Jackie's Reviews > Pretty Like Us

Pretty Like Us by Carol Lynch Williams
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Jan 08, 11

bookshelves: 5012, children-fiction, compassion, disabilities, friendship, school, single-parent-family
Read in January, 2011

This the story about being a friend when it isn't the easiest thing to do. Beauty McElwarth, 12, 'lost' her best and only friend when she started to grow up and develop during the summer before sixth grade. Cody suddenly became embarrassed and ditched her, even though they had known each other their whole lives. Beauty, painfully shy, had no friends...that is until a new student came into the classroom. Alane Shriver is different though. She has progeria, a life threatening aging disease that makes her body look old like a seventy year old woman, even though she is only twelve.

At first, Beauty, makes fun of her to get on the good side of other kids, but quickly realizes how bad this makes her feel when she sees the pain on Alane's face. Coming to the realization that teasing is not kind, Beauty apologizes and takes Alane under her wing. The two become fast friends...and Alane, along with Beauty, do things normal kids do, even when they are dangerous. Alane feels alive even when her body does not cooperate. She loves Beauty for treating her with respect, compassion, and loyalty.

One fateful fall day, though, Alane and Beauty take their daring escapades a little too far and they both nearly drown in the swollen river. Bad memories come blazing back for Beauty, since her great-grandmother did drown in the same river saving Beauty's life when she was three. Adults are furious, Beauty is cut-off from her best friend, and both girls are distraught over the consequences of risky behavior. Yet, even with their minimal contact, they remain steadfast and true to one another.

Used for Hiawatha School Book Talk: January, 2011.
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