Vrettos, Adrienne Maria Best Friends For Never, 240 pages. Scholastic Press, MAY 2016. $17. Content: G.
Hattie moved from New York City to small town Massachusetts over the summer and manages to find a new group of friends. Problem, however, because in order to fit in, she is not quite being herself. No cat t-shirts, no fantasy books, no socks worn inside out. She’s done a pretty good job of hiding the changes, but at the town’s annual Harvest Festival, Hattie’s lying catches up to her and she gets caught by a town jinx. Now none of her friends remember who she is and the only person talking to her is former mean girl Zooey, who got frozen out of her own clique and is Hattie’s partner for a major research project. Sixth grade is hard enough without a jinx to complicate things.
I wish, I wish that Hattie’s problems hadn’t been caused by a jinx. Even though she and Zooey grow over the course of the book, having magic make someone be your friend again is just not my cup of tea. I do feel that young students will have fun with this and maybe they will understand the value of being your own person instead of hanging with the crowd and not get the message that a magic spell is what will make things better.
EL, MS - OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher