HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Best of Friends
Author: Susan Walley
Illustrator: Christopher J. Pelicano
Publisher: Bob Jones University Press, 1998
Language level: 1 (nothing objectionable)
Reading level: Ages 8-12
Rating: 4 stars (GOOD)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Walley, Susan. Best of Friends (published in 1989 by Bob Jones University Press, Greenville, SC 29614). This is one of the “Light Line” (now called “Journey Forth”) books that Bob Jones includes in their reading curricula, and it was still in their latest catalogue the last time I checked. Katie Crawford is anxious to be best friends with Renee St. Vincent, the talented new girl in town, but this begins to interfere with her longtime friendships with Esther Gresham who lives across the street, and Louis Williams whom Renee does not like even though he cannot help being retarded.
Then Katie discovers Renee’s secret, and after she begins working at the Center where Louis goes to school and where her mother teaches she starts to understand enough to see each of her friends more clearly. The only negatives that I saw were that Katie’s mom works rather than staying at home and Katie’s dad tells her that God made Louis retarded for a purpose. There are also references to the minister as “Pastor” and Christmas as a religious celebration. However, there are very good lessons to be learned from this story about showing kindness to the less fortunate and trying to understand the difficulties of others.