Fourth Grade Journey

A Fourth Grade Teacher's Journey Through the World of Books

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Real Friends by Shannon Hale

How I Heard About It:  This book has been in my TBR pile for awhile.  After hearing Shannon Hale speak at #NerdCampMI this July, I came home and moved the book to the top of the pile.  I didn't get to it as quickly as I would have liked, but this morning I grabbed it and read it in one sitting.  I can now see what all the "fuss" is about.  

What It Is About:  This graphic novel is a memoir type story about Shannon's elementary years.  Each section of the book focuses on the different years of her schooling.  Each year Shannon tries to make a new friend.  During the initial stages of the friendship things seem to be alright, but then something, or someone, changes it.  Each year of school brings different challenges that she must face.  Not only does Shannon have difficulties at school, but she also faces hardships at home with her parents and siblings.  On top of all this, she struggles with her own anxiety type behaviors.  It takes years, but Shannon does figure out who her "REAL" friends are and the ones she doesn't need in her life.  

What I Thought Of It:  It had been awhile since I had read a graphic novel.  Reading this one at the beginning of my day was the highlight.  I was reminded how much I loved graphic novels.  This one was especially good because the storyline is one that we can all relate to.  As I read, I kept thinking of students I've had in the past that would totally relate to Shannon's story.  Even though it is "autobiographical", there are so many elements that ALL readers would be able to relate to.  I'm so excited to "book talk" this one when we get back to school in the fall.  

Who Should Read It:  This graphic novel should be in all classrooms from grade two all the way up through middle-school.  Even though most of the characters are girls, I can see all children LOVING this book.  I know some of my Twitter pals are thinking of putting this on their Mock Newbery List.  After reading it, I can see why.  Happy Reading!  

Rating:  5 STARS out of 5 Stars

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