Best buds under frogs by Leslie Patricelli

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Candlewick Press, 2018. ISBN 9780763651046
(Age: 10+)Recommended. "For Lily, it's the worst first day of school ever. Who would want to be friends with the new girl, whose debut act is to throw up on the playground (on somebody's shoes!)? Fortunately, quirky Darby comes to the rescue. Darby likes frogs and candy and oddball stuff, and soon she and Lily have formed their own club - the Rizzlerunk Club. But before you can say "BFF," Darby's former best friend, mean-spirited Jill - who had moved to London - returns unexpectedly. Can Lily and Darby's friendship survive the British invasion? Peppered with charming illustrations and hilarious mishaps involving "conjoined" frogs, accidentally shaved eyebrows, and school pranks gone awry, this engaging tale of fourth-grade life will have readers wishing they could join the Rizzlerunk Club for real." (Publisher)
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I found it to be a fantastic account of the challenges that children face, particularly when moving to a new school. This is Patricelli's first novel and it is sure to be a winner. The book would be suitable for students 10 years and up - although the text is relatively large and there are gorgeous little illustrations throughout the story, the book does contain some themes towards the end of the book that are suitable for the older age. It touches on themes such as choices, peer pressure, friendship and differences. It touches on exclusion of others and has some powerful lessons for those that may be experiencing the same issues. All in all, a heart-warming tale.
Kathryn Schumacher