Reviewed by:

Surbiton High Girls' Prep
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Best Friends Forever

What the book club told us about the book:

Starting secondary school is tough for everyone, but Lola is facing extra challenges. Her parents' divorce has turned her world chaotic. She's counting on her best friend Evie for support, but friendships can be tricky when you're growing up. Will things stay the same, or is their bond about to change? This is the first book in the new 'Bigg School' series focusing on 'ordinary kids, extraordinary lives'. It's a quick read filled with amusing illustrations which help capture Lola's personality and state of mind.
Author: Lisa Williamson
Illustrator: Jess Bradley
Publisher: Guppy Publishing Ltd
Format: Paperback (256 pages)

Our School Review

What our pupils thought

“This book reminded me of Lottie Brooks as it was all about growing up and life changing as you move into a new phase of your life. I thought the first person narration made it feel like a diary which was good as you definitely got to know what Lola was like and how she felt.”

“I liked the journey Lola went on where she was having a bad time at the start of the book but she later on she realised that she had to let go of the way things used to be and that there could be good things about starting new friendships and new ways of being a family. I liked the way that in the end nobody was to blame for Evie moving on to a new friendship. It felt like Lola had grown up a lot.”

“This book talked about a lot of the things people are afraid of when they go to high school. They might be worried about getting into trouble or not knowing how things work or that they aren’t cool enough. At first, I thought that the book made these things sound very scary but in the end, Lola managed to find a way through her feelings so that she was having a good time with her new friends and she had found her place and a way to be herself.”

About the book club:

Our book club consists of six year 6 children who are all keen readers. We meet weekly at lunchtime to discuss and recommend a range of books. We have been shadowing the UKLA teacher judging process so have read most of the books from the 7-19+ longlist.

What our educators thought

“Short-format, first-person narrated chapters read almost like diary entries and the differing viewpoints of the characters would make for an interesting discussion about unreliable narrators as Lola’s understanding of what is happening changes throughout the book.

Lola’s family are dealing with the aftermath of divorce. There seems to be no animosity between her parents which confuses Lola as she convinces herself they might get back together. This culminates in a sensitive chat between the whole family which helps Lola understand the situation better. Lola’s relationship with her brother is also dealt with in a realistic fashion with the siblings acting with irritation towards each other earlier on but finding a middle ground towards the end.

Other areas such as peer pressure, periods and boyfriends are all touched on within the narrative but in an age appropriate way with a realistic range of responses from the different characters!”

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