Synopsis from Macmillan Publishers:
The creators of Real Friends Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham are back with a true story about popularity, first crushes, and finding your own path in the graphic novel, Best Friends.
Follow your heart. Find your people.
Sixth grade is supposed to be perfect. Shannon’s got a sure spot in the in-crowd called The Group, and her best friend is their leader, Jen, the most popular girl in school.
But the rules are always changing, and Shannon has to scramble to keep up. She never knows which TV shows are cool, what songs to listen to, and who she’s allowed to talk to. Who makes these rules, anyway? And does Shannon have to follow them?
About: Best Friends is a middle grade graphic novel memoir written by Shannon Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. It was published on 8/27/2019 by First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, hardcover, 256 pages. The genres are graphic novel, memoir, middle grade, and realistic fiction. There are two books in this series: book 1 is Real Friends and book 2 is Best Friends. This book is intended for readers ages 8 to 11. According to the publisher’s website, “First Second Books is a graphic novel publisher located in New York City. We publish graphic novels in every genre and for readers of all ages. Our graphic novels are available online, in libraries, in comic book shops, and wherever books are sold.” Please see below for more information about the author and publisher.
My Experience: I started reading Best Friends on 5/14/2020 and finished it on 5/15/2020. This book was an excellent read! I didn’t realize this book was the second to the series until I started to read it but it’s okay to read as a stand-alone. I like the main character, Shannon because she appeared humble and nice. This book has some great advices about friendship. I liked how Shannon felt bad for gossiping and being mean. She’s a good role model when she stood up for herself by confronting Jenny of stealing her job. And she did it only after she thought it through. Shannon was good with earning money for her young age. The rules about friends with boys and girls are cute and funny. I loved the illustrations!
This book followed Shannon, a sixth grader. She’s part of a group of girl friends but sometimes she felt left out. She didn’t know the current cool songs that everyone seemed to know because her family listened to different kinds of music. She didn’t know about the current TV shows because she’s not allowed to watch TV on weeknights like her classmates. She felt like as soon as she’s happy with her friends there seemed to be a new unwritten friend rule and then she fell out of the loops again. In between, Shannon typed up a story of her imagination that went parallel with what she experienced at school.
Best Friends was very well written, illustrated, and developed. I liked how Shannon went to her oldest sister, Wendy for consultation when there’s a major event in her life, like a boy asking her out. The roller coasters part was cute/funny and it reminded me of the time I introduced my son his first ride and he was as scared as Shannon. That part with the stuff animals at the amusement park got me teary eyed. I loved the part about girls chasing boys and boys afraid of girl cooties. I loved this memoir and I’m so pumped to read Real Friends! I gave this book to my 8 years old to read right after I finished it. I highly recommend everyone to read this graphic novel!
Pro: fast paced, page turner, friendship, friends with girls and friends with boys
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author:
Shannon Hale is the New York Times bestselling author of over thirty books, including fantasy novels The Goose Girl and Book of a Thousand Days, science fiction novel Dangerous, Newbery Honor winner Princess Academy, graphic novel memoirs Real Friends and Best Friends (with LeUyen Pham), and romantic comedy Austenland (now a major motion picture starring Keri Russell). She lives in Utah with her husband and frequent collaborator Dean Hale, their four remarkable children, and two ridiculous cats named Misty Knight and Mike Hat. (Photo and info obtained from Macmillan’s website, book pictures obtained from Edelweiss).
***Disclaimer: I borrowed this book from the library and my opinions are honest.