When you've got friends like this, who needs enemies?

A review of Real Friends by Shannon Hale

All I can say is, wow. Somehow we make it through elementary and middle school friendships. It's not easy. It's not nice. It's not quickly forgotten. And it doesn't seem to get any easier for subsequent generations. Why is that?

Shannon Hale's Real Friends is the semi-autobiographical story of Shannon and her childhood best friend Adrienne. Adrienne starts hanging out with the popular girls at school and that leaves Shannon as the odd girl out. Sort of. Shannon is fun and imaginative and draws friends to her in the midst of the "clique" drama. But it's still not a simple, happy time.

This was painful to read. But the author gets it exactly right, eerily right, at least according to my own 5th and 6th grade experiences. This book has been popular with boys and girls of a wide range of ages in elementary school and would make a fantastic Mother-Daughter or Parent-Child book club choice because there are so many aspects of relationships to discuss. 

And just when you think you've got a handle on friendships, you grow up and a whole new set of rules and interpersonal relationship guidelines and expectations are thrust upon you. Life is impossible.