“Real Friends” by Shannon Hale
Description: “Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.
Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group—or out?
Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Timesbestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends—and why it’s worth the journey.”
Review: This is a wonderful graphic memoir from one of my favorite authors! Even though the plot line isn’t anything original (a girl feels excluded and bullied by friends) I found that this book stands out. This graphic memoir explores the ups and downs of friendships in an honest and real way that is hard to find. Shannon Hale does an amazing job of describing the complicated dynamics of friendship and popularity.
Children will relate to Shannon and the complex friendships. They will be able to see themselves within the characters and feel a deeper connection with the story. Even adults (such as myself and some colleagues) were transported back to our school years when we read this book. The illustrations will also pull children right in!
I often have parents and teachers looking for books about friendship and bullying. While there are a lot of picture books on the subject I struggle to find a book for older elementary students. This is a wonderful book to put in the hands of a child, I hope it helps them with the difficulties of navigating friendships.