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NIKKI & DEJA by Karen English

NIKKI & DEJA

By Karen English (Author) , Laura Freeman (Illustrator)

Age Range: 7 - 10

Pub Date: Jan. 21st, 2008
ISBN: 978-0-618-75238-6
Publisher: Clarion

Nikki and Deja are best friends, next-door neighbors and schoolmates. They do almost everything together, from watching cartoons and sitting on the porch, to going shopping, making cookies and playing at recess. But when a new neighbor moves in down the street, things may be about to change. Antonia has enviable possessions—a canopy bed and a trampoline—and is in their class at school. When the three play jump rope together, Antonia’s too bossy, but then a misunderstanding occurs at the flea market and Nikki and Deja struggle over the formation of a drill team. It looks as though the friendship may be over, but in an elementary-school world of clubs, competition and jealousy, it’s up to Nikki and Deja to sort things out. Accessible writing, authentic characters, an easy-to-identify-with plot and Freeman’s appealing black-and-white illustrations come together smoothly in this straightforward friendship tale. English nicely fills an underdeveloped area—this is a first-chapter book featuring African-American girls, and race is presented as an attribute of the characters rather than as an issue. (Fiction. 7-10)