My Worst Friend

Overview

This young school-based novel by a popular author centers on the rocky relationship between two girls who really should be good friends—but just aren’t. Jenny has been wary of Sara since the first day of kindergarten—and with good reason. Sara has a sharp tongue and a prickly personality. She knows how to get what she wants, and she always wants to get Jenny. Every time Jenny thinks they can be friends, Sara does something mean in return. Then Sara is diagnosed with cancer, and Jenny has to reconsider her whole ...
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Overview

This young school-based novel by a popular author centers on the rocky relationship between two girls who really should be good friends—but just aren’t. Jenny has been wary of Sara since the first day of kindergarten—and with good reason. Sara has a sharp tongue and a prickly personality. She knows how to get what she wants, and she always wants to get Jenny. Every time Jenny thinks they can be friends, Sara does something mean in return. Then Sara is diagnosed with cancer, and Jenny has to reconsider her whole relationship with her nemesis. Plotted so that the surprises keep coming to the very end, this novel spotlights the mean kid in class and subtly examines her manipulative effect not only on Jenny, but on the other kids, too. Readers can observe the struggles around as well as the struggles within the main character as she tries to cope with the mixture of feelings she is experiencing. Even though the topic is serious, Petersen tells the story with light humor that will appeal to his usual audience of young middle-graders. Easy to read and accurately capturing the different emotions of the classroom characters, the novel combines laughs and tears to produce a story with an unforgettable edge. P. J. Petersen lives in Redding, California. Meredith Johnson lives near Pasadena, California.

After a sharp-tongued fifth-grader undergoes surgery for a brain tumor she is uncomfortable because suddenly everyone is unnaturally nice to her.

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Editorial Reviews

School Library Journal
Gr 3-4-A mediocre story about two longtime rivals who realize it's possible to resolve their differences. Sara and Jenny have known each other practically all their lives, but Sara has a nasty streak that keeps the two at odds most of the time. When Jenny discovers that Sara is ill and could die, she decides to try to be a friend to her. Her plan backfires as the girl remains her unpleasant self, even in the face of kindness. Finally the girls come to a truce and begin to develop somewhat of a friendship. Although the story is about a serious subject, it is difficult for readers to develop any sympathy for Sara. Any transformation on her part is too little too late. Although one occasionally suspects her bravado is simply a defense mechanism, most of the time she is just manipulative and unpleasant. Still, the relationship portrays a type of rivalry that readers may have experienced, and the message to treat those with illnesses like everyone else is admirable. Black-and-white line drawings, one per chapter, illustrate the story. Sally Warner's Sort of Forever (Knopf, 1998) is a better choice on the subject of juvenile cancer.-Carrie A. Guarria, Lindenhurst Memorial Library, NY
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780525460282
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 9/1/1998
  • Edition description: 1 ED
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 144
  • Age range: 7 - 10 Years
  • Lexile: 490L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 8.32 (w) x 5.52 (h) x 0.63 (d)

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