FRIEND OR FICTION by Abby Cooper is a story about Jade, a lonely middle school girl coming to terms with her dad’s cancer diagnosis. Her previous best friends have all moved out of her small Colorado town, and Jade desperately wants a special friend. So, she turns to her notebook and creates one named Zoe, writing about all the things they’ll do together as best friends.

But, does Jade write her imaginary friend into existence when a new neighbor arrives named Zoe (who’s just like the fictional girl)? Jade is not sure she’s ready to share Zoe with the real world and struggles when Zoe deviates to become her own person. Ultimately, Jade must determine if real life is better than the perfect fiction she creates.

With a bit of magical realism and quiet humor, Abby Cooper finds the perfect tween voice for this touching story about friendship and living in the moment. Through Jade’s friendship with Zoe, readers will think about the question of what truly makes a good friend as well as the importance of letting people be who they are.

With writing tips included, budding writers may also find this a special book to read. A delightful and endearing story for tween readers.

Suggested Reading Age: Grades 4-6 | Charlesbridge Publishing | 272 pg. | Oct. 8, 2019 |

“It’s so obvious when you need other people. But it’s easy to forget that other people need you too.”

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