Reviews for The used-to-be best friend

Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

This silly chapter book features a funny Ojibwe girl protagonist.Set on a fictional reservation known as the Pembina Ojibwe, this story introduces Jo Jo, an intelligent and charismatic first grader who is fretting over two big problems in this series opener. Her first worry concerns her home best friend, Mimi the cat, who she fears may deflate when she gets vaccinated. Her second concern is that her school best friend, Fern, has begun to ignore her at lunchtime. From Jo Jos difficulties with language arts to her attempts to save Mimi, hijinks emerge. Through it all, cultural information about Jo Jos Ojibwe way of life is shared in a way that suggests her pride for her people, traditions, and family. Young readers will revel in the humor this chapter book offers: the wordplay, the nicknames, and Jo Jos irrepressible narrative voice. But it is the friendships at her school, where her teacher is White and her classmates are multicultural, that will linger with readers. Even though it is in a border town, the school Jo Jo attends respects her cultural traditions, and the effect is heartwarming. Quigley (Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe) provides a glossary of Ojibwe and Michif words that enhances the experience. Audibert (of Wolastoqey and French heritage) supplies plentiful grayscale illustrations that depict Jo Jo and her friends with big, pretty eyes and expressive faces.A joyful book about growing up Native in a loving communitynot to be missed. (Fiction. 6-10) Copyright Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.


Kirkus
Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

This silly chapter book features a funny Ojibwe girl protagonist. Set on a fictional reservation known as the Pembina Ojibwe, this story introduces Jo Jo, an intelligent and charismatic first grader who is fretting over two big problems in this series opener. Her first worry concerns her home best friend, Mimi the cat, who she fears may deflate when she gets vaccinated. Her second concern is that her school best friend, Fern, has begun to ignore her at lunchtime. From Jo Jo’s difficulties with language arts to her attempts to save Mimi, hijinks emerge. Through it all, cultural information about Jo Jo’s Ojibwe way of life is shared in a way that suggests her pride for her people, traditions, and family. Young readers will revel in the humor this chapter book offers: the wordplay, the nicknames, and Jo Jo’s irrepressible narrative voice. But it is the friendships at her school, where her teacher is White and her classmates are multicultural, that will linger with readers. Even though it is in a border town, the school Jo Jo attends respects her cultural traditions, and the effect is heartwarming. Quigley (Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe) provides a glossary of Ojibwe and Michif words that enhances the experience. Audibert (of Wolastoqey and French heritage) supplies plentiful grayscale illustrations that depict Jo Jo and her friends with big, pretty eyes and expressive faces. A joyful book about growing up Native in a loving community—not to be missed. (Fiction. 6-10) Copyright © Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.

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