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The Kind of Friends We Used to Be [NOOK Book]

Overview

Edgar Award–winning novelist Frances O’Roark Dowell explores the shifting terrain of middle-school friendship in this follow-up to the beloved The Secret Language of Girls. Kate and Marylin are smack dab in the middle of middle school—seventh grade—and they know they can never be best friends like they used to be. Marylin is a middle school cheerleader obsessed with popularity and hairstyles, and Kate is the exact opposite with her combat boots and hankering to learn guitar and write her own songs. Still, Kate ...
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The Kind of Friends We Used to Be

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Overview

Edgar Award–winning novelist Frances O’Roark Dowell explores the shifting terrain of middle-school friendship in this follow-up to the beloved The Secret Language of Girls. Kate and Marylin are smack dab in the middle of middle school—seventh grade—and they know they can never be best friends like they used to be. Marylin is a middle school cheerleader obsessed with popularity and hairstyles, and Kate is the exact opposite with her combat boots and hankering to learn guitar and write her own songs. Still, Kate and Marylin yearn to find some middle ground for their friendship—but it’s harder than they ever imagined.
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Editorial Reviews

Mary Quattlebaum
This touching sequel to The Secret Language of Girls alternates perspectives between Kate and Marylin. This allows for a nuanced portrait of an evolving friendship…By building sympathy for both characters, Frances O'Roark Dowell creates an emotionally complex story of girls going their separate ways but managing to reconnect, sometimes in a funny and poignant fashion.
—The Washington Post
Publishers Weekly

This sequel to Dowell's The Secret Language of Girls follows Marylin and Kate as they start seventh grade on a tense note, having drifted from being BFFs to being neighbors who tiptoe around each other, unsure of what to say. The third-person perspective shifts between the two: Marylin learns that being a cheerleader means putting up with obnoxious snobs, and Kate develops an interest in songwriting. This even-handedness is both a strength and a weakness. Both girls are sympathetic but the constant switching back and forth between their various crises-Marylin's parents' divorce; Kate's anxiety over a cute boy in her creative writing club-means neither girl's story gets substantial treatment. It's more a slice of middle school life, kept afloat by Dowell's smart insights into the way the middle school mind works. The territory is familiar, but for girls on either end of a friendship whose contours keep changing, Dowell's treatment will act as a balm. Ages 8-12. (Jan.)

Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
School Library Journal

Gr 5-8

This insightful sequel to The Secret Language of Girls (S & S, 2004) stands alone, but readers will want to go back and find out more about these engaging characters. Kate and Marylin used to be best friends, but sixth grade changed things. Now, as seventh graders, they are trying to work their way back to the way things "used to be." But it's not so easy when they are so different; Kate's new passion is the guitar-and her heavy black boots-while Marylin, a cheerleader, is determined to be feminine and popular at all costs. Alternating points of view make it easy for readers to relate to both girls as they navigate friendship, romance, and family relationships. Dowell gets middle-school dynamics exactly right, and while her empathetic portraits of Kate and Marylin are genuine and heartfelt, even secondary characters are memorable. A realistic and humorous look at the trials and tribulations of growing up and growing independent.-Laurie Slagenwhite, Baldwin Public Library, Birmingham, MI

Kirkus Reviews
"Do you ever miss it?" Marylin asks Kate. "Being all-the-time friends, like we used to be?" The protagonists of 2005's The Secret Language of Girls return, their sixth-grade year having found these two BFFs drifting apart. One year further along, they are still negotiating their new relationship, cheerleader Marylin desperate to help her friend not seem quite so "weird," while budding rocker Kate declares, "I'm good the way I am." At school, the girls occupy their separate orbits, finding new friends and new interests while still checking in with each other. Marylin's decision to run for student government provides her the opportunity to define herself and to develop a more mature friendship with Kate. The shifting third-person narrative follows each girl in turn, investing both with clearly distinct and highly sympathetic personalities that lead them in occasionally criss-crossing directions; the questions they ask themselves as they try out new identities arise naturally and their answers are always disarmingly honest. Dowell's characteristically sensitive exploration of the inner lives of these two girls will resonate long and loud. (Fiction. 10-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781442406162
  • Publisher: Atheneum Books for Young Readers
  • Publication date: 4/27/2010
  • Series: Secret Language of Girls Trilogy Series , #2
  • Sold by: SIMON & SCHUSTER
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 117,324
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 950L (what's this?)
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

