Monday, September 8, 2008

My New Best Friend


Bowe, Julie. 2008. My New Best Friend.

As much as I enjoyed the first one, I do believe I loved this one just that much more. I loved it. It just felt right, felt natural, felt good. These books really capture what it feels like to be in fourth grade. Clubs. Fourth grade can be (and often is) all about the clubs. Including and excluding. Creating a hierarchy. Ida May is our narrator once again. And this time she is starting out the book with a best friend. A certain girl we first met in My Last Best Friend, a girl prone to lying at times: Stacey Merriweather. Jenna Drews is the "enemy" of sorts to our heroine. Though not so much as in the first book.

Here's the jacket description: "Ida May and her new best friend, Stacey Merriweather, are two peas in a pod. And when they discover a magical mermaid night-light that seems to grant wishes, they start a secret club--just the two of them. But before long, Ida suspects that Stacey is using the mermaid to tell some big lies...and to cause some big trouble at home. How will Ida set the record straight while still keeping her new best friend."

First paragraph:

"I'm Ida May and I have a lot to be thankful for.
  • I have not dropped my lunch tray once since the start of fourth grade.
  • I have only tripped twice in public.
  • Dodgeball season is almost over.
  • So is our science unit on dissecting worms.
I'm thankful for my teacher, Mr. Crow, even though he makes us slice open worms and pin back their skin. Because he doesn't make us touch their insides if we don't want to. And he always comes us with new ways to keep us from getting too bored with school. For example, he makes us learn how to spell big words like influenza, which is what you get if you breathe in too many bad germs, and catastrophe, which is what you get if things don't go the way you planned. Also, he reads to us every day. Not baby books, either. Lately, he's been reading us Greek stories about gods and goddesses and the creatures that work for them. Actually, they're Greek myths. Myth is a Greek word for made-up story. Like the one about the god Apollo driving a chariot across the sky when really it's just the sun. And other myths about pretty nymphs and singing muses who aren't as powerful as goddesses but, still, they can get you to do things that you don't exactly want to do. Mr. Crow says a myth is true if you believe it's true." (1-2)
I loved this one. I loved the mermaid night-light. Loved the secret club. Loved the story. It was funny in all the right places, yet it wasn't just a few pieced together laughs either. It had heart.


© Becky Laney of Young Readers

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