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The Friends

3.87 of 5 stars 3.87  ·  rating details  ·  276 ratings  ·  35 reviews
Phyllisia eventually recognizes that her own selfish pride rather than her mother's death and her father's tyrannical behavior created the gulf between her and her best friend.
Paperback, 192 pages
Published December 18th 1995 by Laurel Leaf (first published 1973)
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Mar 15, 2008 Lanier rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Adults, Adults, City kids
Great look at the cultural shocks newly arrived female teen (Caribbean) has in Harlem's volatile early 1970s. Again, some twist on the adult(caregiver)/child dynamics as well as the class, race, institutional break downs.

Unfortunately there aren't more novels from this genre and equally regretable, Rosa Guy's other sequels: "Ruby" and "Edith Jackson" are no longer in print. I'm told Ruby is very good.

Poitier's "Measure of a Man" is a great insight to Phy's and her family's experiences prior to
Jan 15, 2015 Mary rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who likes contemporary fiction
Recommended to Mary by: Library Book Sale
For fourteen-year-old Phyllisia Cathy, the problems that she has as well as her lifestyle have become increasingly overwhelming. Having recently arrived from an island in the sunlit West Indies - along with her mother, father and sixteen-year-old sister, Ruby - Phyllisia finds it a very difficult adjustment to live in New York. After growing up in such an idyllic paradise, she finds New York cold, cruel and filthy; nothing at all like her previous home. She is insulted daily and is constantly be ...more
I admit I'm curious about what happens in the next two novels Guy wrote with these characters (Ruby, Edith Jackson), and the fact that I'm curious means that the story achieved its ends, somewhat...
Language and mention of rape make this book suitable for young adults or adults.
The Friends is a highly emotional voyage into the mind of a teenage girl who immigrated from the West Indies to Harlem. It gives insight into the thought processes that motivate teenage and adult behavior. There are characters to be hated and characters to be admired but in the end the characters can at least be understood.
The following statement by Mom was important to understanding she and Calvin's roles in the n
Nicholas During
An okay book. While the plot has all the hallmarks of the a classic YA novel, the writing lets it down a bit. The West Indian speak was cool, but not cool enough and a bit all over the place really. What was most interesting this book is the divisions among black classes. Middle class children shocked to realized that father's restaurant caters to poor black customers; black middle class snobbishness towards to poorer people, especially when it relates to shabby clothes; and the hypocritical pro ...more
Asha Hedrington
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 21, 2008 Ryan rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Young Adults/teachers of young adults
I just finished reading this book for the second time, and it's one of the best books I've read for young adults. The story centers around Phyllisia, a young girl from the West Indies who has just moved to Harlem. Phylissia is intelligent and strong willed. When a poor girl named Edith sticks up for her in class, Phyllsia realizes, with some distress, that she'll have to pretend to be her friend. Thus begins a story that investigates social/economic class in a very personal, experiential way. My ...more
I've read "The Friends" when I was a little younger and the again recently, I'm surprised that I forgot how interesting this book is. It tells the story of a young girl,Ruby, who has a hard time fitting in with American culture. She is from Haiti, I assume, and she is extremely smart, but, sorry to say, ignorant in a way. When her entire class is mean to her and one person Edith saves her from further trouble, she manages to lose her temporarily all because she thinks she's better and above the ...more
I had never heard of Rosa Guy until my cousin mention a book by her last month. Well as it was Ms. Guy gas been writing for years.

"The Friebds" is the story of two "friends," Edith & Phyl, that are classmates in NYC. Phyl newly arrived from "The Island" that is being bullied and beaten by the other classmates for being different and a good student. Edith eventually comes to her defense . This is a story of family issues, coming of age,differences in attitudes and cultures. I really enjoyed
Deborah Ideiosepius
This was not a bad kid's book; the one star is because I did not enjoy it and had to truely struggle to finish it.

Published in the 70's it is written topically with a phenomenal level of racism and prejudice. Historically accurate as that may be it is difficult to stomach for a modern reader. The types of racism also confused me; perhaps an American (the book is American) may be able to distinguish the references, I often could not figure them out. Caribbean? African American? South American? I
Shirley Cooper
I read this book in 1975 when I first started teching. One of the kids chose it from a selection of black books which I bought from my own money as the school wasn't interested in these books - haven't come a long way? After reading her book review and a discussion I too the book home and read it overnight.
IRB#3 This book was extremly great. If you are from the carribean like myself you will be able to relate to the protagonist Philliysia. It was a very great book filled with drama and suspense. I would also recamend this book to teenagers who have a difficult time communicating with there parents.
I loved this book! It was a very quick read! At first, it was slightly hard to understand the context of which it was written but, reading through till the end brought me to not being able to put it down! I loved reading about the hard friendship between the two girls. Very fascinating.
Julie S.
This was an odd little book. It's not that I strongly disliked it or anything. It's just that there seemed to be a lot missing. The characters seemed disconnected and irrational, so it was hard for me to connect/relate to them. Usually I can relate fairly well, so this surprised me.
One of my favorite booktalks in the 90's. The friends are Phyllisia, newly arrived in Harlem from the Caribbean, and Edith Jackson, a girl who is often picked on in school.
Apr 19, 2011 Jo rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Sensitive teenage girls
I loved this author when I was a teenager - many moons ago. The fact that she was from the Caribbean and wrote stories from her immigrant perspective also helped.
Jul 30, 2008 xX♥..annakinz..♥Xx added it
Recommends it for: (see above)
I gave this book 8/10. This book seems to be set for people who do not understand how hard it can be for some people living & sufferin by poverty or racism
Lydia Coyour
I absolutely Love this book! It is so interesting, and the word choose is perfect! It really made me open my eyes, and see around me! I would definitely recommend this book! It is really hard for me to find an interesting book, that will always keep me on my toes, but when i picked this book up and started to read, it made me so... well it's just unexplainable! Even though I am only 11 years old, I really love this book! I sometimes just sit and think- "What would it really be like if I was in t ...more
Dec 01, 2009 Mel added it
So far the book is good.Her problems seem overwhelming i think she is lonely she only wants Edith but why can she make other friends??
Black girl in NY deals with family, race, class. Odd, fascinating story, simple language.
Alshia Moyez
This is the book that got me hooked on reading. It was the "gateway" book in my early teens.
A powerful look and friendship, class and the journey to becoming a Black woman.
Fatuma mohamed
omg what a touch story
i loved reading this book
i can read over and over again
Because I will always love Rosa guy books no matter how old I am.
Alisha Figueroa
Don't judge people u never know when u may need them.
Jul 08, 2010 Cesar marked it as to-read
i read this book in the college and i like
Erin Hardin
i highly recommend this book! it is a great book
Another fav read from childhood.
I waited a long time to read this.
Lexi Leitz
AMAZING but not as good as divergent:)
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Rosa Cuthbert Guy was an American writer.

Rosa Guy was raised in the USA from the age of seven and now lives in New York. She immigrated to Harlem, New York in 1932. Soon after, her parents, Henry and Audrey Cuthbert, died. After, she and her sister went to many foster homes. She quit school at age fourteen and took a job to help support her family.

During World War II she joined the American Negro
More about Rosa Guy...
My Love, My Love: or The Peasant Girl Ruby Edith Jackson The Disappearance A Measure of Time

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