My new best friend by Meredith Costain
Olivia's Secret Scribbles. Scholastic, 2018. ISBN
(Age: 7+) Highly recommended. My New Best Friend is the first story in a new series called Olivia's Secret Scribbles. Olivia is excited. She has a brand new bedroom in the attic and she is ecstatic that she got something before her older sister did - a room with stairs. Olivia is an inventor and a detective. She has also lost her best friend who has moved away and someone keeps on sneaking into her room. Thankfully, Olivia's inventing skills are pretty good and she comes up with a way to catch the thief. Olivia also likes to write about her day in her diary and the story is told through the entries she makes. Olivia is all ready for a new school year despite her best friend not being there and has a great first day. Another surprise is the new family next door has children and the daughter is in Olivia's class. Matilda is friendly but a bit mysterious. Why does Matilda lie about digging holes in her garden? Does Olivia really want to be friends with a fibber?
My New Best Friend is a lovely story about friendship and independent young girls. Olivia's family is just like any other - annoying brother and sister, a mum who helps you out - and Olivia is like any other girl - independent, creative and imaginative. The story moves quickly and is easy to read. The text and accompanying images make it a fun read and will engage young girls who are starting to read their first novel. The vocabulary is descriptive and the diary style is great for encouraging readers to start their own diary. This book is highly recommended for girls aged 7+.