Review of My Best Friend by Mary Ann Rodman, Illustrated by E. B. Lewis.
2006 Charlotte Zolotow Award Winner
Every summer millions of kids learn to swim at public pools or at organizations like the YMCA. I used to go every weekday at 8am for the “free swim” at our local public pool. Almost every day there were the same kids – and some of them became friends.
My Best Friend is about six year old Lily who wants to be friends with seven year old Tamika. But Tamika has her own friend. Lily tries everything she can think of to make friends with Tamika, but nothing works. She’s disappointed. Keesha wants to be friends with Lily, but Lily ignores her. (Irony?) Eventually Lily and Keesha become friends.
This is a great story of reality. Someone once said that kids should be disappointed at least once every day to get them used to the real world. That may be a little harsh, but learning to deal with disappointment and move on with life is a good real world skill. This story illustrates the hurt of disappointment, the recovery through realization, and the joy of moving on.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Ann Rodman is known for her award winning YA novel Yankee Girl selected as one of the "25 Books All Young Georgians Should Read." Although she’s lived a number of places, she is one of those wonderfully gifted writers with a compelling southern voice and story. She currently lives in Georgia and has followed My Best Friend with a number of other picture books.