 Frances O’Roark Dowell is the bestselling and critically acclaimed author of Dovey Coe, which won the Edgar Award and the William Allen White Award; Where I’d Like to Be; the bestselling The Secret Language of Girls and its sequels The Kind of Friends We Used to Be and The Sound of Your Voice, Only Really Far Away; Chicken Boy; Shooting the Moon, which was awarded the Christopher Medal; the Phineas L. MacGuire series; Falling In; the critically acclaimed The Second Life of Abigail Walker; Anybody Shining; and the teen novel Ten Miles Past Normal. She lives with her husband and two sons in Durham, North Carolina. Connect with Frances online at FrancesDowell.com.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 169 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(128)

4 Star

(22)

3 Star

(9)

2 Star

(4)

1 Star

(6)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 170 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    READ THIS!!

    My bestfreind is dyslexic and reading is frustrating for her so she tries to avoid it but when she saw the cover of the book she immeteatly checked it out of the library wich is sooooo not like her. She read this book in a week it was the biggest book she ever read and the fastest she ever read a book. This book caused her to want to come with me to the library every other school day at study hall!! This book actually made an IMPACT ON A DYSLEXIC CHILDS LIFE!!!!!!!!!!!!! This should proove you should read it!!!!!

    27 out of 32 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 23, 2011

    If you are in middle school READ THIS!!!

    If you are in middle school (6th grade) this is real good book to read. Plus it helps give you a taste of what is going to happen in 7th grade.

    23 out of 31 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 13, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    the kind of friends we used to be!

    this book is SO GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! i give it a 1,000,0000 STAR RATING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    19 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted February 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Reviewed by Sally Kruger aka "Readingjunky" for TeensReadToo.com

    The friendship adventures of Kate and Marylin continue in THE KIND OF FRIENDS WE USED TO BE. The girls were in sixth grade in THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF GIRLS, and now they are in seventh. <BR/><BR/>Marylin continues to hang out with the cheerleaders, although she is gradually beginning to realize that the controlling Mazie does not always have her best interests in mind. When Marylin meets Rhetta, the new girl, she never dreams that they could have so much in common. Rhetta's gorgeous anime drawings of fairies remind Marylin of the stories she constantly imagines but never has the courage to put down on paper. Their unlikely friendship gives Marylin the inspiration to stay a cheerleader but not follow the crowd just for the sake of following. <BR/><BR/>Kate also makes some new and different friendship connections. Who would have guessed that Flannery, who just a year ago had made Kate feel so awful, could possibly become someone with whom she can share some of her most personal thoughts with? When Kate decides to move from an interest in basketball to taking up the guitar, Flannery provides the support and encouragement Kate needs. Kate also finds another musical kindred spirit when she meets Matthew Holler. He is not like the other boys. He recognizes her need to be something other than a girly-girl, and he really listens and cares about the song lyrics she feels driven to create. <BR/><BR/>Both Kate and Marylin realize their friendship will survive the test of time, but they also realize that they will both need other friends to support them as their interests and needs change. <BR/><BR/>Once again, Frances O'Roark Dowell tells a story that will connect with middle grade readers. She covers the topics of struggling friendships, divorcing parents, and the need to be an individual - all subjects that complicate the growing up process. <BR/><BR/>Both THE KIND OF FRIENDS WE USED TO BE and THE SECRET LANGUAGE OF GIRLS would be excellent additions to any middle grade classroom or library.

    17 out of 24 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 24, 2012

    AMAZING

    I loved this book couldnt put it down every part was AWSOME!!

    16 out of 19 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted October 14, 2011

    Okay

    Very good book, but can be boring at some parts but otherwise excellent book to read.

    10 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 1, 2012

    It's amazing

    This book is one of the best books i ever read! I would recomond this to the girls even if your like a tomboy this book and relate to you it did to me. There are lots of details and it never gets boring. I would say this is a fifth or sixth grade book there are some big words , but its amazing i can relate to this book and i hope the author writes more

    8 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2011

    GOOD READ

    This is a nice book to read but you should read the first book before this one. You will enjoy this book

    8 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2011

    Aaaaaaawwewweeeeessssssoooommmeeee

    Awesome book. Love the author. Dont think. Just BUY!

    7 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2011

    Kate reminded me so much of myself.

    I wish there was a real girl like Kate because we really relate. I like to be myself. I want to learn guitar and i am a sort of songwriter. I also have a pretty word list sort of thing. And i have had bff friendship problems. But i t got fixed. I treasure this book eith my whole heart. I will always remember every word and detail from this book :')

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 3, 2012

    Awesome!

