I love to read and to talk about books. I review many of the books I read. I do not accept any author/publisher submissions for reviews. I do not read or review ARCs. I do not enter any giveaways or contests. I obtain the books I review by purchasing them at the same price they are offered to the general public at the time of purchase. My reviews are intended for the use of my fellow readers. They are not advertising or promotion. They are not beta reads or constructive criticism or editing or advice to the author. My only obligation to the author is to pay the price charged for the book at the time of purchase. My reviews are sometimes critical and I will not stop posting critical reviews just to spare delicate authors' feelings. I am happy to make new friends, but friend requests from authors or promoters who have few or no books (and/or friends) in common with me and write or promote categories I do not read (especially new adult) will be ignored. I used to read more self-published books. After recent meltdowns by self-published authors, I now only read self-published authors I've previously read or who have been recommended to me by fellow readers I trust. I also used to read young adult/new adult books but rarely do so now.
Best Friends - Mary Bard. Illustration by Jill Elgin makes me much more than happy. I can honestly say this book fills me with joy. Just thinking about this book makes me happy. This book was my best friend and constant companion during the third, fourth and fifth grade. And then we were mercilessly ripped apart by the School District which felt I needed to move on to the middle school whose library did not contain a copy of Best Friends. They were right of course and I never attempted to obtain my own copy which means I was ready to move on.
Now this is how old I am. That tragic event occurred approximately 40 years ago. The book is long out of print and nearly impossible to obtain. I own a copy. My dear sister gifted me with it last year at Christmas. Best Friends and I had a tearful, joyous reunion thanks to her. It still makes me happy after all these years. And it is not allowed to leave my house.
It is the story of an outgoing all-American girl who befriends the lonely, picked on French girl who moves next door. I was the picked on daughter of a couple of devout francophiles so that really gave me hope. It held my hand and gave me comfort during some seriously rough times. I think the school librarian was quite kind and indulgent since she let me check the book out over and over, sometimes immediately after I'd turned it in.
It is an amazingly good book. I have heard stories of women having it buried with them! I don't plan to do that. I hope that when I'm ready to move on to the next great adventure I know a 10ish year old girl who will appreciate it as much as I do. In the meantime, I will enjoy spending time with one of my best friends.