Friend or Fiction

Abby Cooper. Charlesbridge, $16.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-62354-108-8
In this lightly fantastical tale, sixth grader Jade has a history of losing best friends. People don’t stay in her tiny Colorado town for long, so to fight lunchroom loneliness and science-class boredom, Jade writes stories in a big yellow notebook about her ideal best friend, a charismatic girl named Zoe, with whom she shares private jokes and secrets. When a classmate, nicknamed Clue, steals her notebook and promises “a big surprise,” Jade is initially furious, but her curiosity wins out, and she agrees to wait for Clue’s big revelation. Then, a girl exactly matching Zoe’s qualities moves in across the street, and an astonished Jade must rely on her storytelling abilities as never before: since the fictional character only knows what has written about her, Jade must keep adding to her stories to avoid attracting suspicion. Cooper (Bubbles) integrates tips about writing and being a good friend into her magic-touched, relatable middle school story, while somber subjects, such as family members with cancer and life in an economically distressed town, add further layers to the appealing narrative. Ages 10–up. Agent: Rebecca Sherman, Writers House. (Oct.)
Reviewed on : 09/18/2019
Release date: 10/08/2019
Genre: Children's
Paperback - 272 pages - 978-1-62354-184-2
Ebook - 978-1-63289-870-8
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