Wednesday, February 12, 2020

A Friend Indeed: My Friend by Elisa Amado

I knew you would be my best friend the day I came to school the first time.

Right away you understood so much about me. And I understood you.

The two girls don't look alike, but they understand each other. They are different but they learn to share everything. They are best friends, even when the other kids cannot see why.

But when one invites the other girl to have dinner with her family, it feels awkward.
I could tell you didn't like the food so much.

But that was okay. You'd never eaten our kind of food before.

And then her dad talks too loud and too much, and then he sings along with his favorite CD--way too loud.
But I could see that you were trying to understand and be really polite.

I was kind of embarrassed, but then I thought to myself, you are my best friend.

But her best friend asks to go home way too early.

And on the way to school the next morning, the girl wonders if she no longer has a best friend.

But there is someone is waiting for her in front of the school, in Elisa Amado's My Friend (Groundwood Books, 2019). Amado's story of two friends who take the first step of negotiating family differences bravely takes on a part of childhood that most kids encounter as they grow up, in which the lucky ones learn that people can be friends even when they don't share all the same things. A friend in need in a friend indeed. Artist Alfonso Ruando's realistic and detailed illustrations and sense of place ground this heartwarming story of enduring friendship.

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