Real Friends and Invisible Emmie: Combo Book Review

June 30th, 2018 by

real-friendsinvisible-emmieRecently, I went on a reading spree of graphic novels/memoirs and illustrated books. One after the other, I gobbled up Roller Girl by Victoria Jamieson, Awkward by Svetlana Chmakova, Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham, and Invisible Emmie by Terri Libenson. And they were all AMAZING in the very real way that they depict the rough waters of school and friendship.

If you click on the links above, you’ll see that we already have plenty of reviews for Awkward and Roller Girl from Kidsmomo visitors like you. You should definitely check out what your fellow readers have to say about those books and then decide if they’re right for you.

Here I’m going to focus on Real Friends and Invisible Emmie — which have a lot of similarities even though Real Friends is a memoir (telling the story of author Shannon Hale’s childhood) and Invisible Emmie is a novel (telling the fictional story of Emmie). Both books are about girls who only have one really good friend and lack the confidence to stand up for themselves. Unfortunately, both protagonists therefore find themselves controlled by the decisions of their classmates, unable to make choices about what they really want their school and friend group experience to be and unable to be proud of their talents and let their strengths shine.

But don’t worry — the books aren’t dark or super sad. Just as I sympathized with the characters’ struggles, I also delighted in the brighter moments of their days, like when Shannon and her friends come up with funny (and sometimes bonkers) games of pretend or when Emmie and her best friend write hilarious love letters to their crushes (never meant to be shared, of course!).

The artwork in these books is essential to experiencing them, so rather than try to describe the illustrations, I’ll leave you with these two videos that will give you a sense of the characters and their worlds:

I highly recommend both Invisible Emmie and Real Friends, especially if you’re a fan of El Deafo by Cece Bell, Smile by Raina Telgemeier, and All’s Faire in Middle School by Victoria Jamieson.

Have you read any of the books mentioned here, or do you have a recommendation for a different book that covers similar themes? Leave a comment below!

— Karen

Karen’s best friend from middle school is named Erin, and they’re still friends to this day. Their favorite things to do together were create treasure hunts for each other, play UNO, and talk about The Baby-Sitters Club. Now their favorite thing to do together is eat!

More about Karen »

Real Friends by Shannon Hale and LeUyen Pham

January 27th, 2018 by

real-friendsSubmitted by Leah, Age 12 from New York

Rating: ★★★★★

This is one of the best I’ve ever read. It teaches you about friends ship. And also how at first it may not turn out as well as you want your friend ship to be like. In this book there are these group of girls and they like to be rude. Here’s an example of what i mean by they like to be mean, They like to call people name’s and also let people into there group and then kick them out of their group. they also pick on Shannon’s cloths because she is new to the school. i think the main idea of this book is that you never should pick on kids even if they are smaller then you or bigger then you because they are being mean to you.

The Storybook of Legends (Ever After High #1) by Shannon Hale

June 24th, 2014 by

Ever After HighSubmitted by samantha, Age 8 from Indiana

Rating: ★★★★★

i love this book because it’s a nice long book and it capes you reading for a long time. i haven’t finished the book yet, but i’m exsied to finish because it’s the longist book i’v read this summer. the book is 304 pages.

Kidsmomo Podcast #21: “Pretty as a Picture”

March 16th, 2010 by

You guys are really in for a treat with our latest podcast, all about graphic novels and hybrid books! Why? We’ll tell you why…

Cartoonist Mike Dawson

Ha ha! Look what we found through Google Image Search!

Yes, the topic is awesome — ranging from a groundbreaking epic adventure series to adorable wordless tales. And yes, we do have a special guest: real-life cartoonist Mike Dawson, who reveals the inside scoop on something called “the silhouette test.” (What is that? Yeah, we didn’t know either.) And yes, we even have a “top secret” kid-submitted book review.

But the REAL reason why you’ll love this podcast is because Karen had to call out sick! So enjoy your little break from Karen, everyone! [Editor’s Note from Karen: What the wha?! Why I oughtta…]

    Download the MP3 (6.1 MB)

  • Our mystery book series, as revealed and reviewed by an actual comic artist (for reals!)
  • Our Graphic Novel picks (Robot Dreams, Owly, and Rapunzel’s Revenge)
  • A nice break from Karen [Editor’s Note from Karen: Whatever…]

And be sure to check out some of Mike’s super amazing comics!

Also, don’t forget: in celebration of Women’s History Month, our new theme is Girl Power books! So send us a review of your favorite super-girl read, tell us about a female you admire, and check out these kick-butt Girl Power books.

— Nancy and Karen and Mike!

Rapunzel’s Revenge by Shannon Hale

March 2nd, 2010 by

Rapunzel's Revenge by Shannon HaleReviewed by: Hahaha me, Age 10 from Maine

Rating: ★★★★½

The day Rapunzel climbs over the wall that surrounds her home really starts it all. She meets her mother. And later gets chucked into…a tree–a prison. After she escapes Rapunzel sets off on a grand journey to reclaim her home, meeting some very interesting people on the way, defeating great beasts, and becoming an outlaw.

Featured in "Pretty as a Picture"

This is the first “graphic novel” I have read and finished. On EVERY page there is action…(except for the last one). I like Rapunzel’s Revenge because it is a classic tale twisted all around, displayed in a creative way, and in my opinion making  lot more interesting than the original story.

(But let’s not tell that to the actual creators of the story…)

From Myanmar to Mount Eskel

December 19th, 2009 by

In my last post, I told you a little about my recent trip to the country of Myanmar in Southeast Asia. Well, I have plenty more to share, but it’s going to take me a while to go through all the photos (I took over 1,000 pictures during my trip!). So I’m going to hold off on the full 411 for now, and instead I’ll just focus on one part of my vacation — and of course it relates back to a book!

During my time in Myanmar, we traveled to a bunch of different regions in the country. One stop was at Kyaiktiyo, which means “Golden Rock.” It’s a big boulder covered in gold leaf, perched on the edge of a cliff high up on Mount Kyaikto. Unfortunately, it was covered up while we were there because they were retouching the gold leaf, but I found this photo where you can see it in all its glory:

From Boonlong1's Flickr

From Boonlong1's Flickr

Pretty awesome, huh? You can get a sense of how big the rock is by looking at all the tiny people on the right side. Like little ants!

According to legend, the Golden Rock is balanced on the tip of the cliff because it sits on top of the spot where a hermit once placed a hair belonging to the Buddha. Whether you believe that’s true or not, you still have to admit it’s an amazing sight!

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