Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group
Real Friends

Real Friends

Written by Shannon Hale; illustrated by LeUyen Pham

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“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

Parents Magazine, Best Children's Books of the Year, Publishers Weekly Best Books of the Year

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Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

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.

Reviews

Praise for Real Friends

“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

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Written by Shannon Hale; illustrated by LeUyen Pham

Shannon Hale is the bestselling author of many books for children, including the Ever After High series, Princess Academy (Newbery Honor book), and The Unbeatable Squirrel Girl middle grade novel. She co-wrote the graphic novels Rapunzel's Revenge and Calamity Jack and the chapter book series The Princess in Black with her husband Dean Hale. They live with their four children near Salt Lake City, Utah.

LeUyen Pham is the bestselling illustrator of The Princess in Black series with Shannon and Dean Hale. She wrote and illustrated Big Sister, Little Sister and The Bear Who Wasn’t There and is the illustrator of many other picture books, including The Boy Who Loved Math. She lives and works in Los Angeles with her husband and her two adorable sons.

Shannon Hale

Jenn Florence

LeUyen Pham

Anouk Kluyskens

Reading Guide

For Parents and Educators

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Download the Real Friends projects for children to do at home and in the classroom

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From the Publisher

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