Friend or Fiction
Coming October 8, 2019. Preorder now!
By: Abby Cooper
The best friends are the ones you make yourself . . .
Twelve-year-old Jade wishes her family would leave their no-name Colorado town already–everyone else does, including every friend Jade's ever had. But now that her dad's been diagnosed with liver cancer, they're not going anywhere. So Jade makes a friend who won't ever leave her: Zoe, the best best friend anyone could imagine, who lives in the pages of her notebook.
When an experiment gone horribly right brings imaginary Zoe to life, Jade is thrilled. But the strange power she wields over Zoe scares Jade, as does Zoe's increasing popularity. Is it okay to have a friend who has to do what you want? Is Jade really ready to share Zoe with the world?
Author Bio:Abby Cooper, author
Previously a K-8 library media specialist, Abby Cooper is now a full time author of books for children. She has written two novels: Bubbles and Sticks and Stones.
Read more about Abby here.
Awards & Honors:
A lonely girl creates her own best friend.No one stays in Tiveda, Colorado, for long. Friends come and go, and no one keeps in touch. Sick of making friends and losing them, aspiring author Jade Levy writes herself a best friend. Although Zoe exists solely on paper, she's real to Jade. She lives next door, they do everything together, and when Jade needs her, she gets out her beloved notebook and writes herself and Zoe into a story. Reality and fiction collide when an actual girl named Zoe moves in next door. Jade thinks she's dreaming; this can't be her Zoe. But everything about this girl mirrors Jade's creation. They look alike, and real Zoe's first day in Jade's sixth grade class unfolds exactly like the one Jade wrote for her. Jade finally has the real best friend she's longed for. But then Zoe deviates from the stories and starts thinking for herself, throwing Jade into a whirl of worry. What if Zoe finds another best friend? A subplot concerning Jade's father's cancer circles neatly around to meet the main narrative. Jade is introspective and narrates with quiet humor; anyone would be lucky to have her as a friend. Jade is white and Jewish, and Zoe has olive skin. An important secondary character is adopted and has two dads; another wears hijab. A solid, unusual story that speaks to the need for friendship.
Jade is unhappy in the little Colorado town her family has ended up in, but they can’t move away because of her dad’s illness. Each new friend she makes soon moves away, so she now relies on writing about an imaginary best friend instead. One surprising day, her fictional best friend Zoe (described as having long dark hair and green eyes) comes to life. While Jade (default white) initially loves the control she has over Zoe’s actions and personality; eventually, she realizes what the readers may have known all along. Cooper’s writing engages readers, challenging them to decide whether Zoe is a hallucination, or a magical girl there to help Jade through a tough time.
A fun, fast-paced, thought-provoking, and emotional middle grade read! Abby Cooper starts with a captivating premise—what if an aspiring writer created a fictional best friend who somehow came to life?—and she delivers a charmingly relatable and magical novel that's as moving as it is entertaining. Jade's story will keep readers turning the pages and leave them thinking about how we protect ourselves and others when we're going through something incredibly hard and what it means to be a true friend. It’s a perfect follow-up to Abby’s first two novels and a delightful story on its own.
ISBN: 978-1-63289-870-8 EPUB
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Ages: 10 and up
Page count: 272
5 1/2 x 8 1/4