Parents' Guide to

Best Friends

By Andrea Beach, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 9+

Lively graphic-novel memoir about finding the right friends.

Best Friends Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

age 9+

Based on 1 parent review

age 9+

Finding our feet is never easy

As a primary school teacher-librarian, and someone who grew up during this time, I heartily endorse this book for Years 4+. Hale's autobiographical graphic novel illustrates the many complications in growing up both then and now. Shannon is always trying to find a way to manage peer expectations, parental expectations, societal expectations, and her own growing sense of identity. Hale never indulges in any exaggerated dramas of early adolesence. Rather, these books immerse us in day-to-day situations which weigh so heavily on young people, and reminds older readers of how intense this period is for young people. In sharing these stories of juggling friendship, worrying about world events, and coming to an understanding of who we are, Hale validates and normalises these dramas for young readers while, also, providing some subtle advice.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say (1 ):
Kids say (7 ):

This lively, honest graphic-novel memoir captures all the turmoil and drama of being 12 and discovering that you don't, in fact, finally have everything figured out. Author Shannon Hale's storytelling in Best Friends ably conveys how confusing friendships can be in a way that big kids and tweens will really relate to. And the dynamic illustrations of LeUyen Pham add depth to both characters and emotions. Interweaving the fantasy story into the narration helps readers follow Shannon's journey as she learns how to find the inner strength to forge her own path, and to keep looking for deep, meaningful connections with others.

The graphic-novel format makes this a good choice for reluctant readers, and it's a great opportunity to talk to kids about friendship, group dynamics, like-liking someone, anxiety, fears, being true to yourself, and more.

Book Details

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