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Author: Hale, Shannon
Following little Shannon's life from kindergarten through fifth grade captures the emotional roller coaster ride of friendship, from navigating the tricky waters of cliques and bullies to her never-ending struggle to stay in "The Group." Shannon's honest and heartfelt story reminds us of how hard it is to learn what real friends are-and why finding them is worth the journey. In graphic novel format.
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 2.60
Points: 1.0 Quiz: 189200
|Reading Counts Information:|
Interest Level: 3-5
Reading Level: 3.70
Points: 4.0 Quiz: 71231
School Library Journal (+) (00/02/17)
Booklist (+) (04/15/17)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 02/01/2017 Gr 3–6—Hale revisits her elementary school years in this insightful exploration of the ups and downs of friendship. Young Shannon meets her BFF Adrienne in kindergarten, and the two bond until Adrienne moves away. When Adrienne returns, Shannon is thrilled—until Adrienne joins a clique. In over her head, Shannon copes with feelings of inadequacy as she compares herself to pretty and seemingly perfect ringleader Jen, as well as resentment and intense anxiety as callous Jenny throws barbs her way. There's trouble at home, too: middle child Shannon often feels lost and is bullied by older sister Wendy. The author reflects on her life from the vantage point of adulthood, displaying a mature awareness of her own flaws and an understanding of the behavior of unsympathetic kids such as Wendy and Jenny, and her accessible writing and hopeful tone will speak to readers. Pham's gentle cartoon images make effective use of perspective and composition to underscore Shannon's sense of alienation. Her various flights of fancy reinforce her budding storytelling abilities and provide relatable metaphors (for instance, Shannon imagining her friends as members of a royal court and herself as the jester). In Hale's afterword, she acknowledges that though she attempted to faithfully represent her experiences, she re-created some dialogue and made changes for the sake of the plot. VERDICT This tender, perceptive graphic memoir is bound to resonate with most readers, especially fans of Raina Telgemeier and kids struggling with the often turbulent waters of friendships and cliques.—Mahnaz Dar, School Library Journal - Copyright 2017 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Booklist - 04/15/2017 *Starred Review* At its best, friendship is breezy and affirming, but getting there isn’t always so easy. Best-seller Hale knows this firsthand, and in this winsome graphic memoir, dynamically illustrated with Pham’s lively artwork, she gives readers insight into her own, sometimes rocky relationships. From early on, young Shannon feels like the odd one out, so when she meets Adrienne in kindergarten, she latches on hard. As they grow older, Adrienne climbs to the top of the popularity heap, and while Shannon is usually included among the popular crowd, she feels more like a hanger-on. As the story progresses and Shannon’s anxiety becomes more evident, each chapter focuses on a pivotal relationship and movingly demonstrates the shifting loyalties, petty jealousies, and tiny moments of short-lived triumph common to childhood friendships. Not even Shannon is without fault. Her own tunnel vision occasionally leads her to treat others regrettably, too. Pham’s brightly colored panels are the perfect complement to Hale’s nuanced story, particularly when she zooms in on reactions, subtle gestures, and facial expressions that add captivating emotional depth. Through the years of bristly bullying, though, Shannon finally finds real friends and gains a better appreciation for her own strengths, such as her imaginative creativity, which Pham illustrates in vivid, comically over-the-top flights of fancy. A wistful, affecting, and utterly charming exploration of the realities of childhood friendship. - Copyright 2017 Booklist.