Tyler is used to being one of the most popular boys in school - he’s on the basketball team and he’s got a great gang of mates. So when he teams up with quiet, unpopular Emmie to draw a comic for a school project, his crew are a bit incredulous.
Tyler just wants to spend his time drawing for the project, but he’s got a big basketball game coming up and he doesn’t want to get cut from the team – plus his friends keeping making fun of his friendship with Emmie. Emmie, meanwhile, is totally besotted with Tyler, and decides that the best way to make him like her (and get his friends to stop picking on her) is to ditch her ‘uncool’ image and reinvent herself.
Terri Libenson’s latest instalment in the Emmie & Friends series can be read either with the other books in the series, such as Invisible Emmie or Positively Izzie, or as a standalone story. Terri’s graphic novel style illustrations sit well alongside the text; chapters from Tyler’s point of view have small, detailed illustrations and neat writing, whilst Emmie’s chapters have larger, more colourful drawings and less text. Woven between the two narratives is Emmie and Tyler’s comic itself – a moving story about a ghost girl and a lonely boy.
Along with themes of identity, crushes, friendships and dealing with school, there’s a strong, positive message throughout about the importance of staying true to yourself and not letting others undermine who you are. Valuable and gentle reading for children aged 10+, and perfect for readers building confidence through illustrated books.