Shannon is nervously excited about starting sixth grade. Her best friend is the most popular girl at school, so Shannon has big dreams and high hopes for the new school year. There’s the candy locker, the games on the playground, and hanging out with friends to fill the year. However, Shannon finds it difficult to follow the rules of what is popular and what is not, and questions whether being popular is worth the constantly changing expectations and exclusionary tactics for those who don’t fit in.
Like the Wimpy Kid series, the story is told as a running record, tied together loosely as her life in sixth grade but with more eye-catching color. Each chapter begins with a yes or no checkbox, giving a hint of what is to come in an original way. The shading and facial expressions help to convey the author’s intent, helping readers understand Shannon’s woes as she navigates her last year at elementary school. Shannon’s comic interspersed throughout helps her work through her worries, adding another layer to the novel. In this sequel to Real Friends, the author addresses anxiety more directly and in an open honest way, giving authenticity and understanding to a current issue.
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