HOME SCHOOL BOOK REVIEW
Book: Friends Forever
Author: Priscilla W. Dundon
Illustrator: Jean Meyer
Publisher: Weekly Reader Books, 1985
Language level: 2
(1=nothing objectionable; 2=common euphemisms and/or childish slang terms; 3=some cursing and/or profanity; 4=a lot of cursing and/or profanity; 5=obscenity and/or vulgarity)
Recommended reading level: Ages 13-16
Rating: *** 3 stars
(5 stars=EXCELLENT; 4 stars=GOOD; 3 stars=FAIR; 2 stars=POOR; 1 star=VERY POOR; no stars=NOT RECOMMENDED)
Reviewed by Wayne S. Walker
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Dundon, Priscilla W. Friends Forever (published in 1985 by Weekly Reader Books, a division of Field Publications, Middletown, CT 06457). Elly and Nancy have been “best friends forever” for almost their whole lives. However, now that they are both thirteen, some problems arise. Elly likes fashion, wants to think about boys, especially her crush on handsome Damien Welter, and has been invited to join “The Company,” a clique that is led by Trish Lewis who seems to have her claws into Damien, while Nancy is a tomboy who enjoys watching classic movies and going on crazy adventures. When Damien finally asks Elly out on a date, what will happen to the relationship between her and Nancy? And how will Trish and her friends react? Why is becoming a teenager so hard? The story does picture the usual public school type of socialization with its herd mentality which those of us who have homeschooled want our children to avoid.
Oh, I know that homeschool groups can have their cliques too, but my experience has been that they’re not nearly as exclusive and hurtful as those I’ve seen in public schools. Also, a lot of people feel that thirteen is just way too early for a young person to be pushed into the whole dating scene. And a few common euphemisms (e.g., darned, gee) are in the dialogue. In addition, there is almost no mention of family in the plot. At the same time, this is not a bad book. While everyone doesn’t exactly stand around, hold hands, and sing “Kum By Yah” at the end, there is a good message where difficulties are resolved with a satisfying conclusion. The author tries to deal with these issues sensitively. Another “Two books in one” edition was published with Friends Forever on one side and Stranger In My Heart on the other.