By Abby Aldrich,
Common Sense Media Reviewer
Common Sense Media Reviewers
Story of a friend moving is comforting and relatable.
A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Shows the strong friendship of two very different girls and how they bounce back after the loss.
Positive Role Models
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.
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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.
Where to Read
Based on 1 parent review
Adorable and incredibly relatable book!!
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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
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?
- Author: Jacqueline Wilson
- Genre: Friendship
- Book type: Fiction
- Publisher: Roaring Brook Press
- Publication date: September 30, 2008
- Publisher's recommended age(s): 9 - 12
- Number of pages: 240
- Last updated: July 12, 2017
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