Real Friends
Real Friends

Series: Real Friends Vol. 1   

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Annotation: When her best friend Adrienne starts hanging out with the most popular girl in class, Shannon questions whether she and Adrienne will stay friends, and if she is part of the clique.
Catalog Number: #138160
Format: Publisher's Hardcover
All Formats: Search
Special Formats: Graphic Novel Graphic Novel
Common Core/STEAM: Common Core Common Core
Publisher: Macmillan
Copyright Date: 2017
Edition Date: 2017
Illustrator: Pham, LeUyen,
Pages: 207 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-626-72416-4
ISBN 13: 978-1-626-72416-7
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2016945552
Dimensions: 21 cm.
Language: English
Horn Book
Hale recounts her elementary-school years in this graphic memoir. Readers will empathize with Shannon's experiences of being left out, teased, and bullied, and they'll feel relieved once she learns how to find real friends and avoid toxic ones. Illustrator Pham's often humorous yet always sensitive depictions of the characters' emotions make the book even more affecting. Hand to fans of Raina Telgemeier and Cece Bell.
Kirkus Reviews
A truth-telling graphic memoir whose theme song could be Johnny Lee's old country song "Lookin' for Love in all the Wrong Places."Shannon, depicted in Pham's clear, appealing panels as a redheaded white girl, starts kindergarten in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1979, and her story ends just before sixth grade. Desperately longing to be in "the group" at school, Shannon suffers persistent bullying, particularly from a mean girl, Jenny, which leads to chronic stomachaches, missing school, and doctor visits. Contemporary readers will recognize behaviors indicative of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but the doctor calls it anxiety and tells Shannon to stop worrying. Instead of being a place of solace, home adds to Shannon's stress. The middle child of five, she suffers abuse from her oldest sibling, Wendy, whom Pham often portrays as a fierce, gigantic bear and whom readers see their mother worrying about from the beginning. The protagonist's faith (presented as generically Christian) surfaces overtly a few times but mostly seems to provide a moral compass for Shannon as she negotiates these complicated relationships. This episodic story sometimes sticks too close to the truth for comfort, but readers will appreciate Shannon's fantastic imagination that lightens her tough journey toward courage and self-acceptance. A painful and painfully recognizable tale of one girl's struggle to make and keep "one good friend." (author's note) (Graphic memoir. 8-12)
Publishers Weekly
Hale-s childhood struggles with friends and family come to achingly poignant life in this candid graphic memoir. Over five chapters, readers follow a bookish and shy Hale from her earliest days in school through fifth grade, as she zealously guards her first friendship (-One good friend. My mom says that-s all anyone really needs-), negotiates forever-changing friendship politics, and tries to stay on the good side of her turbulent oldest sister. Hale makes her own flaws evident, and that fairness extends to the bullies in her life, who lash out brutally at times, but whose insecurities and sadness are just as clear. The carefully honed narration and dialogue give Pham plenty of room to work. Her digitally colored ink cartooning pulls substantial emotion out of everyday moments (such as Hale retreating to a playground shrub to cry, only to find another girl already there, doing the same) and the imagination-fueled games Hale was forever devising, presaging her writing career. It-s a wonderfully observed portrait of finding one-s place in your world. Ages 8-12. Author-s agent: Barry Goldblatt, Barry Goldblatt Literary. Illustrator-s agent: Linda Pratt, Wernick & Pratt. (May)
Starred Review ALA Booklist
*Starred Review* At its best, friendship is breezy and affirming, but getting there isn't always so easy. Best-seller Hale knows this firsthand, and in this winsome graphic memoir, dynamically illustrated with Pham's lively artwork, she gives readers insight into her own, sometimes rocky relationships. From early on, young Shannon feels like the odd one out, so when she meets Adrienne in kindergarten, she latches on hard. As they grow older, Adrienne climbs to the top of the popularity heap, and while Shannon is usually included among the popular crowd, she feels more like a hanger-on. As the story progresses and Shannon's anxiety becomes more evident, each chapter focuses on a pivotal relationship and movingly demonstrates the shifting loyalties, petty jealousies, and tiny moments of short-lived triumph common to childhood friendships. Not even Shannon is without fault. Her own tunnel vision occasionally leads her to treat others regrettably, too. Pham's brightly colored panels are the perfect complement to Hale's nuanced story, particularly when she zooms in on reactions, subtle gestures, and facial expressions that add captivating emotional depth. Through the years of bristly bullying, though, Shannon finally finds real friends and gains a better appreciation for her own strengths, such as her imaginative creativity, which Pham illustrates in vivid, comically over-the-top flights of fancy. A wistful, affecting, and utterly charming exploration of the realities of childhood friendship.
Word Count: 6,502
Reading Level: 2.6
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 2.6 / points: 1.0 / quiz: 189200 / grade: Middle Grades
Reading Counts!: reading level:3.7 / points:4.0 / quiz:Q71231
Lexile: GN290L

"Fresh and funny." -- New York Times Book Review Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling 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. When best friends are not forever . . . 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? Parents Magazine Best Graphic Novel of 2017 A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017 A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017 A 2017 Booklist Youth Editors' Choice A 2018 YALSA Great Graphic Novel

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