Middle School Confidential™: Real Friends vs. The Other Kind


Book written by Annie Fox, M.Ed

Book reviewed by Jane Balvanz, MSE, RPT

When I received my copy of Real Friends vs. The Other Kind from Annie Fox’s Middle School Confidential series, I knew I had my hands on a school counselor’s dream.  There are BIG things in this small package!  This is a book that would have had a place under my pillow during my junior high days.  That’s where I would have kept it, so I could read and reread it – especially during those sleepless nights spent over friendship angst.  This book speaks to kids.

Built around the interactions of six middle school friends, Real Friends vs. The Other Kind takes you through their daily interactions and the real life experiences ‘tweens and teens face.  Kids will enjoy the comic book-like story and illustrations interwoven with advice following each segment. This is a sneaky-brilliant way to put together TONS of information for kids.  A real bonus is that it’s “reluctant reader friendly.”  It will appeal to bookworms as well as kids who blanch at the sight of a thick book.

Intermingled within 90 pages of a book one quarter of an inch thick and easily held in one hand, here’s a list of some of the rich content:

  • Real input from real kids
  • Six qualities of a real friend
  • How to evaluate the friendship network you have
  • Other helpful books to read.
  • Identifying when you weren’t a good friend
  • Avoiding Social Garbage
  • Friendship Quizzes
  • Tips for Getting the Treatment You Deserve
  • Helpful websites

I’ve just revealed less than 10% of the contents packed into those 90 pages!  Parents and teachers will also love Real Friends vs. The Other Kind.  Use it in the classroom for whole group discussions or at home for parent and t(w)een talks. For kids who are not “into” parental discussions, just leave copy in their bedroom.  A final note to school counselors – I find this book an excellent resource for running small groups for kids with friendship problems and assertiveness issues.

A Way Through, LLC gives our Must Read Seal of Excellence to Middle School Confidential™: Real Friends vs. The Other Kind by Annie Fox for it’s appeal to t(w)eens, multiple uses, and addressing friendship information kids really need to know and learn.  Recommended for t(w)eens, school counselors, middle school teachers and principals, parents, therapists, social workers, and anyone who loves a t(w)een.

You can find this book and others by Annie Fox at Free Spirit Publishing

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