Review Blog

Aug 10 2011

The friendship matchmaker by Randa Abdel-Fatah

cover image

Omnibus, 2011. ISBN 978 1 862919204.
(Ages 10+) Recommended. Humour . Making friends at a new school can be the most daunting of tasks, but not so when Lara Zany, Potts Court Primary School's official Friendship Matchmaker is on the job. This self appointed whizz at keeping people paired is a full time task, so much so that she is even writing a manual about it, containing all of her tried and true rules for making and keeping a friend.
This very funny story about Lara and her exploits will have primary kids laughing out loud as they recognise situations and characters at their schools.
Lara is implacable, smoothly circumventing any situation in which younger children are put at risk of being alone, or where girls may be breaking one of the rules by wearing the wrong colour or saying the wrong thing or, gasp, reading a book alone at play time. Lara sees all and steps in, making sure that the students at her school are befriended. She of course, needs no-one, as her role in life is clearly laid out for her. But when a new girl, Emily Wong comes to school, Lara is appalled. She does all the wrong things, wears nail polish, eats leftovers for lunch, reads alone, doesn't follow the behaviour of the other girls, and worst of all, makes friends without Lara's being needed as an intermediary. The two must come to blows sometime soon, and following the tale of these two will keep the readers guessing about where the author is leading them. A wholly satisfying story about friendship and being yourself,
The friendship matchmaker will gain a huge following of readers, while at the same time, making some apposite comments about bullying, friendship and life at school.
Fran Knight

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