A fun handbook for any child who has ever wanted another friend but been uncertain how to accomplish that

READ REVIEW

GROWING FRIENDSHIPS

A KIDS' GUIDE TO MAKING AND KEEPING FRIENDS

A how-to book for making friends, if clear and entertaining as well as informative, could be a very useful tool.

Many kids struggle with the myriad aspects of navigating the day-to-day complexity of interpersonal relationships. Combining real-life examples, attractive cartoon illustrations, and humorous commentary from a snarky cat and a friendly dog, this upbeat effort provides ample useful advice. Making friends and keeping them, dealing with bullying and distinguishing it from simple teasing, speaking up for oneself and others, being a good sport, figuring out how to join in a group activity (including choosing the right activity to join), and matching the tone of a conversation are just a few of the topics covered. The presentation is clear, reasonable, and specific enough to be practical, and it begins with very basic skills such as greeting others. Practice situations, including a couple where friends won’t take no for an answer, provide opportunities to try new skills in low-stress situations. This handbook is highly recommended for high-functioning autistic children as well as anyone who suffers from social awkwardness. The cover depicts both a white and a black child. The simple chapter format makes it possible to just practice certain skills without having to read through the entire work.

A fun handbook for any child who has ever wanted another friend but been uncertain how to accomplish that . (Nonfiction. 8-12)

Pub Date: July 18, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-58270-589-7

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Beyond Words/Aladdin

Review Posted Online: April 17, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2017

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With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many.

GUTS

Young Raina is 9 when she throws up for the first time that she remembers, due to a stomach bug. Even a year later, when she is in fifth grade, she fears getting sick.

Raina begins having regular stomachaches that keep her home from school. She worries about sharing food with her friends and eating certain kinds of foods, afraid of getting sick or food poisoning. Raina’s mother enrolls her in therapy. At first Raina isn’t sure about seeing a therapist, but over time she develops healthy coping mechanisms to deal with her stress and anxiety. Her therapist helps her learn to ground herself and relax, and in turn she teaches her classmates for a school project. Amping up the green, wavy lines to evoke Raina’s nausea, Telgemeier brilliantly produces extremely accurate visual representations of stress and anxiety. Thought bubbles surround Raina in some panels, crowding her with anxious “what if”s, while in others her negative self-talk appears to be literally crushing her. Even as she copes with anxiety disorder and what is eventually diagnosed as mild irritable bowel syndrome, she experiences the typical stresses of school life, going from cheer to panic in the blink of an eye. Raina is white, and her classmates are diverse; one best friend is Korean American.

With young readers diagnosed with anxiety in ever increasing numbers, this book offers a necessary mirror to many. (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: Sept. 17, 2019

ISBN: 978-0-545-85251-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: Graphix/Scholastic

Review Posted Online: May 12, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1, 2019

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A painful and painfully recognizable tale of one girl’s struggle to make and keep “one good friend.” (author’s note)...

REAL FRIENDS

A truth-telling graphic memoir whose theme song could be Johnny Lee’s old country song “Lookin’ for Love in all the Wrong Places.”

Shannon, depicted in Pham’s clear, appealing panels as a redheaded white girl, starts kindergarten in Salt Lake City, Utah, in 1979, and her story ends just before sixth grade. Desperately longing to be in “the group” at school, Shannon suffers persistent bullying, particularly from a mean girl, Jenny, which leads to chronic stomachaches, missing school, and doctor visits. Contemporary readers will recognize behaviors indicative of obsessive-compulsive disorder, but the doctor calls it anxiety and tells Shannon to stop worrying. Instead of being a place of solace, home adds to Shannon’s stress. The middle child of five, she suffers abuse from her oldest sibling, Wendy, whom Pham often portrays as a fierce, gigantic bear and whom readers see their mother worrying about from the beginning. The protagonist’s faith (presented as generically Christian) surfaces overtly a few times but mostly seems to provide a moral compass for Shannon as she negotiates these complicated relationships. This episodic story sometimes sticks too close to the truth for comfort, but readers will appreciate Shannon’s fantastic imagination that lightens her tough journey toward courage and self-acceptance.

A painful and painfully recognizable tale of one girl’s struggle to make and keep “one good friend.” (author’s note) (Graphic memoir. 8-12)

Pub Date: May 2, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-62672-416-7

Page Count: 224

Publisher: First Second

Review Posted Online: Feb. 14, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2017

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