Best Friends

Book review by
Abby Aldrich, Common Sense Media
Best Friends Book Poster Image
Story of a friend moving is comforting and relatable.

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 1 review

Kids say

age 8+
Based on 8 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this book.

Positive Messages

Shows the strong friendship of two very different girls and how they bounce back after the loss.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Alice and Gemma are sweet girls who sometimes make poor choices, but learn from their mistakes. Friends and family are supportive, especially one beloved grandparent. However, when Gemma gets angry she shouts, fights, and eats until she’s sick. She says “damn” and “hell”
a couple times. Alice’s mother is somewhat materialistic, favoring DKNY instead of Gap, and Gemma's mother doesn't like that her daughter dresses "like a boy." Adults serve Pimm's, which is an alcoholic beverage, at an afternoon picnic.

Violence & Scariness

Gemma shouts when she's angry and treats a friend poorly by calling him fat and challenging him to a fight, which never happens.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that this book deals with the emotional ups and downs of friendship and loss when one friend moves away. Gemma acts out a little in response to this. She challenges someone to a fight that never happens, shouts in anger, and eats sweets until she's sick. Gemma also says "damn" and "hell" a couple of times in front of her granddad, who gently admonishes her.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMsberann July 10, 2019

Adorable and incredibly relatable book!!

I really liked this book as a child and still do. It's one of my favourites! It tells the story about being separated from your best friend in a very relat... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old November 26, 2020

It’s a great book!

Hi!, I’ve read many of Jacqueline’s books and I think it’s one of the best! It’s a little sad, but overall I enjoyed it a lot.
Kid, 8 years old June 25, 2015

Really Good

It is perfect for 8-10 yearolds. But 7+ can read it too.

What's the story?

Gemma and Alice have been best friends since birth. They were born on the same day, in the same
hospital and have been inseparable ever since. Complete opposites (Gemma is athletic
and messy, while Alice is graceful and tidy), they have a bond that is unbreakable and every year on
their birthday they share the same wish: “We wish we stay friends forever and
ever and ever.” Everything seems ruined when Alice's father gets a new job hundreds of
miles away and the family has to move. Now Alice and Gemma have to navigate the rough waters
of adjusting to life without each other.

Is it any good?

Kids will relate to the strength of Gemma and Alice's friendship, as
well as the sadness and anger they feel at being separated against their will. They’ll
appreciate the warmth of Gemma’s granddad and the lengths he goes to in order
to help his granddaughter cope. Readers will find the book uplifting as they
see the characters learn how to move on.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about friendship and how people can be

  • best friends even when they’re very different. Do you have friends who are

  • different from you? How does that work for or against your friendship?

  • Why did Gemma feel that her mother would prefer Alice as a daughter? Why

  • do some people expect that a girl should wear dresses and care about makeup

  • and hairstyles? What do those expectations say to a girl who doesn’t fit those

  • stereotypes?

  • Why do you think Gemma was so mad at Biscuits and why do you

  • think Biscuits continued to be a good friend to her in spite of it?

Book details

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