When Your Friends Are Wealthier

Today I have a book that tackles the problem of when your friends are wealthier than you are.  Income disparity and spending differ by family and tweens need to confront the reality that they don’t have all the same things as their friends.  How do kids manage when they are developing their identities and don’t always feel confident?  It’s an issue most middle school kids will confront.

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Title: Why Can’t I Be Youwhen your friends are wealthier why can't I be you

Author: Melissa Walker

Target: Grades 4-7

Series: No

What this book is about:

Claire is looking forward to a great summer with her neighbor Ronan and her best friend Brianna.  However, Brianna’s cousin Eden has arrived and she is a year older and more mature than Claire.  Somehow she has captured the interest of Brianna in a way Claire can’t.  Ronan is struggling too because his absentee father has returned in body, but not in spirit.  Add on top of that, Claire and Ronan’s trailer park homes feel “less than” as they start navigating a new year where what you have feels more important than who you are.

Why I love this book:

  • The author Melissa Walker is great at nailing the insecurities that tweens feel at this age.  In her book Let’s Pretend We Never Met, she tackles the issues of being friends with a girl who is not cool.  In this book, she is taking on the issue of income disparity, where kids feel tremendously out of place when they don’t have the same things as others.  She is also exploring the idea of tweens developing at different rates when some just want to stay kids and others are ready to grow up too fast.
  • I loved that even though Claire’s parents are divorced, they both love her.  I appreciated that Brianna’s cousin was biracial.  I’m glad Claire’s friendship with Ronan was platonic.
  • The story is wrapped up nicely at the end, and if I had one criticism it would be that it doesn’t have to.  Kids know this stuff doesn’t all end up perfect in real life, so while I appreciate that the problems are right on target, I wish the solutions were a little messier.

Who this book is for:

Great for tweens who like realistic fiction.  This book is especially timely for girls starting middle school.

Final thoughts:

I am really looking forward to seeing what issues the author tackles next.  

To purchase this book:

Click on the following link to connect with Amazon: Why Can’t I Be You.  A portion of each purchase goes to support this blog at no cost to you.  Thank you for your support.