Challenges of Friendship

The book I have today looks at the challenges of friendship.  What do you do when your friend from the neighborhood isn’t really cool enough to be your friend at school?  Mattie wrestles with this problem along with all the other issues around growing up.

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Title: Let’s Pretend We Never Metchallenges of friendship let's pretend we never met

Author: Melissa Walker

Target: Grade 4-7

Series: No

What this book is about:

Mattie’s grandmother has dementia, so the whole family has to move from their home in North Carolina to Pennsylvania to take care of her. Mattie moves in the middle of the school year and during Christmas break befriends her next-door neighbor, Agnes. Agnes seems a little off, but she is widely creative and full of interesting ideas which appeals to Mattie. When school starts it turns out that Agnes is shunned by the other kids and Mattie desperately wants to fit in with her new class. They come to an understanding that they will be after school friends, but when that stops working, what is Mattie to do?

Why I love this book:

  • In this book Agnes does have an anxiety disorder, but most kids will encounter a similar friend situation in middle school where they want to hang with the cool kids and their own friends will feel like an anchor. This is an age when kids are figuring themselves out and most will be able to absolutely relate to this story.
  • The Grandma in this story is fabulous. The dementia was an interesting story line and it was dealt with sensitively and honestly. She has good days and bad, she struggles with leaving her home, but knows it is the best thing to do. Real life.
  • I appreciated that mix of Mattie wanting to grow up and still loving to play. She is a juxtaposition of trying on make up, liking a boy and acting mature contrasted with loving craft projects and playing super sleuth pretend games. Hopefully it will allow readers to feel they don’t have to give up everything fun from their youth and grow up too quickly.

Who this book is for:

Great book for kids who like realistic fiction. A good pick for kids who enjoyed Real Friends.

Final thoughts:

Loved the story but I just wished that everything hadn’t been tied up so neatly in the end. Life is a little messy, and kids get this.

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect to Amazon: Let’s Pretend We Never Met.  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.