Real Friends by Shannon Hale, LeUyen Pham (Illustrations)

Hardcover, 224 pages
Expected publication: May 2nd 2017 by First Second
Source: Raincoast Books

Real Friends is an autobiographical account of Hale’s childhood and friendship woes. The graphic novel concerns itself with the sticky relationships between an elementary aged Hale and the girls she wanted to call friends. She finds herself at the edges of a group thanks to her one best friend who is so much more than Hale feels she’ll ever be. In addition to her tumultuous friendships, Shannon has to deal with a tempestuous relationship with one of her older sisters who seems to hate her for no reason that she can think of.

The graphic novel will be helpful to kids who are undergoing many of the same issues that little Shannon faces as she grows older, navigating the shark-infested playground and school hallways is difficult when you don’t look a certain way or wear certain kind of clothes.

The graphic novel is not too traumatic, thank goodness. Little Shannon does eventually find herself and a group of friends who are more accepting of her eccentricities. The art is amazing. I have become a fan of LeUyen Pham and will be sure to look up and read more of their work.