Monday, June 26, 2017

Real Friends by Shannon Hale -ESSENTIAL

Hale, Shannon and illustrated by Pham, LeUyen Real Friends 215 pages. First Second, 2017. $12.99. Language: G ( 0 swears) ; Mature Content: G; Violence: G.GRAPHIC NOVEL

This is beloved Utah Author Shannon Hales' memoir of her elementary school years. Readers discover the complex world of elementary school relationships as young Shannon tries to make and keep good friends. It doesn't go quite as planned and there are just as many bad times as good times. Luckily she has a fantastic imagination and loves to read. Her home life is also complex due to the poor relationship with her much older sister. When some cool sixth graders take her under their wing, she finds her confidence. Features stellar graphic novel illustrations by LeUyen Pham, which are both bright ans adorable. 

This book is absolutely heartbreaking. I see this type of cliquey and exclusionary behavior in the students all the time. There is often this attitude that its normal as children learn interpersonal dynamics, but I think people skills need to be taught.  As the librarian I am not around the entire class for the amount of time the classroom teacher is and I wish there was more I could do to build healthy people skills. This is a great read for students to see how those kids that are left out and emotionally bullied feel. This book could be very beneficial to many young readers and they will relate to many of the situations. As a librarian I love to add non-fiction graphic novels.

EL, MS –ESSENTIAL Reviewer: Stephanie Elementary School Librarian & Author.

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