Just Jaime – book review

Just Jaime
by Terri Libenson
Graphic Novel
Illustrated Fiction
Realistic Fiction
* * * * Stars (Great!)

It’s the last day of seventh grade and Jaime should be celebrating, but she’s got something on her mind. It has to do with the way her group of friends has been treating her all year – cutting her down, leaving her out, teasing her, and ignoring her. She decides to confront her best friend, Maya, and find out what’s going on. Maya’s also come to a decision – she’s going to tell Jaime she’s out of their group. Celia and Grace and Maya all talked about it and think Jaime is too different from them. When Maya finally gets up the courage to “dump” Jaime, it’s by text. And Jaime flips out. The whole day is one massive anxiety attack for both girls. Jaime is hurt and furious, and Maya feels terrible and wonders if she made the right choice. Celia, queen of popularity, continues to gossip about the other kids – particularly Jaime and anyone she happens to be hanging out with. Over the course of the day, Jaime gets lots of support from teachers, new friends, and her family, and Maya starts to realize that Celia isn’t the paragon of beauty, coolness, and maturity she thought she was. She’s actually jealous, insecure, and MEAN. Does she really want to play a supporting role in Celia’s court? She REALLY misses Jaime. This story of a friendship that hits a rocky patch is told from both Jaime and Maya’s points of view in a sort of combination graphic novel/illustrated chapter book format. Very realistic – upper elementary and middle schoolers will likely have gone (or will go) through some version of this kind of figuring out who your real friends are ordeal. Populated with characters of different ethnicities who talk about their feelings, take responsibility for their actions, and ultimately stand up for themselves.

Reviewed by YA Librarian

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