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THE KIND OF FRIENDS WE USED TO BE by Frances O’Roark Dowell

THE KIND OF FRIENDS WE USED TO BE

From the Secret Language of Girls series, volume 2

By Frances O’Roark Dowell

Age Range: 10 - 12

Pub Date: Jan. 27th, 2009
ISBN: 978-1-4169-5031-8
Publisher: Atheneum

“Do you ever miss it?” Marylin asks Kate. “Being all-the-time friends, like we used to be?” The protagonists of 2004’s The Secret Language of Girls return, their sixth-grade year having found these two BFFs drifting apart. One year further along, they are still negotiating their new relationship, cheerleader Marylin desperate to help her friend not seem quite so “weird,” while budding rocker Kate declares, “I’m good the way I am.” At school, the girls occupy their separate orbits, finding new friends and new interests while still checking in with each other. Marylin’s decision to run for student government provides her the opportunity to define herself and to develop a more mature friendship with Kate. The shifting third-person narrative follows each girl in turn, investing both with clearly distinct and highly sympathetic personalities that lead them in occasionally criss-crossing directions; the questions they ask themselves as they try out new identities arise naturally and their answers are always disarmingly honest. Dowell’s characteristically sensitive exploration of the inner lives of these two girls will resonate long and loud. (Fiction. 10-12)