Summary: Curlfriends: New In Town
Charlie is the new kid for the umpteenth time, but this time things will be different. Her dad is no longer in the military, and this is a more permanent home, so she feels more pressure to find and impress some new friends. When she meets a cool group of Black girls with varying interests, she decides to hide her “babyish” style and hobbies to befriend them. But she soon learns that with true friends, you can be your whole self.
The illustrations in this book are so cute! Charlie is an interesting and relatable protagonist. She seeks style and friendship advice from teen magazines and websites (like some tweens do) and still likes her stuffed animals even though she’s now a tween.
Hair is a major theme in this story and I love that this book exists because there are so few stories about Black hair for middle schoolers. Another hair story I can think of is Vargas’s The Do Over, but this one is even more fun with lots of realistic hair styles reflected.
Charlie’s new friends feel realistic and like most imperfect friendships, they annoy each other and argue a fair amount, but the overall feeling is sweet and their friendship is healthy. I love how different all four girls are (see their profiles here) and the fact that the story is about mundane day-to-day life, which is rare for POC stories.
We’re seeing more representations of military families and Charlie is a military brat too. In her case, her dad has quit the military and is adjusting back to life as a civilian, including strengthening his relationship with his daughter. Charlie obviously feels more comfortable with her mom as we see in the book, but she and her dad’s relationship gets better throughout the story.
- Death: None
- Language: None
- Sexual content: None
- Alcohol/substance abuse: None
- Ethnic: The main characters are Black
- Sexual orientation: None
Recommended for ages: 8+
Good for kids who like:
- The Babysitter’s Club books
- Kayla Miller’s Click series
- Graphic novel series
- Friendship stories
- Middle grade books about fashion
|Publisher details||Little, Brown Ink|
|Publication date:||October 10, 2023|
|Cover artists | Designer:||Sharee Miller|
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