    This book is simply one word: AWESOME! I love how it describes something so common between normal/regular friendships. It's very easy to picture yourself in that situation, because almost everybody has gone through it. I would rate this book a million bajillion stars if I could! This book is a must read for girls between the ages of 11 to 14!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 26, 2011

    Best book ever!!!

    I love this book!!! I love the sequel to it also. This is one of the best books I have ever read!!! I definetly recommend it!!!

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted July 27, 2012

    Anonymous

    I love this book! Real preteens and early teen girls can relate to it. They can look at the difficulties the book characters have and find solutions. Wonderful book!!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2012

    Awesome book ever!

    This is on of the most fantastic books i have ever read! The sign of how two froemds try to work things out together and not get bullied. :) <3

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 13, 2012

    Outstanding and True Friends

    The story was heart touching and a book that almost any girl can relate to. The two friends Marylin and Kate go through hard times. Looks of a person are not their exact personality. Along the way, the two friends meet people who the popular croud think are not as good as them so they treat them differently, ignoring them and acting like they are weird or insane and are not worthy like they 'are.' They learn that the populars are only people who care about themseleves. But really, the friends that realy count were the friends that actually had a true heart. Friends like Rhetta, someone who Marylin meets and is the only true friend that stuck by her when she needed a friend the most. Matthew, someome who Kate meets which she happens to have a crush on but still, Matthew has been an amaxing person to talk to and won't turn his back on you just because you talk back or doen't agree with him. Those are the friends that really count. Friends that Marylin and Kate both meet.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 29, 2012

    Awsome

    This book is AWSOME! u NEED to read it!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted September 7, 2011

    GREAT BOOK!

    The Kind of Friends we Used to Be is a great book! It was written by Frances O' Roark Dowell. The genre of this book is realistic fiction. It is about two girls who find difficulties in their relationship with each other. Marylin and Kate are best friends until seventh grade. They slowly lose their friendship and change throughout the story.
    Marylin is a very girly, popular cheerleader. On the other hand, Kate is a very dark, outgoing basketball player and songwriter. The girls have been best friends and are now neighbors. When Marylin starts to become closer with her cheering friends, Kate starts feeling abandoned. Kate first starts by hanging out with a girl named Flannery. They knew each other from school, but Flannery was a year older. They find out that they have things in common such as playing guitar and writing songs. Kate looks up to Flannery and decides she needs some work on her songwriting. Kate then joins a creative writing group and lets her imagination run. She meets people with the same interests and makes new friends. She also broadens her songwriting and becomes good at it.
    While Kate is busy making new friends, Marylin starts to feel out of place with the cheerleaders. Marylin gets pushed around by the cheer captain Mazie. Marylin then meets a girl named Rhetta. Rhetta is artistic and creative and doesn't care what people think about her. Marylin is surprised that she likes the same things as Rhetta, even though she isn't a cheerleader. She feels that she can be open with Rhetta and doesn't have to be someone that she's not. When the cheerleaders start to ignore Marylin because they see her with Rhetta, Marylin decides she doesn't care either. She realizes that even though she is a cheerleader, she doesn't have to follow in their shadow of being judgmental.
    Finally, Marylin and Kate find their way back to each other. Marylin misses Kate and likes being her friend. Kate missed Marylin too and they realize that they shouldn't try to change one another. They both find out that they should be themselves and its okay to have more than one best friend. They both needed people to support them with the changes going on in both of their lives.
    I liked this book because the author used real live situations between the two girls and it was easy to relate to. The book gives opinions on things from both Marylin's side and Kate's side of a situation. It deals on a lot of problems teens deal with when growing up. It shows that it's a good thing to have more than one best friend. Another thing this book taught me was to not always go along with the crowd and it's better to just be yourself. This is a really good book and I would definitely recommend it.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 11, 2011

    YOU+SHOULD+READ+THIS%21%21%21%21%21

    It+is+such+a+great+book.+I+would+recomend+it+to+girls+whos+good+friend+left+them+but+they+still+have+a+good+friendship.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2011

    made me feel something in heart

    Made me feel like this is real.... mostly cause it sounds somewhat like my life except i dont play guitar and i feel like awesomeness :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 14, 2011

    Loved it!!!!!!!!!!!

    Its a great read for young girls! Its inspiring makes me want to learn how to play guitar :)

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
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