My Forever Friends Julie Bowe
I'm a big fan of the middle grade Friends for Keeps series. It's realistic and although I love my feisty MG heroines (Ramona, Clementine, Allie Finkle) I love Ida's quietness. She's an observer but still has a lot of friends and energy. If that makes sense. I also like that the series deals with small problems instead of big drama, but they're the small problems that we all have in 4th grade as we try to navigate friendships.
This one has slightly bigger drama, but it's still drama that most of us went through at one point or another. Jenna and Brooke used to be best friends, but now they're in a huge fight. No one knows what happened (but them) but everyone's dealing with the fallout. Things come to a head when Brooke decides to not go along with one of Jenna's plans for all the girls and demands that everyone else follow her. What happens is a split and now everyone is fighting, at least they are when they're talking to each other--including Stacey (who went with Brooke) and Ida (who stayed with Jenna.)
It's a strong addition to the series that looks at changing friendships and allegiances and how that doesn't have to spell absolute doom.
One touch I really enjoyed was how no one was looking forward to the trip to the Laura Ingalls Wilder cabin. That's the type of thing that book characters are really excited to see, but even Ida thinks it's going to be boring, especially because it's just a replica, not the real cabin. It's almost children's literature sacrilege, but dude, it's true! It's a teeny tiny cabin in the woods. There's not a lot to see! Little touches like these make me think that Bowe probably took that same field trip in elementary school.
Book Provided by... the author, for review consideration
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