Jealousy threatens to tear best friends apart.
The story opens with best friends Anna and Sadie celebrating Anna’s birthday with her family. While all is well at first, Sadie’s behavior gets stranger and stranger—starting with general bossiness and escalating into a demand to wear Anna’s special birthday necklace before claiming it as her own. Empathetic Anna doesn’t understand why Sadie is so angry that she’s acting out, reflecting, “Even though I wasn’t sure exactly what I’d done wrong, I could still apologize, since I definitely was sorry that Sadie was mad.” There’s a surprising amount of tension as Anna struggles with her bafflement, narrated in an emotionally sensitive first-person voice. Anna’s parents eventually help their daughter understand that despite spoiled Sadie’s outward enjoyment of her divorced parents’ laxity and indulgence, Sadie is actually jealous of Anna’s close-knit family. Fairly realistically, the girls resolve their problems not through words but through actions—an exchange of kind gestures reconciles the friends. Children may wonder why Anna’s dog, Banana, gets such prominent billing, as although he is her boon companion, he does not figure much in the plot.
A realistic story for sensitive kids. (Fiction. 6-10)