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My New Best Friend (Friends for Keeps) Hardcover – August 1, 2008

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Lady Pancake & Sir French Toast
Lady Pancake and Sir French Toast have a beautiful friendship until they discover that there's only one drop of maple syrup left. Who will enjoy the sweet taste of victory? And could working together be better than tearing each other apart? The action-packed rhyme makes for an adrenaline-filled breakfast. See more
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Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 3–4—Ida May returns in this sequel to My Last Best Friend (Harcourt, 2007). Her developing friendship with Stacey Merriweather and growing animosity toward Jenna Drews continue, but not without some bumps and insights along the way. Stacey and Ida discover an old mermaid night-light in Ida's attic. They decide that the lamp is magic, with the power to carry out good and bad wishes, and form a two-member Secret Mermaid Club. The mermaid has a pleasant smile until plugged in—then she exhibits a frightening grimace that makes Ida state, "her evil, glowing grin makes me pee my pants." Various family situations are well represented and lend credence to the characters' behaviors. Ida comes from a solid, two-parent family; Stacey's folks are divorced, and she lives with her mother, while her brother lives with their father; and Jenna's dad has recently lost his job, sending her family into a tailspin. Fourth-grade jealousies, problems, misbehavior, and consequences will be familiar to elementary school girls, who will enjoy this entry as much as the original.—Maryann H. Owen, Racine Public Library, WI
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Review

"Bowe is spot-on with Ida May's feelings....Issues surrounding divorced households are handled realistically. The unexpected twist (at the end) is believable and satisfying. Fans of Ida May will be overjoyed to read this new installment." --Kirkus Reviews (July 1, 2008)
Praise for My Last Best Friend:
“Delightful . . . This story is for readers who have graduated from Sara Pennypacker’s ‘Clementine’ stories, Barbara Park’s ‘Junie B. Jones’ series, and Megan McDonald's ‘Judy Moody’ books.”—School Library Journal
“A sweet read with a surprising ending!”—Discovery Girls magazine
“Bowe successfully creates a wry, sweet, proud protagonist in Ida May whose struggle . . . hits all the right emotional notes.”—Booklist

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 7 - 10 years
  • Grade Level: 2 and up
  • Lexile Measure: 640L (What's this?)
  • Series: Friends for Keeps
  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers; 1 edition (August 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0152064982
  • ISBN-13: 978-0152064983
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.7 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,486,752 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Julie Bowe is the author of the Friends for Keeps series -- My Last Best Friend, My New Best Friend, My Best Frenemy, My Forever Friends, and My Extra Best Friend. My Last Best Friend was included in Kirkus Reviews '07 First Fiction Spotlight: Promising Debuts from Important New Voices, won the 2008 Paterson Prize for Books for Young People, and was a finalist for the 2008-09 Great Stone Face Book Award. School Library Journal describes it as perfect "for readers who have graduated from Sara Pennypacker's 'Clementine' stories, Barbara Park's 'Junie B. Jones' series, and Megan McDonald's 'Judy Moody' books."

Julie has worked as a youth director, a camp program director, and as a curriculum writer and editor. She is a mom and a volunteer youth leader in her community.

Julie lives in Wisconsin and can be visited online at www.juliebowe.com
and http://juliebowe.livejournal.com

Customer Reviews

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TeensReadToo on August 4, 2008
Format: Hardcover
When Ida and Stacey create a secret club, the world gets kind of kooky. Perhaps it's because the club mascot is an evil mermaid, or perhaps it's because of all the secrets.

Best friends share secrets, right? But what if your best friend's secrets are getting you in trouble? And what if your worst enemy is acting more like your best friend than your actual best friend?

I couldn't wait for this sequel to MY LAST BEST FRIEND, and Julie Bowe is back with the authentic fourth-grade voice of Ida May:

"I'm NOT so thankful that Brooke invited Jenna to the party. That's because Jenna is the kind of person who would pin back your skin if she could. Then she would take something sharp and poke at all the stuff you'd rather keep hidden. Stuff like spilling your lunch tray. And tripping on the bus."

Ida May is the perfect fourth-grade narrator, learning to navigate the boundaries of a new friendship and gaining wisdom about relationships around her, all with the helpful insight of her sock monkey, George.

The anticipation of this second book was well worthwhile, as Ida remained true and strong, and Bowe developed secondary characters into some I'd like to know even better. This is a book elementary school teachers can put on classroom bookshelves with confidence that it's a well-told story to which kids will relate.

Reviewed by: Julie M. Prince
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By Amazon Customer on August 18, 2015
Format: Paperback
Ida and her new best friend, Stacey, find a mermaid night light while playing at Ida's house. They start a secret club and come to believe the mermaid can grant wishes. However, asking for wishes to be granted can lead to trouble. Both girls begin to lie to cover up their actions. This is a cute book about the two girls' friendship. I particularly liked Ida's interactions with the mean girl, Jenna--very funny. Additionally, Jenna's little sister was really cute :)
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By G. Sims on April 6, 2011
Format: Paperback
The following review was written by one of my 4th graders, Sadie. She really enjoyed the book and presented on it in class.

My New Best Friend is a book that I read for my book project in fourth grade. It's a great book to read that can relate to any fourth grade girl!

This is the sequel to the book My Last Best Friend, so it might ruin some things for you if you have not read the first book. It also has a book after it, so it is the second book in the series.

My New Best Friend is about a girl named Ida May, who now has a new best friend. Stacey is her name, and she is also friends with Jenna Drews, Ida's enemy. Elizabeth was Ida's last best friend, and is still trying to get over the fact that she has moved away.

In this book, Stacey and Ida are up in Ida's attic looking for old stuff that they could use to start a club. Stacey is looking through an old chest and finds a mermaid nightlight that Ida had as a little girl. The two fourth-graders plug it in to see if it works. It does! But as she's lighting up, they see that she has an evil grin. They think it can grant evil wishes! So they call their club the Secret Mermaid Club.

It was a fun book to read that any girl would love and relate to. It was very exciting, too!

Pros: An excellent main character with good habits, and deals with everyday life to help solve problems. Even third graders (maybe second grade, too) could probably relate to some problems.

Cons: A bit of lying was involved by her best friend, Stacey, and there was some bad behavior was in the book too... but otherwise it was a great book!
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A Kid's Review on June 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
I thought this book was good for girls my age. It has a very nice message that many girls can relate to. I think this book was worth buying.
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By Ellie Amelia Evans on January 1, 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book definitely deserves 5 stars because, just like the first one, it is all about what friendship really means. It also shows just how imaginative 4th grade girls can be! I would recommend this book to anyone who is looking for the meaning of friendship.
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By Frank Wabnitz on October 3, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I really liked this book because it makes you think that anything Is possible. I recommend this book to anyone or someone who believes anything Is possible
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