Can “almost-always” best friends get through a rough patch to become “always-always” best friends?
Annie Brown is a writer/inventor (“wrinventor,” according to her wordsmith dad) who writes commercials for products she invents. Her “wrinventions” include Apology Armor (“the kneepads you wear on the days you have to say sorry”) and the Fishlight (a tankless, waterless, and, critically, live-fish–less aquarium that hangs on the wall, inspired by her little brother’s unfortunate curiosity about his pet fish’s squish factor.) However, as sidekick to Savannah Summerlyn, the girl who is “the best at everything,” Annie spends a lot of time in the background. Annie’s opportunity to use her “made-for-TV commercial voice” to showcase her commercial-writing talent comes when she auditions to host The Cat’s Meow, a local web show. But Savannah steals Annie’s audition and wins the spot. Can their friendship survive, or will they become never-again best friends? Annie’s first-person narration is hilariously astute. About the school mascot, the quail, she muses, “When you play another school in basketball, you don’t want to be the bird that gets eaten.” Annie’s friend Jake Ramirez’s surname implies he’s Latino, but all other characters are assumed white.
Readers graduating from Junie B. to lengthier stories will find a new book-friend in Annie B. (Fiction. 8-12)