Lakita Wilson, author of several Who HQ Now series titles, gives middle-grade readers an earnest and lighthearted novel that offers an honest look at friendships.
Eleven-year-old Macy Weaver is dumped by her best friend right before summer break. The Weavers then move from their hometown in South Carolina to a run-down apartment in Maryland, where Macy's mother will be attending college. Macy sees the move as an opportunity: she will reinvent herself and make a new best friend. At school, Macy becomes attached to Brynn, a fashion-loving sixth-grader who hopes to become a model. Macy is so desperate to be Brynn's best friend that she lies and says her mom is a fashion photographer. But Brynn's best friend Grace feels like something is off with Macy. If her lies are exposed, will Macy have the courage to share with Brynn--and the school--who she really is?
In addition to friendship, Wilson's contemporary novel touches on subjects like family, social class and anxiety. Wilson excellently parallels Macy's growth with that of other characters. For example, Macy's classmate Pax helps her tap into an actual talent for fashion as he learns to stand up for himself. The author also uses the fallibility of adult characters to fuel Macy's development. Macy's mom focuses more on school than Macy, which causes Macy major anxiety and makes her more attached to the idea of making a new best friend. Be Real, Macy Weaver is an authentic look into middle-grade friendships, family and identity. --Kharissa Kenner, children's librarian, Bank Street School for Children