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Real Friends

Real Friends

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Real Friends

ratings:
4.5/5 (95 ratings)
Length:
219 pages
21 minutes
Released:
May 2, 2017
ISBN:
9781250164162
Format:
Book

Description

“Fresh and funny.” —New York Times Book Review

Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends—and why it's worth the journey.

When best friends are not forever . . .

Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen's #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.

Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group—or out?

Parents Magazine Best Graphic Novel of 2017
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017
A 2017 Booklist Youth Editors' Choice
A
2018 YALSA Great Graphic Novel

Released:
May 2, 2017
ISBN:
9781250164162
Format:
Book

About the author

Shannon Hale is the Newbery Honor–winning and New York Times bestselling author of the Princess Academy series, The Books of Bayern, Book of a Thousand Days, Dangerous, and the graphic novels Rapunzel's Revengeand Calamity Jack, as well as the Ever After High and Princess in Black series, and the upcoming The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl for Marvel. She also wrote three novels for adults, including Austenland, now a major motion picture starring Keri Russell. She and her husband, the author Dean Hale, have four children and live near Salt Lake City, Utah. www.shannonhale.com @HaleShannon

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Reviews

What people think about Real Friends

4.6
95 ratings / 30 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (5/5)
    Adored this book. An autobio story near to my heartwounds. Excellent art, stellar story.
  • (5/5)
    Elementary school friendships are not the easiest for Shannon. Especially since her best friend is part of a “group” where some members are not so nice or just down right mean. As Shannon navigates the complicated dynamics of the group, she discovers what type of friend she wants to be and what makes a real friend. REAL FRIENDS is the graphic novel we have been all waiting for. I can see this book being passed around my fifth-grade classroom, just as popular as SMILE and SISTERS by Raina Telgemeier. By the end of the school year, REAL FRIENDS will look worn and well loved. I plan on purchasing multiple copies to keep up with the popularity I know this book will have in my class. I cannot wait for the release of this book. It is a must have for any classroom and school library.
  • (4/5)
    A graphic novel memoir of Hale’s experiences in grade school with cliques, bullies, sibling issues, and possibly OCD. A great book, and an important one, too. Would be fantastic as a class read, to bring up discussions on bullying and acceptance.
  • (5/5)
    Real FriendsWritten by: Shannon HaleIllustrated by: LeUyen PhamI received an e-ARC from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.All i can say, on behalf of middle school parents everywhere, is "thank you" for writing this book! Ms. Hale is an amazing author and I really love all her books. I requested this graphic novel based solely on her name but was a little scared that it was a "comic book" and wouldn't have the same depth as her other novels. I was so pleasantly surprised. This is a very personal book and is based on the author's own memories. As I mentioned above, I love Ms. Hale's books. She really understands young people and has a depth of understanding about their emotions and motivations. This book goes a long way in explaining her own journey and how she became so attuned to other people and their feelings.Plot:Shannon is a young girl struggling to find her place in the world. Middle school life exists in a very isolated, small community of people. Adults have the whole world around them but young people are vulnerable to the whims of their extremely hierarchical and segregated society. This is also a time of their life when friendship and fitting in is important. For young people who are a little different or who don't want to follow the leader, fitting in is a constant struggle if not impossible. This book has multiple messages that I love: be yourself and you will find people who like you for you; everyone struggles to find their place in the universe, even the most popular (the popularity game is exhausting); you don't have to be mean and exclusive to be popular, you can be nice popular and make everyone feel welcome; don't be so involved with your own life that you ignore the struggles of others. I know, a lot of good information stuffed into this small book.Illustrations:The illustrations in this book are wonderful! Of course, this is a graphic novel and so the pictures are important for moving the story along. I especially loved seeing the characters develop over time and the emotions she captures on their faces and body posture. The fantasy sequences were also so vibrant. For instance, big sister turns into a humongous and ferocious bear. The pictures of these events just make me more immersed and invested in this story.Conclusion: I know a young person who is living through a very similar scenario. She feels so alone and isolated. I hope that this book can give her hope for future happiness and to know that life will get better. It is not easy being a young teen.
  • (4/5)
    Based on the author's experiences growing up, this graphic novel tells the story of a girl who doesn't quite seem to fit in once she gets nearer the end of elementary school. "The group" of girls who are supposedly her friends don't always act as though they really are her friends. Peppered in this story are snapshots of being treated for anxiety, possible OCD tendencies, and a sister who struggles just as much, if not more, with social situations. This story rang absolutely true for me because fourth grade was right when I realized I didn't quite fit in where I thought I did. Although some of the more subtle ideas (the sister and the OCD) might be tricky for readers to understand they will identify with at least one of the girls in the book and will enjoy the fast paced story and wonderful drawings.
  • (5/5)
    Really wonderful. Almost painful to read in its authenticity. I remember being phased out of the cool group when I was in 3rd grade, and having to figure what to do now that none of the friends I had had wanted to spend time with me. But you know what else? It was so engaging. I opened the book, and bam I was hooked. I sat and read the entire thing then and there. Hale deftly maneuvers through this story, and while the central focus is friendship (particularly female), she manages to touch on other complex subjects like anxiety, sister relationships, and identity. A must read for fans of Raina Telgemeier. But I may have liked this one even more. And I should also mention the excellent illustrations by LeYuen Pham that bring the story to full-color life. She's brilliant here, as she always is.
  • (3/5)
    That Hale managed to make the friendship travails of elementary school girls even marginally interesting to an old guy like me probably speaks highly to her skill as a writer.

