Saturday, July 18, 2015
Best Friend Next Door, by Carolyn Mackler
Mackler has written a number of great MG and YA books over the years and she always does a great job of exploring the friendships and anxieties of tweens and teens. This book captures life as a ten year-old pretty convincingly, but beyond that, the story meanders and doesn't really have a purpose. There are plenty of challenges -- a lost cat, bullying at school, a new sibling, changing tastes, evolving relationships with family and friends, a birthday trip, and so on -- but not really any overriding story. For the young reader who simply wants to enjoy following two sympathetic fifth-graders as they navigate their pre-adolescent world, this will be an enjoyable read, but it lacked the substance to create a really great work.
[Disclaimer: I solicited and received a free copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an unbiased review. I am donating the book to my local public library when I am finished.]