Jul 292020
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*Part of Memorable Books of 2018 on Amazon!

*Award winning book!

Title: Best Friends Forever

Author: Arti Sonthalia

Type: Paperback

Age group: 8-12 years

Thanks to the online reading campaign held by the reading community, Kids Book Café (enthusiastically helping parents on raising early readers), that we got our hands on this award-winning (part of Amazon’s memorable kids’ book of 2018) book by Arti Sonthalia – Best Friends Forever (BFF) as a reward. This book reached us while pandemic was setting its pace, and what best way to stay positive than indulging in a book with your kiddo.

A special mention needs to be made on the seed bookmark that Asha ji had sent along with a small handwritten note that we personally loved it. Every little thing matters 🙂

#KBCKeepCalmReadOnCampaign #BookReward #BFF

Let’s admit it! We all have grown through our share of silly yet cute fights with our friends that’s always fountained out of a mix of possessiveness, envy, ignorance or pure innocence.  What we find as silly now, would have been our days of nightmare with a burden of emotional turmoil when we were tweens and trust me, one thing that surfaced on my mind was that the conflicts then would have been handled with ease had I had this book to read then. Having said that, Best Friends Forever is a perfect book for tweens and teens alike.

The plot is about Pari’s world going on a roller-coaster ride (from her point, at least) when a new girl Amber joins her class and becomes friends with her BFF, Aditi. Call it consequences or changes, Pari is taken for a ride when her seat, project partner and even her BFF change (or may be only she feels so). Is the conflict just in her mind? Does Aditi too feel the same? Is Amber to blame?

There’s a lot happening right from the start and very much relatable to the tweens’ life that it makes for an un-put-down-able read. But wait, myself and my 8-year-old darling daughter (DD) took good two weeks to enjoy this book thoroughly. Questioning me on that “un-put-down-able” remark? Please read on, I’ll tell you why.

Now here comes the part where I would touch upon the parts we loved it and why it took two long weeks to read through. As said before, the plot is very much based on a relatable, everyday scenario for the tweens. Adding to that, I must say this book is a great conversation starter (if you want your kiddo to open up to you regarding school activities, gift this book) given the school themed setting.

So yes, with every other page my DD was overwhelming me with her personal anecdotes and now you know why we took that long. It was total fun, especially the parts when she would ask me to enact those phrases on facial expressions, the ones like smirked, half-hearted smile, “get-lost-looks” and all the kind. What followed was our dramatic read-aloud and hearty laughter together. My DD, being a kid keen on expressions, loved the expressive illustrations by Lavanya Karthik. Vivid and simply beautiful sketches.

Adding to beauty of the book, are the supporting characters, be it the teachers Ms. Sharma or Mr. Brown with totally opposite characterizations (yet equally appealing), Pari’s sister (look out for their typical sibling rivalry and equally enough ‘I’ve your back’ moments), Pari’s mom, project partner Vishnu, the little Kabir and not to forget the dearies Obama & Elizabeth! The lucid writing style brings the characters alive and appealing. In fact, we could instantly relate to the characters from our own life. I was even reminiscing my school day fun & fights; the sign language stuff especially.

To add more value, the author has cleverly touched upon environmental issues subtly yet impact-fully to start a conversation around it and also interspersed another famous story (hint – heard this? – “He did not hate the Winter now, for he knew that it was merely the Spring asleep, and the flowers were resting”. ) feeding with a catch for the little bookworms. 

What more, this helps in coping with change with its not-so-preachy and practical approach. So, go ahead, grab this book and I’m sure you won’t be let down, whatever be your age.

Happy Reading!

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