One of the most memorable and important moments in a young life - the first school dance - is the catalyst for drama, tension and self-discovery in another spunky graphic novel from a winning trio.
Beth and Chanda are buzzing for the upcoming school dance and are determined to make it the best night ever. All they need are show-stopping dresses and boys to take them. But with nothing worth wearing and not a sniff of a date in sight, the only thing they are close to finding is disappointment. Time is tight and if they’re going to make it a night to remember, Beth and Chanda need to find their groove, and quickly…
For an acne-plagued tween who had a sensory issue with wearing pretty much anything other than shell suits, the school dance was the stuff of nightmares. Recalling those primary school days, Beth and Chanda’s story deeply resonates and I know today’s youngsters will find it relevant and helpful. Thankfully no dancing or fancy attire is needed to enjoy this sweet, authentic and ultimately feel-good party where the joys of simply being yourself and doing what makes you happy triumph over unrealistic expectations.
Full of pre-teen angst, honest struggles and a genuine friendship, Besties Find Their Groove is a bang-on-point graphic novel that will have a big impact on many. Still delivering the same energy, freshness and fun, this is a step up from the first title in the series with Beth and Chanda dealing with weightier and highly personal issues as they continue to navigate the choppy seas of junior school. If anyone can sail through the difficult waters of peer pressure, societal values, unreasonable goals and the stresses of attending your first school dance, it is these two.
With social media constantly presenting ‘perfection’, Beth and Chanda’s story is a powerful and timely reminder to not get lost in trying to aspire to be something that just isn’t you and for the need to prioritise self-love and to live your best life by being exactly who you are. Emotions run high as the complications of fitting in, trying to meet other’s standards, and learning to accept, celebrate and value yourself are all explored.
It could be heavy and hard-going but Beth and Chanda are the perfect duo to have important conversations bringing their own brand of humour and light relief to serious matters. With different things weighing on their minds, the ability to confide in and lean on others allows solutions to be found. Body image issues are rare in kid-lit and Beth’s are handled with great sensitivity and awareness. Her honest and heartwarming account will encourage and empower others that share her feelings.
Tweens will love joining Beth and Chanda on their very personal journeys; sharing in the highs and lows, cringing often and having plenty of laughs too. Kids will want to be besties with these girls and parents will want their kids to have a friend like Beth or Chanda to depend on.
Refreshing, wholesome and crammed with messages that matter, all delivered in an accessible and entertaining format. Supportive reading that will provide comfort and reassurances to those that are experiencing self-doubt and are struggling to deal with the pressures and stresses of being a pre-teen. Essential for upper key stage two classrooms along with Kayla Miller’s other series, Click.
Recommended for 9+.
With huge thanks to Walker for the copy I received in exchange for an honest review.