Synopsis from Macmillan Publishers:
Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends—and why it’s worth the journey.
When best friends are not forever . . .
Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen’s #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.
Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group—or out?
About: Real Friends is a middle grade graphic novel memoir written by Shannon Hale and illustrated by LeUyen Pham. It was published on 5/2/2017 by First Second, an imprint of Macmillan Publishers, hardcover, 220 pages. The genres are middle grade nonfiction, graphic novel, family, and memoir. There are two books to this series: book one is Real Friends and book two 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 Real Friends on 1/22/2021 at 11:30pm and finished it on 1/23/2021 at 2:30am. Yeah I pretty much read it overnight in one sitting! This memoir was a great read, though I loved book 2 a bit more. This book deals with bullies, both at home and at school. Definitely hard being kids even though their main goal was to find one best friend. The next day I questioned my third grader if he was bullied in school and unfortunately yes and that it happened last year in second grade. I’m heartbroken that kids so young and already know how to be so cruel. Graphic novels are fast reads and I’m loving it. This memoir written this way makes the read fun and easy. The illustrations were excellent as well.
This book followed Shannon, being the middle child at age 6 who was often alone. Her two older sisters had each other because they were close in age as well as her two younger sister and brother. At school, she had trouble making friends. Eventually she was part of a group of friends but she was picked last as a favorite of the most popular girl in her grade. One mean girl in the group often made her cried. At home her older sister was mean to her. Shannon couldn’t do anything right by her sister and she often run from the room crying. Until one day, Shannon happened to have a new group of friends in school where even the mean girl wanted to join.
Real Friends was a good read for kids everywhere. My third grader read twice on each book and like me, he also liked book 2 a bit more. Being a memoir, the experiences of feeling alone, feeling left out, feeling difficult to make friends are real that kids everywhere can easily relate to. I was not the popular girl in school and I wasn’t part of the popular group so I was not aware of girls fighting over each other to sit on the right and on the left of the popular girl in school. That part got me wondering about my son but he said his school assigned lunch seats so that’s even better! I recommend everyone to read this duology! I already recommended my sister-in-law to get the books for her kids!
Tag Lines: friends, family, bullies,
I rate it 5 stars!
About the Author: