THE HARD KIND OF PROMISE by Gina Willner-Pardo

THE HARD KIND OF PROMISE

Age Range: 10 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

The title refers to the promise five-year-old Sarah and Marjorie made “to be best friends…forever.” Now they are in seventh grade and something has changed—“Nothing ever bothered Marjorie. Which was part of the problem.” Sarah begins noticing boys, worries about what others think and starts to chafe under the pressure of being Marjorie’s best friend. Although Marjorie has been a steady, understanding support through Sarah’s bumpy life, she now seems increasingly freakish and embarrassing. Conflicted by staying true to her promise while trying to figure out what she wants for herself, Sarah suffers through a series of uncomfortable situations that pit her budding desires to sing and make new friends against loyalty to her fading friendship with Marjorie. Willner-Pardo captures Sarah’s torment well, and readers will vacillate between frustration and empathy with her actions. Scenes with Sarah’s practical mom and salty Grandpa offer some comic relief, as do those showcasing Marjorie’s fierce individualism. After a few too many episodes of anguish, the plot resolves on a realistic trajectory, but perhaps a bit too neatly. (Fiction. 10-13)

Pub Date: June 1st, 2010
ISBN: 978-0-547-24395-5
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Clarion
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15th, 2010




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