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One True Friend (163rd Street Trilogy) Hardcover – October 15, 2001

4.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Best buddies Doris and Amir return in Joyce Hansen's One True Friend. In this follow-up to The Gift-Giver and Yellow Bird and Me, much of the novel unwinds through letters revealing the solid connection between the two lonely friends now living in different cities that are worlds apart.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From School Library Journal

Gr 6-8-This novel about a boy recently placed in foster care has much to recommend it, though Hansen crowds a plethora of subjects into 154 pages and portions of the writing are unnaturally stiff. Amir and his siblings were separated after their parents died of AIDS. He has bounced around New York City from relatives to friends to a group home, but when the book opens he has joined his youngest brother in a foster home in Syracuse. Feeling isolated and confused, the 14-year-old initiates a correspondence with Doris, a friend from the Bronx. She offers advice and shares some of her own anxieties. As the oldest child, Amir feels compelled to search for and reunite his family. Once they are found, he must decide whether little Ronald will be better off with the foster parents who want to adopt him or with his brothers, sisters, and aunt and uncle. Amir and Doris explore the ties that bind families, the commitment that may take precedence over blood bonds, when promises to friends or relatives need to be broken, and a host of other topics. Amir comes across as a likable kid, but the burden of so many issues often overwhelms the plot as much as it weighs on the hero.

Miriam Lang Budin, Chappaqua Public Library, NY

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.


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Product Details

  • Series: 163rd Street Trilogy
  • Hardcover: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Clarion Books (October 15, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0395849837
  • ISBN-13: 978-0395849835
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.4 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #7,763,805 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
As one of the fifteen books on the 2005-2006 Sunshine State Reading List (6-8 Grade), all my 8th-grade English students read this book last year. None of them found it challenging (these are high-level readers), and most found it a bit trite.

In discussing this book in class (along with the other fourteen books), ONE TRUE FRIEND was one of the bottom-rated books. I did ask my kids about the protagonist's real objective and even to look for any metaphors that stood out. They had some trouble with this, until I pointed out that Amir thought his goal was to get his family back together again, but realized later that he really wanted to HAVE a sense of family, in whatever shape it came.

As a teacher and one who has read a lot of YA novels over the past several years, ONE TRUE FRIEND does rank among the bottom 25%. Its intentions are honorable, but the (too) simple nature of the book indicates to me that the book was meant for lower-level readers [hence, no challenging vocabulary].

Three stars, though for low-level readers only (or fifth- and sixth-graders), it might work its way up to the four stars.
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A Kid's Review on April 3, 2005
Format: Hardcover
True friends never leave your life. Like in this book, Amir moved to a different city, and his best friend, Doris, still keep in touch. They write letters to each other all the time. In these letters, they express their feelings. Amir and Doris are very close. Doris and Amir are always there for one another. They won't let one another down. True friends stay together no matter what the situation is.

Amir is living in a foster home with his little brother Ronald. The Smiths, his foster parents, are really nice, kind, and sweet to Amir, but Amir doesn't feel like he fits in. When Amir was little, his parents died in a car accident. His family was separated when that happened. His brothers and sisters are living with his aunt in Manhattan or the Bronx. He is not sure where exactly though. His faster dad and his faster mom are helping him find out where the rest of his family is. They are trying very hard, and we are hoping that Amir will find his siblings. Amir's little brother, Ronald, are not very close. Amir has this strange feeling inside of him. Ronald is always playing basketball with the neighbors, and Amir doesn't like basketball too much. The Smith's have raised Ronald since his was a baby. So Ronald calls the smiths mom and dad. Amir doesn't like to call them mom and dad, he just calls says ma'am and sir.

We all need a true friend in life. No matter how far you move, you true friend will always be there for you. In this book, Doris was Amir's true friend. They are very close to one another. When Amir was little, he used to live in the Bronx, which is where Doris lives. He missed all of his friends, and his neighbors. Doris wishes that Amir would come to the Bronx to visit. They all miss him.
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A Kid's Review on May 20, 2002
Format: Hardcover
One True Friend by Joyce Hansen was a great book. It was about a boy named Amir who lived in a foster home. Originally, he lived in the Bronx until his parents died. He still kept in touch with his friend, Doris. They were the best of friends. She gave him advice on what to do in certain situations. In his foster home, he lived with one of his youngest brothers named Ronald. His family was split up.
I really enjoyed this book. I couldn't put it down. It expresses that even if you move far away, you still have friends and family that keep in touch with you. True friends care about you and will always be your friend no matter what. You still have someone to look up to. These are people you should want to be friends with.
My favorite part in this book was when all of Amir's brothers and sisters came to visit Ronald and Amir in the foster home. His auntie and uncle came along also. They were all so glad to see each other again. They all had a feast together. After, Amir drew a picture and the other kids played basketball until it was time to go back home.
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