One hundred million years ago, I was a history major. I love history and have always been drawn to both historical fiction and nonfiction. When I saw the cover of Best Friends Forever, I knew it was going to be my new favorite book. I was right.
Fifth grade social studies touches on World War II and the Holocaust but they seldom talk about the Japanese interment/relocation camps that dotted the barren areas of the western United States. Beverley Patt not only mentions the camps, she brings them to life by relating story of two girls, best friends, separated by the whims of war. Despite their physical separation, Louise and Dottie manage—with the help of their supportive parents—to maintain their emotional connection. That connection is beautifully supported by the book’s “scrapbook” layout. It’s easy to imagine Louise carefully pasting letters, drawings and little trinkets from Dottie into her personal diary. Despite the “olden days” setting, these girls are real to the reader.
Mrs. Patt developed her book based on a story her mother told her as a child. Years later, using her mother’s World War II childhood diary and talking with actual internees she developed the characters of Louise and Dottie with voices and personalities that ring true for the time and yet, are also timeless. I’m hoping that there will be a sequel so I can get just a little more time with Louise and Dottie, my new Best Friends Forever.
Follow this link to read an interview with Beverley Patt and learn more about how she wrote Best Friends Forever.
Posted by: Eileen
And don’t forget about our own interview with her last year!