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Just Jaime: Emmie & Friends, Book 3

Book review by
Amanda Nojadera, Common Sense Media
Just Jaime: Emmie & Friends, Book 3 Book Poster Image
Fast-paced, emotional tale of middle school friend drama.

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A lot or a little?

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

Educational Value

Meant to entertain, but kids will see how gossip can hurt other people's feelings. 

Positive Messages

Communication and self-control are important themes. When you're panicked or angry, Jaime's dad suggests this self-control technique: take a deep breath, count to eight, and exhale slowly. Don't let mean people get the best of you. Apologize in person to others for your mistakes. You might think it's the end of the world when you friends "ghost" you, but you'll find people who accept you without any judgment.

Positive Role Models & Representations

Jaime doesn't let Celia get the best of her. Maya eventually defends Jaime and apologizes to her in person. Jaime's mom and Madame Z let Jaime know that they are there for her if she wants to talk about her problems. Anthony, Izzy, Emma, and Brianna welcome Jaime into their friend group.


Mean middle schoolers gossip about other kids. A mention of a kid who got hit by a car when he was texting while crossing the street.


Talk of middle school crushes and dating. Mentions of first kisses and puberty.


Characters use words like "stupid," "friggin," and "flippin."


Brands and pop culture mentions include Instagram, YouTube, Aladdin, Dora the Explorer, Harry Potter, and Speed. There are also mentions of fictional social media networks called SnapGab and GabChat.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Just Jaime is the third graphic novel by Terri Libenson about two middle-school girls, Jaime and Maya, and their friendship drama on the last day of seventh grade. Told in alternating chapters, the book highlights the importance of communication and self-control while also showing how gossip hurts other people's feelings. Characters use words like "stupid," "friggin," and "flippin." There are also mentions of middle school crushes, dating, first kisses, and puberty.

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What's the story?

It’s the last day of seventh grade and Jaime should be excited that summer's about to start. Instead, she's trying to figure out why her friends have been teasing her and excluding her over the past few months. She knows that she should talk to her BFF Maya, but even Maya has been pretty distant lately. Meanwhile, Maya's been annoyed that Jaime doesn't like the same things as the rest of the girls in their popular group. But that doesn't mean it’ll be easy to tell Jaime that she's been voted out. Will their friendship survive or will it be JUST JAIME this summer?

Is it any good?

Terri Libenson has created a fast-paced, emotional graphic novel that perfectly captures the ups and downs of middle school friendships. As in her previous books, Libenson brilliantly uses alternating chapters with different formats -- prose with sketches for Jaime, and comic-style panels for Maya -- to tell the story, which takes place over the course of one eventful day. As Jaime and Maya deal with the drama of "popular" cliques, peer pressure, and jealousy, tweens will see how "mean girl" behavior and gossiping hurts others. Just Jaime might have a predictable ending, but it provides important lessons about communication, self-control, and apologizing for your mistakes.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the graphic novel format. How is it effective in telling the story of Just Jaime?

  • Do you ever feel different or left out? When? Do you think others in your class or school feel that way? What can you do to help them feel included? How have new friends come into your life? How have you helped build new friendships?

  • How do the kids demonstrate communication and self-control? Why are these important character strengths?

Book details

Themes & Topics

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For kids who love graphic novels and middle school stories

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