Friend Me

Sheila M. Averbuch. Scholastic Press, $17.99 (272p) ISBN 978-1-338-61808-2
Former journalist Averbuch makes a vibrant debut with this cyberthriller that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. Dubliner Roisin, the book’s narrator, is excited when her tech expert mother, inventor of a “turbo” Alexa-like digital assistant, lands a job at MIT. Roisin has always wanted to see the States, but her Boston area middle school turns out to be a “snake pit” full of bullies led by mean girl Zara, who cruelly mocks Roisin’s clothes in person and via an app called TokTalk. Even online friend Lily, the daughter of Roisin’s mother’s new boss, brushes her off IRL. Miserable and lonely, Roisin meets a new online friend, Haley, who seems to relate to all her woes, but things get out of hand when a strange accident befalls Zara. In a pertinent drama that sends a clear warning about social media and apps, Averbuch reflects a keen awareness of young adult angst and bullying issues. With this riveting book and through Roisin’s strong voice, she paves the way for a promising future. Ages 8–12. Agent: Jennifer Laughran, Andrea Brown Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 10/22/2020
Release date: 11/10/2020
Genre: Children's
Book - 1 pages - 978-1-338-67587-0
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