Eyre, Lindsay. The Best Friend Battle
March 31st 2015 by Arthur A. Levine Books
E ARC from Netgalley.com
Sylvie doesn't like George-- he's mean when he plays baseball, and he's a stinky boy. So when he and his friend Josh start spending a lot of time with Sylvie's best friend, Miranda, she's not happy about it. Josh and George are perfectly nice, but Sylvie suspects them of trying to steal Miranda away, especially when she thinks they get Miranda, whose dog has just passed away, a ferret for her birthday. On impulse, she takes the ferret from George's house, only to find out it is his. She tries to think of a nice present to get for Miranda while taking care of the ferret, with the help of her five-year-old twin brothers. She even gets help from the boys, who seem pretty nice, but when Miranda has her birthday party, Sylvie manages to disgrace herself. How can she manage to keep Miranda as a friend?
Strengths: This was a very nice young middle grade book, dealing with problems realistically. There are lots of supportive, understanding parents, and even some grandparents. The characters are culturally diverse, as well.
Weaknesses: Sylvie is a bit overwrought. I know that real nine-year-olds get that way, but I'm more used to Haywood's Betsy and other mid-century children who were models of virtue.
What I really think: Too young for my students, but great for 1st through 4th graders who care deeply about things like gerbils and birthday presents.