There are so many kinds of friends, aren’t there? Sometimes you have a friend who begins to feel like all you need. Then she moves. Maybe you manage to end up in a bigger group of friends later on. There will be a kind of unhappy, mean “friend” somewhere in there who’s more concerned with being first at being someone’s best friend than in being friends with everyone. Or maybe they make fun of you because you’re different, even though they claim they’re only telling you to help you.
Friendship, like love, is so very complicated, which is why I liked this graphic novel/memoir so much. It reminded me of many happy, silly afternoons as a child, playing in imaginary worlds with a friend. It also reminded me of some uncomfortable and painful moments. Both are important things to talk about with kids, since their lives are as complicated, if not more complicated than ours.
I, thank goodness, never had to navigate friendship by way of social media. I screwed up a lot of things, but no one was saving screenshots of my mistakes. Maybe there are damning pictures out there somewhere in a shoe box, but my biggest humiliations only take up space in my memory.
I prefer to remember the happier times: building forts under the picnic table, having dance contests at slumber parties, and lying in the shade of the big tree looking at the clouds shaped like turtles and whales.
Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham