Friend, Natasha Where You’ll Find Me, 264 pages. Farrar Straus Giroux, 2016. $17. Language: PG-13 (40 swears, 0 ‘f’); Mature Content: PG-13 (body talk, implied sex).
At the beginning of eighth grade, Anna’s best friend of many years, Danielle, flat out dumps her for a more popular crowd. At first Anna flounders, trying to find a place to belong, but soon she reluctantly, and then with more enthusiasm, finds an eclectic group of friends where she can thrive.
I was surprised at the high level of mature content and swearing in Friend’s latest. She has written about tough issues in the past without resorting to such tactics. Her Bounce and Lush are two of my all-time favorite middle level books. Friend doesn’t stumble of her handling of the issues – this is many times a better book about friendship than “The Thing about Jellyfish”. It also touches on blended families and mentally ill parents in authentic ways. I just wish she had handled things in a way that I could recommend this to elementary schools also.
MS – OPTIONAL. Cindy, Library Teacher