The Friendship Lie
The Friendship Lie
Library Binding11.96
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Annotation: Fifth-grader Cora feels her life is like the garbage her scientist-parents track, as their marriage is ending and Cora's best friend, Sybella, has thrown her away for a new girl.
Catalog Number: #185599
Format: Library Binding
Publisher: Capstone Editions
Copyright Date: 2019
Edition Date: 2019
Pages: 267 pages
Availability: Available
ISBN: 1-684-46061-1
ISBN 13: 978-1-684-46061-8
Dewey: Fic
LCCN: 2018050333
Dimensions: 20 cm.
Language: English
ALA Booklist
Fifth grade has been hard for Cora Davis. She and her best friend, Sybella, aren't speaking; and in the wake of her parents' recent separation, her mother moves to Europe, leaving Cora and her twin brother in Berkeley with their university professor father. The spat with Sybella has disturbed Cora the most, and their strained friendship finally ruptures during their school's Earth Day celebration when Cora and Sybella reach for the same diary in the Trash Sorting event. Each girl gets one half of the diary and wonders about what the other part contains. It takes a visit to Aunt Lake's (an old friend of Cora's dad) to begin to unravel the diary's story and rebuild their friendship. Donnelly begins the narrative in the present before backtracking to show the progression of events, all the while alternating the narration between the two girls' points of view. The diary's contents are interjected within the main story, amplifying the themes of friendship and family in a unique way.
Kirkus Reviews
Donnelly uses the backdrop of environmental awareness and real locations in San Francisco to convey the sheer exhaustion of emotional labor.Eleven-year-old Cora Davis and her twin, Kyle, both white, formed a tight triad with fellow 11-year-old Sybella Seward, who is biracial black/white, back in second grade based on their shared birthdays, their parents' professional camaraderie at UC Berkeley, and Sybella's intuitive understanding of the twins' imaginary world of Aquafaba. It's so strong that teachers at Thurgood Marshall Elementary remark that they need to make other friends. But their triad becomes an involuntary quad in fifth grade with increasingly pushy, bragging Marnie Stoll, a white female transfer student. Sybella seems to befriend Marnie, and Cora becomes increasingly passive-aggressive as her jealousy mounts and the kids become involved in a school sustainability project. That introverted Cora is also dealing with her parents' divorce and signs of possible depression exacerbates the falling-out. A good portion of the book consists of laborious flashbacks establishing how the characters got to this point. Though the author matter-of-factly describes the interracial camaraderie among the characters, she also commits the tiring, United States-old mistake of forcing the only girl of color to use her emotional maturity and intelligence to manage the two white girls' immaturity and emotional issues. Sybella's third-person perspective only occasionally punctuates Cora's tightly focused narrative, compounding the problem.A bad look indeed. (Fiction. 10-13)
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ALA Booklist (7/1/19)
Kirkus Reviews
Word Count: 45,216
Reading Level: 5.5
Interest Level: 4-7
Accelerated Reader: reading level: 5.5 / points: 7.0 / quiz: 502771 / grade: Middle Grades
Lexile: 860L

Cora Davis's life is garbage. Literally. Her professor parents study what happens to trash after it gets thrown away, and Cora knows exactly how it feels--to be thrown away. Between her mom and dad separating and a fallout with her best friend, fifth grade for Cora has been a year of feeling like being tossed into the dumpster. But Cora has learned a couple of things from her parents' trash-tracking studies: Things don't always go where they're supposed to, and sometimes the things you thought you got rid of come back. And occasionally, one person's trash is another's treasure, which Cora and Sybella learn when they come across a diary detailing best-friendship problems. Told in two intertwining points of view, comes a warm, wry story of friendship, growing up, and being true to yourself. Written by Rebecca Donnelly, author of How to Stage a Catastrophe (an Indies Introduce and Indie Next List honoree), The Friendship Lie will speak to any reader who has struggled with what to hold on to and what to throw away.

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