Katie's Reviews > Pretty Like Us

Pretty Like Us by Carol Lynch Williams
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Feb 29, 12

bookshelves: young-adult
Read from February 25 to 27, 2012

Pretty Like Us is a story about two very different girls finding friendship against all odds. The main character, Beauty, has been constantly bullied all her life at school. She has never had a true friend other than her mother and grandmother. She was also traumatized at the loss of her great-grandmother when she was little due to drowning in a river. Beauty meets Alane, a new girl at school, who has a terminal disease that makes her appear to be an old woman. Beauty has a hard time deciding if she wants to befriend the new girl, or join the crowd of her class mates ignoring and making fun of Alane. Beauty realizes the importance of admiring one's inner self without judging appearance, which results in Beauty and Alane becoming best friends. The pair embark on adventures such as driving to the beach in the middle of the night and also trying to reach Beauty's great-grandmother through a séance.

I enjoyed reading Pretty Like Us because it reminded me of high school and middle school. This novel depicts valid information of the way young adolescents act. The book features actuality paired with an unrealistic scenario. The short chapters might be appealing to adolescent readers who typically struggle through long books by feeling gratification when completing the chapters. Due to the short length, I felt, in some areas, there should have been more description of characters and background. Overall, this is a good book and I wish I had be given this to read in 5th or 6th grade.

This novel would be great given to middle school readers so they could see the repercussions of bullying as well as the rewarding feeling of befriending others, especially if that person has been out casted. I would use this book when discussing bullying. I might have the students work in small groups to create a twist to the story including elements such as "What would have happened if Alane had looked like a normal middle school student?" "Would Beauty have befriended Alane if she had been friends with her other classmates?" and/or "Would the story have changed if Beauty's great-grandmother had not died?". After working in groups, I would have them present to the class with their creations, or create a short dialog of their creations while pretending to be characters from the novel.
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