Best Friend Next Door by Carolyn Meckler

Published by Scholastic 

Summary:  Hannah is reeling from a double blow: her neighbor and best friend Sophie has recently moved away, and she’s just learned that her stepmother is pregnant. When she meets the new girl whose family bought Sophie’s house, she’s sure she won’t like her.  But Hannah and Emme both have palindromes for names, love swimming and hate pizza, and share a New Year’s Day birthday.  They feel like they are almost twins, and soon they are best friends.  Fifth grade brings its share of ups and downs, though, and each girl worries about growing apart from the other.  Narrated in the alternating voices of Hannah and Emme, this story chronicles a strong friendship capable of withstanding the ups and downs of being eleven.  Grades 4-6.

Pros:  Fans of Wendy Mass, Cynthia Lord, and Meg Cabot will enjoy the story of a friendship between two “girl next door” characters.

Cons:  Some parents may take issue with the portrayal of Elle’s two-mom family.

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