Friends For­ev­er

Amy Ariel
  • Review
By – April 24, 2012

Eleven-year-olds Abi­gail and Han­nah become friends when Han­nah sud­den­ly appears in Abigail’s St. Paul yard in 1912 after Abigail’s aunt gives her a book enti­tled The Secret Gar­den. This is a time trav­el sto­ry with a switch; Abi­gail and Han­nah both live in the same house only they live there one hun­dred years apart. This excel­lent read high­lights what a Mid­west­ern Jew­ish girl might have expe­ri­enced dur­ing the social, cul­tur­al, and polit­i­cal trans­for­ma­tions of the ear­ly twen­ti­eth cen­tu­ry. They dis­cuss issues of the time such as women’s right to vote, work­ers’ rights, and racial equal­i­ty. The tra­di­tions and prac­tices of Judaism are inte­grat­ed into the dai­ly lives of both girls, who observe their reli­gion sim­i­lar­ly one hun­dred years apart. Abi­gail and Han­nah share the excite­ment of hav­ing read many of the same books, although their per­spec­tives on those books reflect the dif­fer­ent times in which they live. Although Han­nah knows that some of the issues of the day will resolve in the future, she doesn’t give Abi­gail the details. The girls inge­nious­ly solve the prob­lem of how to get Han­nah back to the future with­out being missed in her own time. Black and white draw­ings por­tray the char­ac­ters and show places, clothes, and dec­o­ra­tive items men­tioned in the sto­ry. This book is rec­om­mend­ed for ages 8 – 12.

Bar­bara Sil­ver­man had an M.L.S. from Texas Woman’s Uni­ver­si­ty. She worked as a children’s librar­i­an at the Cor­pus Christi Pub­lic Libraries and at the Cor­pus Christi ISD before retir­ing. She worked as a vol­un­teer at the Astor Juda­ic Library of the Lawrence Fam­i­ly JCC in La Jol­la, CA. Sad­ly, Bar­bara passed away is 2012.

Discussion Questions