I have been a fan of Shannon Hale since her very first book but this might just be my favorite. Her frank and sometimes heartbreaking accounting of her childhood caught me to the quick on more than one occasion. I empathized with her, and cheered with her and loved every moment I spent reading this wonderful book. It is definitely a must-read for everyone. — From Faith's Picks (page 1)
“Fresh and funny.” —New York Times Book Review
Newbery Honor author Shannon Hale and New York Times bestselling illustrator LeUyen Pham join forces in this graphic memoir about how hard it is to find your real friends—and why it's worth the journey.
When best friends are not forever . . .
Shannon and Adrienne have been best friends ever since they were little. But one day, Adrienne starts hanging out with Jen, the most popular girl in class and the leader of a circle of friends called The Group. Everyone in The Group wants to be Jen's #1, and some girls would do anything to stay on top . . . even if it means bullying others.
Now every day is like a roller coaster for Shannon. Will she and Adrienne stay friends? Can she stand up for herself? And is she in The Group—or out?
Parents Magazine Best Graphic Novel of 2017
A School Library Journal Best Book of 2017
A Chicago Public Library Best Book of 2017
A 2017 Booklist Youth Editors' Choice
A 2018 YALSA Great Graphic Novel
About the Author
Shannon Hale's mother says she was a storyteller from birth, jabbering endlessly in her carriage as the two strolled through the neighborhood; once she could form complete sentences, she made up stories, bribing her younger siblings to perform them in mini plays. When she was ten, she began writing books, mostly fantasy stories where she was the heroine, and she continued writing secretly for years while pursuing acting in stage and improv comedy. After detours studying in Mexico, the U. K., and Paraguay, Shannon earned a bachelor's degree in English from the University of Utah and a Masters in Creative Writing from the University of Montana. In the interim, she submitted short stories and novels to magazines and publishers, saving all her rejection letters which she has since laminated into one continuous 60-foot roll which she proudly unfurls to audiences as a testament to her dedication and determination. Since the publication of her first book, The Goose Girl, in 2003, Shannon has become a beloved author to young readers as well as booksellers and educators. Her third novel, Princess Academy, earned her a Newbery Honor and is a New York Times, Book Sense, and Publishers Weekly bestseller. Shannon has also written books for adults, Austenland and The Actor and the Housewife. Shannon lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, Dean, their children, and their pet, a small plastic pig.
LEUYEN PHAM worked in animation before turning to children’s books. She wrote and illustrated Big Sister, Little Sister and The Bear Who Wasn't There, and is the illustrator of numerous other picture books. Ms. Pham lives in Los Angeles, California, with her husband.
“In Real Friends, Shannon Hale reflects on her own friendship-troubled elementary school years with honesty, humor and grace . . . Her readers will find much to love here, including LeUyen Pham’s brilliant and multilayered art . . . These detailed memories of elementary school will ring hilariously true to adult readers . . . At the same time, stories of whispered rumors and being left out will be achingly familiar for readers navigating those waters in the here and now.” —author Kate Messner, writing in the New York Times Book Review
“The book's truth is as vibrant as its art.” —Washington Post
“A heart-stabbing tale of the everyday social agonies of girlhood.” —Wall Street Journal
“Real Friends tackles bullying, childhood anxiety, and growing pains in a heartfelt way that’ll transport every woman who went to elementary school back into her days as a young girl . . . but the book also shows us the incredible kindness and solidarity that girls can and do display.” —The Mary Sue
“A wistful, affecting, and utterly charming exploration of the realities of childhood friendship.” —Booklist, starred review
“This tender, perceptive graphic memoir is bound to resonate with most readers, especially fans of Raina Telgemeier and kids struggling with the often turbulent waters of friendships and cliques.” —School Library Journal, starred review
“A wonderfully observed portrait of finding one’s place in your world.” —Publishers Weekly, starred review
“Readers will appreciate Shannon's fantastic imagination that lightens her tough journey toward courage and self-acceptance.” —Kirkus Reviews
“Hand this book to fans of Raina Telgemeier’s and Cece Bell’s graphic memoirs.” —Horn Book
“The author’s memoir nails what it’s like to navigate elementary-school friendships.” —Parents Magazine
“Pham’s visual version of Hale expresses everything, with bright creativity and intense emotional suffering warring across her face, her body posture, and even in her gait. Hale fans will appreciate the look behind the curtain at where some of her amazing book ideas are rooted, and kids who have struggled with the complexity of grade school friendships, i.e., any kid, will find comfort that the dark days can be survived.” —The Bulletin
“Real Friends is honest and heartfelt, and sure to be loved by anyone who has ever felt like an outsider. The artwork is stunning, too!” —Victoria Jamieson, New York Times–bestselling and Newbery Honor author of Roller Girl
“Fresh, fun, and achingly real. Bravo!” —Jennifer L. Holm, New York Times–bestselling and Newbery Honor author and co-creator of Sunny Side Up and the Babymouse series
“Real Friends made me laugh, broke my heart, and gave me hope. This book is SO GOOD. SO MANY FEELS.” —Gene Luen Yang, New York Times-bestselling and National Book Award Finalist author of American Born Chinese