Best Friends, Worst Enemies

Authors: Michael Thompson, Catherine O’Neill Grace, and Lawrence Cohen (there were so many authors, I didn’t want to put them in the title this time)

Subtitle: Understanding the Social Lives of Children

Published: 2001

Genre: nonfiction, childhood development

Length: 265 pages

Interest: I read about it on one of my blogs and it sounded interesting enough to add to my reading list. I’ve just read another by the same group of authors that I put on my reading list after reading this book, so I’m posting this review first.

Summary: The book discusses how children interact with their peers and how that interaction changes as they develop. The authors discuss the importance of friendship to a child and how friends can help a child through the difficulties of growing up. They also discuss how cruel kids can be to each other, and some of the reasons why. Finally, they discuss how to recognize at risk children and what teachers and parents can do to help them.

Final thoughts: An interesting book that certainly made me think about my friendships in middle school and high school. It also adds another argument to homeschooling through the middle school years when kids are particularly focused on popularity and status. In high school, they start to move beyond popularity when choosing friends. I did find it a very useful book as a parent, so I have an idea of what’s going on with my kids and their friends and can nip some problems in the bud before they develop into full-fledged issues.

Title comes from: A description of what the book is about.

Reading challenges fulfilled: none, since this is a review of a book read in a previous year.

If you’re interested in purchasing the book, you can click on the cover image or subtitle to follow an Amazon affiliate link to the book and thanks for supporting my blog!


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