    But I would have preferred to see the book focus more heavily on the relationship with her sister or even be about the sister. The bear metaphor used in those sections was clever and visually arresting.
  • (5/5)
    In this graphic memoir for young readers, Hale depicts her struggles with friendships throughout her elementary years, from making and losing a best friend, to being a less-popular member of an in-crowd, to branching out and making new friendships. She also touches on a difficult relationship with an older sister.This is a very heartfelt and realistic examination of childhood friendships. A lot of Hale’s experiences were familiar to me, and I bet other readers will feel the same. Recommended to fans of Victoria Jamieson and Raina Telgemeier.
  • (4/5)
    Shannon has a difficult time connecting with kids her own age and when she finds a friend she thinks it will be for ever. Adrienne, Shannon's best friend has different ideas. She stays loyal to Shannon for most of the time but moves away and is placed at another school. During the lower grades they join "the group" A group of popular girls whose leader Jen they follow. Shannon is not sure what her place is in this group, and stays true to herself; a girl with an amazing imagination coming up role playing, stories, and games. This brings jealousy from one of the girls in the group who spreads lies about Shannon. A colorful graphic novel about the difficulties in elementary school. Bullying, popular groups and the effect this can have when you're not sure if you fit in or want to fit in. In Shannon's case it becomes so bad she has physical anxiety symptoms. At home her older sister does not help either. Girls could relate to the topic and it being a graphic novel makes it easy accessible for all reading levels.
  • (4/5)
    Graphic Novel biography about authors middle school years
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book! It's the story of a young girl (autobiographical) who is dealing with cliques at school, trying to figure out where she fits into the "in crowd" and discovering that maybe it's not really a group she wants to be part of anyway. I love how she is so observant of glances, slights, and the small things that are often overlooked in uncomfortable social situations. She also talks quite directly about how this social situation leaves her feeling (icky inside) and how it affects her health and overall well-being. As I read this I was overcome with a desire to get this book into the hands of every pre-teen girl I know!
  • (5/5)
    A super cute graphic memoir! Some very realistic frenemy and sibling relationships are well portrayed.
  • (5/5)
    Real Friends is an autobiographical graphic novel exploring the struggle Shannon had figuring out the whole Friendship thing in grade school. A shy middle child who felt left out in her family, she looks for one good friend, all her mom said she needed. She finds one- Adrienne and thinks they will be besties forever. Time has a way of changing relationships though, and as Adrienne becomes friends with a group of girls, Shannon tries to follow. She never knows if she is in the group or out, as she deals with meanness, fickleness of others as well as her own anxiety. This is an excellent book in a fun, expressive format, to help girls navigate the sometimes tough world of childhood friendship. Grades 3-6.
  • (5/5)
    Young Shannon struggles throughout elementary school with having friends and dealing with them. As a preschooler, she only wants her mom. As a kindergartener, she only wants her one friend Adrienne. As her group of friends expands, she realizes that not all of them are actually friends and often their desires conflict. Meanwhile, at home she and her older sister Wendy begin butting heads more often than not, leaving Shannon feeling like she has no place to escape. She starts to fall prey to some compulsions as her anxiety worsens.This book is more or less a memoir, although Hale mentions that she changed names and tweaked the timing and other small details of certain events. What's nice about it is that, as Hale readily admits, her early life was not particularly extraordinary or eventful. The things she relays in this book are probably relatable to many, if not all, readers. There are false friends who Shannon has to learn to confront, and there are new friends who Shannon needs to reach out to make. The book is a short and sweet story that kids can relate to and hopefully take away some helpful lessons from. LeUyen Pham's illustrations fit perfectly with the story being told, helping to convey power plays amongst the popular girls and the emotional effects these have on everyone involved. The visual style is one typical of Pham's works, with wide, expressive faces and bright, lively colors bringing everything to life.
  • (5/5)
    It was awesome. Many kids like me can relate to this story and find it cool that Shannon was able to write this down.
  • (5/5)
    Wow what an incredible story, filled with the harsh truths of bullying and anxiety.

