August 31, 2018

Book Review: Real Friends by Shannon Hale

Real Friends

by Shannon Hale, illustrated by LeUyen Pham, color by Jane Poole

Genres: Graphic Novel, Memoir, Children's Literature, Middle-Grade
Publisher: First Second
Length: 224 pages
Published: May 2, 2017
Purchase Links: Amazon, Barnes & Noble

My Goodreads Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Official Book Summary:

"Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen's #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.

Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group—or out?

Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends—and why it's worth the journey."


"Everyone wanted to be part of the group.... But I wasn't sure if I was."

Alternate cover


"When I was little, I didn't worry about friends.

After all, I had Mom...

But then I started school."

My Book Review:

Real Friends is bestselling children's author Shannon Hale's graphic memoir. In the book she tells the story of her childhood growing up in Salt Lake City and struggling with friends, cliques, fitting in, and being lonely. So many kids in elementary school have a hard time making or keeping friends and this book could be relatable for many.

Of even more significance is the fact that Hale includes her anxiety and OCD within the story. However, the ending is very abrupt and leaves audiences with many questions about how she dealt with these friendships thereafter, how she learned to cope with her anxiety and OCD, or how all of the emotions were resolved (or unresolved).

Though I wish Hale's editor had pushed her to do one or two more drafts, the memoir is very honest and might be helpful or encouraging to some young readers who are similarly dealing with friendship issues.

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