxiety and obsessive-compulsive disorder. VERDICT A terrific look at middle school culture, and a compelling sequel to a fabulous middle grade graphic memoir. This authentic, important book will mean a great deal to many kids and empower those who are happier following their own inclinations than in going along with the group.-Kelley Gile, Cheshire Public Library, CT

    Copyright 2019 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • The New York Times Book Review

    "Somehow, Hale and Pham have made the "normal girl" into the ultimate cool girl."

  • Booklist, starred review "This uncommonly honest portrayal of the lures and pitfalls of popularity will likely ring true to many elementary and middle-school readers."
  • School Library Journal, starred review "A terrific look at middle school culture . . . This authentic, important book will mean a great deal to many kids."
  • Kirkus Reviews, starred review "A must-read for fans of Raina Telgemeier or Victoria Jamieson . . . This glimpse into middle school is insightful, introspective, and important."
  • Horn Book "A natural suggestion for fans of Cece Bell and Raina Telgemeier, this book offers an honest, empathetic, and encouraging narrative for young readers braving the ups and downs of the tween years."
  • New York Times Book Review "Fresh and funny."
  • Washington Post "The book's truth is as vibrant as its art."
  • Booklist, starred review "Wistful, affecting, and utterly charming."

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    First Second
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