Ten-year-olds Hannah and Emme have a lot in common—but does that mean they have to be friends?
Hannah’s best friend, Sophie, has just moved away. The new girl, Emme, who moves in with her two moms to Sophie’s house is oddly similar to Hannah. Both of their names are palindromes (which they love), they were both born on New Year’s Day, and they both hate pizza. That should make it easy to become friends, but Hannah has also just found out that her parents are having a new baby. So many changes at once throw her life into a tailspin. As for Emme, being the new kid is never easy. It sure would help to have a friend. Writing in alternating chapters from Hannah’s and Emme’s points of view, Mackler gives a spot-on portrayal of the ups and downs of young friendships in her middle-grade debut. Strong emotions and insecurities abound. But so does laughter, loyalty, and…palindromes. Oh, so many palindromes!
Mackler deftly weaves the thread of her plot between the two girls’ tribulations and joys (at school and home) for a story that will resonate with any child who has ever struggled to parse the mysteries of friendship. (Fiction. 8-12)