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Friendship For Today by Patricia C.…
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Friendship For Today

by Patricia C. Mckissack

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Extremely heartwarming and uplifting, Patricia C. McKissack's newest novel A Friendship for Today is an phenomenal example of the true importance of friendship. McKissack successfully shows readers that it's A-OK to be unique!

I think the characters in A Friendship for Today were actually quite well-done. They each had different "dementions" and unique personalities. Each character is so realistic as well!
        The problem that I had in terms of characterization in A Friendship for Today was the character's relationships with other characters. These connections, at least for me, didn't seem very realistic or well-developed.

The plot was very intriguing - I typically don't read historical fiction THAT much, but A Friendship for Today stood out because of it's unique plot and amazing writing style. The way Patricia McKissack is able to write so darn accurately from the perspective of a middle schooler is something I will never be capable of!
        However, I did find the whole scenario about Rosemary's parents kind of unnecessary to the plot. The relationship between Rosemary's parents (and the whole scenario between them, to say the least) was not very well developed either. However, it did make some great page-filling! :D

What actually surprised me was the Author's Note, saying that this whole book was practically an autobiography. Patricia McKissack...you are an amazing writer...and human being! Thank you for sharing so much with your readers! You are truly inspirational!

All in all, I highly enjoyed A Friendship for Today and would definitely recommend it to anyone interested in a heartwarming story about a powerful girl that you'll never forget! #4EverIntegrated ( )
  ZoeSNicholson | Sep 16, 2013 |
Quick, easy read that would be good to focus on for character development. Both the main character, Rosemary, and her antagonist, Grace "The Tasteless", show good character foil and change throughout the novel. ( )
  smheatherly2 | May 8, 2013 |
Based on the author's experience. Very well done. Another look at 1955 integration. A must for the library collection. ( )
  librarian1204 | Apr 26, 2013 |
1950's school integration, polio ( )
  caroljeanr | Jan 14, 2011 |
Recommended Ages: Gr. 5-7

Plot Summary: Rosemary just finished a wonderful school year, but she's nervous about starting 6th grade because she and her best friend, JJ, will be the only black students in the class. For the first time, Robertson school is being integrated. When JJ misses the entire year because he is getting hydrotherapy treatment for polio, Rosemary doesn't have any friends left in her class, or even her school. When Katherine offers her a chance to come to her birthday party if she insults Grace, Rosemary refuses. Grace does the same for Rosemary and they slowly become friends.

Setting: Kirkland, Missouri, 1954

Characters:
Rosemary - 10 y/o
James Johnson Stenson, Jr. - AKA J.J., Rosemary's best friend, likes to run but isn't as fast as Rosemary until the day before he gets polio
Mama - seamstress, doesn't take Daddy back when he begs, officially divorces by end of book
Daddy - owns auto shop, fights with Mama all the time because he doesn't think she should be so independent
Miss Jean - daddy's new girlfriend, secretary at auto shop
Aunt Betty and Uncle John - JJ's parents, not Rosemary's real Aunt and Uncle
Mr. Bob - owns grocery store, was a member of the Tuskegee Airmen
Bevvy - high schooler who walks Rosemary and JJ to school
Jane Hamilton - 17 y/o, oldest
Stevie the Snake Hamilton - 15 y/o
Wayne the Whiner Hamilton - 16 y/o
Marty Hamilton - 12 y/o
Grace the Tasteless Hamilton - 10 y/o, goes to school with Rosemary at Robertson, was Rosemary's worst enemy but they become friends, despite Grace's family, ends up moving back to Arkansas where it's still segregated, very poor, live on Dead End a white block in the middle of the black neighborhood
Mr. Hamilton - moved family from Arkansas, racist
Mrs. Washington - JJ and Rosemary's beloved 5th grade teacher, tutors JJ when he's in the hospital
Estelean - Rosemary's friend from Attucks, goes to a different school for 6th grade that is more racist
Katherine Hogan - most popular girl at Robertson school
Ms. Denapolis - Rosemary's 6th grade teacher at Robertson, teaches "tolerance" as word for the year, does the blue eye-brown eye experiment for less than one day
Rags - Rosemary's cat she found badly injured on the train tracks
Ms. Lancet - principal at Robertson, very friendly and is happy school is integrated
Mr. Keggley - superintendent, racist, tries to get Rosemary to transfer into a remedial class at a different school

Recurring Themes: racism, segregation, divorce, integration, friendship, family, polio, school, teachers, bullying

Controversial Issues:
pg. 97 nigger

Personal Thoughts: This book seems to cover all of the major topics of this time period, even if it's just a brief mention. I thought it was a little too convenient, but the author's note explains the book is based on her experience as a child. I'm not sure if the author was as mature as Rosemary, however. Rosemary seemed to be wise beyond her years in every way. For example, she told JJ to get rid of his wheelchair because it would force him to use his legs. She never broke her morals in order to become popular. The symbolism with the injured cat rags is easy to understand.

Genre: historical fiction
  pigeonlover | Aug 24, 2010 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 043966098X, Hardcover)

From highly acclaimed, award-winning author Patricia McKissack comes a powerful, poignant, and timely tale of segregation, family, and one surprising friendship.

The year is 1954, the place is Missouri, and twelve-year-old Rosemary Patterson is about to make history. She is one of the first African American students to enter the white school in her town. Headstrong, smart Rosemary welcomes the challenge, but starting this new school gets more daunting when her best friend is hospitalized for polio. Suddenly, Rosemary must face all the stares and whispers alone. But when the girl who has shown her the most cruelty becomes an unlikely confidante, Rosemary learns important truths about the power of friendship to overcome prejudice.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:47:46 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

In 1954, when desegregation comes to Kirkland, Missouri, ten-year-old Rosemary faces many changes and challenges at school and at home as her parents separate.

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