BECAUSE SHE'S MY FRIEND by Harriet Sirof

BECAUSE SHE'S MY FRIEND

Age Range: 10 - 14
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KIRKUS REVIEW

 Nobody would have predicted that Valerie Ross (uptown Manhattan sophisticate, superior Hunter High student, gutsy product of affluent, divorced, career-minded parents) and Teresa D'Angelo would become friends. Teri has just moved uptown from Little Italy for more room (her mother's about to give birth), but she's still surrounded by an extended family and goes to a strict parochial school. Valerie is witty, worldly, and has an iron will, while Teri's a self-described ``goody-goody''-- obedient, compliant. They meet after a serious fall lands Valerie in the hospital where Teri is volunteering the summer both turn 15. In alternating chapters, the two report on the progress of their off-again on-again friendship, which continues after Valerie enters a rehabilitation program and Teri returns to school and other friends. Only Teri knows of Valerie's bouts of despair and her secret fear that she'll become entirely paralyzed; when her depression worsens and she has a mental breakdown, Teri musters anger (for her, a new emotion) to shock Valerie out of her malaise and start her toward recovery. Their friendship is an interlude that rewards both: Valerie gives Teri moxie and higher aspirations; in return, she receives admiration and loyalty. A strong book, with gritty characters, interesting problems, and a believable outcome. (Fiction. 10-14)

Pub Date: Sept. 30th, 1993
ISBN: 0-689-31844-8
Page count: 192pp
Publisher: Atheneum
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15th, 1993