The Kind of Friends We Used To Be by Frances O'Roark Dowell is a great tween novel for girls showing the growing and changing that take place among girlfriends during middle school. Interests develop, girls mature at different rates, and things change. This is the problem facing Kate and Marylin. Both girls still want to be friends but it is quite obvious that things are changing with them and both girls like different things and have different friends to hang out with. Marylin is a cheerleader, and hangs out with the other cheerleaders. While she doesn't necessarily like how Mazie, the ringleader of the cheerleaders acts, she doesn't have enough confidence to stick up for herself or her friends, either. Kate is more into her music - wanting to learn to play the guitar and write her own music. She marches to her own beat and finds some new friendships by doing this.
As an adult I can appreciate how common it is for friendships to change and grow, and sometimes even end as years go on. Girls should be able to relate to Kate and Marylin and find some solace in the fact that what they may be going through in their life is completely normal.
Visit Frances O'Roark Dowell's website.
Other reviews of The Kind of Friends We Used to Be
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This is the sort of book that has left me not knowing exactly what to say about it....a good story, great realistic fiction, something I will think about for a while. And who can resist the wonderful cover showing girls making snow angels, while we are sitting here in the midwest in yet another snowstorm?