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Once again Middle Grade Monday is upon us and I am happy to share with everyone a review of a really cute read, Anna Banana, and the Friendship Split by Anica Mrose Rissi, illustrated by Meg Park.
Instead of being happy for Anna, Sadie turns mean and wants to steal Anna's dog, Banana. When that doesn't work, she takes Anna's new necklace claiming it is half hers anyway because she came up with the wish in the first place. Anna doesn't know what to do, and tries her very best to make up with Sadie, even saying sorry when things weren't her fault. Nothing seems to work until Anna decides to stiffen her spine and be mean right back. It makes her feel awful, but it works, and Sadie realizes she still wants to be friends.
This story rang true to me. I can remember well the angst of childhood and the cat fights between us young girls. This book is dead on as it addresses childhood behavior. Sadie's behavior is awful and poor Anna will do anything to win back her best friend. As an adult I couldn't help but think Anna would be better off without Sadie, but for a child, they would only feel as if they'd done something wrong and try to fix things.
I like that the parents and teacher are portrayed as trusted and intelligent individuals. The school setting will be familiar to children as well as the different events that take place. My only issue was that we never find out why Sadie is suddenly so mean and hateful. There is no satisfaction for the reader about Sadie. Anna just thinks that thinks are A Okay as soon as Sadie starts playing with her again. For that reason, I'm giving this read 4 stars!