Best Friends-ish (Audrey L. & Audrey W. book 1) by Carter Higgins, illustrated by Jennifer K. Mann

Published by Chronicle Books

Audrey L and Audrey W: Best Friends-ish: Book 1 (Audrey L & Audrey W, 1):  Higgins, Carter, Mann, Jennifer K.: 9781452183947: Books

Summary:  Audrey is struggling a bit with second grade, since her former best friend Diego has found himself some new friends.  Audrey feels like she’s kind of average, and wishes she could be the best at something.  When her teacher announces that there’s going to be a new girl in the class, Audrey’s not sure how she feels, especially after learning that the new girl’s name is also Audrey, and the original Audrey will now be known as Audrey L.  Audrey L. is chosen to be the Welcome Ambassador for Audrey W.  She bakes the new girl a cake (baking being something that she is actually good at), but then drops it on the floor.  Audrey W. is nice about it, though, and before long it seems like the two Audreys might become friends.  But second grade is not always easy, and the new friendship proves to be something of a roller coaster ride.  Things are cemented in the final chapters, and the ending offers promise that a book 2 could be in store.  184 pages; grades 1-4.

Pros:  A winning early chapter book that really captures the emotions of early elementary school.  Both Audreys suffer some insecurities, but are basically kind, and you will be rooting for their best friendship to emerge after a series of false starts.  The illustrations by Jennifer Mann add excellent visuals to the story.

Cons:  I did not know that it was bad for hermit crabs to paint their shells (although it makes sense), so the horror the girls felt in that part of the story was kind of lost on me.

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