Book Excerpts

Booktalk for A Little Friendly Advice

  • Grades: 9–12

What happens when a BFF you totally trusted starts lying to you?

Best friends are the people you trust with your life, with your secrets, with your doubts and fears. But what if that best friend betrays you? Lies to you? Steals from you? What then?

Beth and Ruby have been best friends as far back as either of them can remember. Beth helped Ruby get over her father's abrupt and unexplained departure six years ago, when they were only ten. Last year, when Maria moved to town, she became part of their twosome when the principal assigned her to shadow Beth at school. It turned out okay — Maria was into the same thing they were — thrift stores, funky clothes, rock music and rolling her eyes at how dumb the popular kids were. Katherine started hanging with them just a few weeks ago. When her folks got divorced, her basketball teammates weren't very nice to her, and Beth felt sorry for her and invited her to join their group. 

Things were fine until Ruby's 16th birthday party. Just as she was about to blow out the candles, the doorbell rang. It was her dad, who'd walked out on her and her mom six years ago. It was a scene, to say the least, as Ruby screamed at her dad, and all four girls left immediately. The next day, all her mom could tell her is that he said he was a forest ranger. 

Two days later, they're all at Goodwill, shopping for Halloween costumes for Beth's birthday party. Ruby was in the dressing room, trying something on, when she saw something sticking out of the pocket of Beth's jeans, lying on the floor. It was an envelope, an envelope with her name on it. Her nickname, actually, the one only her dad used, Rubes. It was addressed to her, but it had been opened. Beth opened it. Slowly, Ruby picked it up, pulled out the single sheet of paper inside, and read the note. Her father was still in town, and wanted to talk to her. If she didn't contact him before he left on Saturday, he wouldn't try to contact her again. 

Ruby couldn't believe it — Beth was her BFF — why would she try to keep Ruby and her dad apart? There weren't supposed to be any lies, any secrets, between them — total honesty. What was going on?

But that's just one question. Ruby also has to answer the other question she faced-will she go see her dad or not?  He'd opened a door between them. Would she have the courage to walk through?

This booktalk was written by university professor, librarian, and booktalking expert Joni Richards Bodart.

  • Subjects:
    Feelings and Emotions, Parents, Friends and Friendship, Understanding Self and Others
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