    This story I could relate to on every single level, I too grew up being left out or bullied at school by those I thought were my friends.

    I got bullied for having red hair, for having freckles, for being short. It honestly breaks my heart to know that others to this day are still going through this torment.

    Humans can be cruel but never give up and speak about it with your family or even a teacher you trust.

    Thank you for this incredible story.
  • (5/5)
    The book was very inspiring, interesting and fun to read!
  • (5/5)
    Amazing book I hate bullying I got bullied in school
  • (5/5)
    This was wonderful. I was in one grade lower than the main character during her times in the 80’s. This hit really close to home. Thank you for this.
  • (5/5)
    Made me think of my friendships more so in HS. In elementary, I was still very naive and oblivious... nor did I care what others thought of me. But, came down a bit hard in HS. I remember creating my own group with a "Jen". Nostalgia...
  • (4/5)
    This is really good and it is really good to read if you are going through a hard time. It made me feel good that I have friends. We all go through this same process I’m finding good friends.
  • (5/5)
    It was very good and I can't wait to read the next one!
  • (5/5)
    I love the part when Jen said can I join your group!!
  • (5/5)
    I've always loved this book! I'm not sure, but I've read it like 10 times! And, I am about to turn 11 this tuesday, and I have some fake friends, and I have NO idea what to do.Like, Wendy said, "Can't live with 'em, can't live without 'em." Is there any way you could write back?

  • (5/5)
    Wow this really tells how friendship is important and the struggles that everyone have in their lives.
  • (5/5)
    I loved this book for various reasons. One reason I loved this book was because of the characters. The characters in this story were very realistic. For example, the main character, Shannon, is very likeable through her thoughts and her actions. Throughout the story, for example, even though Shannon starts to do mean things that the clique does, it is obvious that she does not agree with these things and feels more empathy for others. These character qualities makes Shannon a likeable and relatable character to readers. Also, one of the characters, Jenny, started lying and accusing Shannon of lying due to her own jealousy of Shannon’s likeability in the friend group. These actions are also very realistic of things people do out of jealousy. Both Shannon and Jenny are examples of realistic characters that engage the readers more into the story. In addition to the characters, another reason I loved this book was because of the illustrations. Since this book is a graphic novel, the illustrations are the bulk of the story. The combination of the writing and the graphics makes the characters more real, but in the illustrations, the panels play out like scenes in the readers’ imaginations. One technique that I really liked in the illustrations was the fact that when the panels were close up and very narrow, it displayed quick action scenes to get the reader engaged in the action going on in the story. In many scenes with physical action, this graphic novel feature is shown. Also, another technique in this graphic novel is that during large action or transition pages (chapters), the illustration covered the whole page or a couple pages. This technique engaged readers because it emphasized the importance of these scenes and allowed them to have more detail. Each of these graphic novel techniques engaged readers in following through the illustrations in the story. The main message of this story is that it is important to find quality friends who will constantly support you and be by your side.
  • (5/5)
    Amazing easy book for a young girl in elementary school to read
  • (5/5)
    Perfect graphics, great colour. Great writing and interesting story
  • (4/5)
    Graphic novel about friendship in childhood, how fickle and difficult it can be to manage your friends and school life, home life, and be yourself.
  • (5/5)
    How sweet and honest Shannon was and how she tried to make friends but nobody liked het