HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: My Best Friend Moved Away
Author and Illustrator: Nancy L. Carlson
Publisher: Viking Juvenile, 2001
ISBN-13: 978-0670894987 (Hardcover)
ISBN-10: 0670894982 (Hardcover)
ISBN-13: 978-0761389545 (Paperback)
ISBN-10: 0761389547 (Paperback)
Language level: 1
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Reading level: Ages 2 and up
Rating: 5 stars (EXCELLENT)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Carlson, Nancy L. My Best Friend Moved Away (published in 2001 by Viking Juvenile). “My best friend and I did everything together.” A little girl recalls the good times and bad times that she had with her next-door neighbor before the family moved away. From playing soccer to building forts, to sharing secrets, to sitting with each other on the bus, to having chicken pox, to going off kindergarten, even to getting in arguments, they did everything together. So what can she do when her best friend moves away? Will she ever have fun again? Is there any hope of having a new best friend? Or will she be bored and lonely for the rest of her life? Can there be fun times ahead when she doesn’t have her best friend to share them with? Perfect for coping with those best-friend-moved-away blues, Nancy Carlson’s wise and heartfelt story and stylized illustrations with bright, bold colors will help ease the pain of saying good-bye and reassure young readers that they can make new friends even as they keep the old ones close to heart.
There are certain friends who can’t be replaced. The pictures show the two children side by side at school, at play, and even quarreling. Then the best friend moves away, and the narrator feels a little lost and sad. However, by story’s end, the new next-door neighbor with her dog, amiable and clearly best-friend material, approaches the forlorn girl with her hound, and the foursome begins a friendly game of chase. My Best Friend Moved Away, a pretty book with lots of simple illustrations. will be useful for the newly lonely with a cheerful treatment that offers hope of better times ahead, as well as for starting discussions about what makes a friendship unique in all its moods. I think we checked this book out of the library about the time we were leaving a home where we’d lived for fifteen years and our younger son Jeremy was a little down because he was the one “moving away” from friends. It is currently out of print but is scheduled to be reprinted by Carolrhoda Books in January of 2012.