Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Book Review: Friends With Boys by Faith Erin Hicks

Reading Without Walls is a month-long, nationwide program to promote diversity in reading, inspired by National Ambassador for Young People's Literature Gene Luen Yang and his ambassadorial platform. You can find more resources to support Reading Without Walls by clicking the banner!

I am participating in Reading Without Walls by reading more graphic novels! While I have read a few here and there, I don't tend to gravitate toward them as a whole. Be sure to follow #readingwithoutwalls hashtag on social media to see what others are reading.

Young Adult, Fantasy, Contemporary
Publication Date:February 28, 2012
Pages:220 (paperback)
Published By:  First Second
Website:Faith Erin Hicks

Friends With Boys on Goodreads
My review copy:
Received from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

Where to get:


After years of homeschooling, Maggie is starting high school. It's pretty terrifying.

Maggie's big brothers are there to watch her back, but ever since Mom left it just hasn't been the same.

Besides her brothers, Maggie's never had any real friends before. Lucy and Alistair don't have lots of friends either. But they eat lunch with her at school and bring her along on their small-town adventures.

Missing mothers...distant brothers...high school...new friends... It's a lot to deal with. But there's just one more thing.



Friends with Boys was a cute and quick read - it took me less than an hour from start to finish. Maggie is beginning her first day of high school, a rite of passage for any young person but even larger for her as she has been homeschooled all her life.

Maggie lives with her three older brothers, also homeschooled until the 9th grade, and father - her mother having left (from what I gathered) over the summer. She seeks comfort from her older brothers, but they all just give her encouraging words before letting her figure high school out on her own.

On her way to school, Maggie cuts through a graveyard where a ghost pops up. Maggie has a brief one-sided conversation with the ghost before heading toward school where she eventually befriends Lucy and her older brother Alistair.

I enjoy Faith's artwork in Friends with Boys. Every once in a while we have panels with no dialogue and she tells the story expertly with her illustrations. Even without dialogue, I could understand Maggie's nerves the first day of school and her eventually becoming more comfortable in a public school surrounded by people, verse her first eight years of schooling at home with her mother and older brothers.

My issue with Friends with Boys is its length. I feel like there is so much more that could have been explored: the ghost and why Maggie can see her, Maggie's relationships with her family, Maggie's new relationships with Lucy and Alistair. While good, the narrative is very surface level. Upon finishing, I wanted more. Which I guess at the end of the day, isn't a bad thing.

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