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  • Margaret

Emily Sparkes and the Friendship Fiasco by Ruth Fitzgerald

Emily Sparkes is finding life tough. Her parents have failed in their duty to name her baby sister properly, forcing Emily to call the child 'Yoda' as an emergency interim measure. Even worse, they have negligently run out of chocolate biscuits and have done nothing to rectify the situation. Most seriously of all, Emily's best friend has moved to Wales (OF ALL PLACES!), which means that Emily has no one to be her partner on the Tudor Times Time-Travel school trip.

Anyone who has ever been a ten year old girl knows that nothing in life matters more than who you sit next to on the school trip. Even the chocolate biscuit famine is insignificant in comparison. However, Emily is not lacking in wit and resourcefulness and so embarks on a campaign to find a new best friend. If she fails she will be forced to sit next to Gross-Out Gavin (party trick: burping the alphabet). The situation could not be more desperate.

New girl Chloe seems to offer the perfect solution. She's pretty, rich and instantly popular. But are these the only virtues one should seek in a friend? Is Chloe perhaps not all she seems? Could the answer to Emily's friendship dilemma lie elsewhere? Is her real best friend someone who has been there all the time? Emily eventually arrives at the right friendship destination (phew!), but not before discovering that she's bad at making cakes but surprisingly good at archery.

Emily is a very funny, warm, realistic and engaging character. Ruth Fitzgerald has an astute ear for the way girls like Emily talk and think, and the result is a charming and entertaining read that shines in a crowded market. You'll really enjoy it, especially if you're a fan of Jacqueline Wilson, Hilary McKay or Lauren Child.


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