Let's Pretend We Never Met
If it were up to Mattie Markham, there would be a law that said your family wasn’t allowed to move in the middle of the school year. After all, sixth grade is hard enough without wondering if you’ll be able to make new friends or worrying that the kids in Pennsylvania won’t like your North Carolina accent.But when Mattie meets her next-door neighbor and classmate, she begins to think maybe she was silly to fear being the “new girl.” Agnes is like no one Mattie has ever met—she’s curious, hilarious, smart, and makes up the best games. If winter break is anything to go by, the rest of the school year should be a breeze.Only it isn’t, because when vacation ends and school starts, Mattie realizes something: At school Agnes is known as the weird girl who no one likes. All Mattie wants is to fit in (okay, and maybe be a little popular too), but is that worth ending her friendship with Agnes?

Let's Pretend We Never Met Details

TitleLet's Pretend We Never Met
Author
Formatebook
ReleaseJun 13th, 2017
PublisherHarperCollins
ISBN0062567195
ISBN-139780062567192
Number of pages240 pages
Rating
GenreChildrens, Middle Grade, Contemporary

Let's Pretend We Never Met Review

  • Ms. Yingling
    March 17, 2017
    ARC provided by Young Adult Books CentralMattie is not thrilled to have to move from North Carolina to Phildelphia over winter break, even though it means being near her beloved grandmother, Maeve. Her father is working long hours at his new job, her mother can't find work, and she has to start a new school. One bright spot is her neighbor, Agnes, who is a little quirky but very exuberant and fun. When school starts, Agnes misses the first three days back to care for an abandoned baby bird. Matt ARC provided by Young Adult Books CentralMattie is not thrilled to have to move from North Carolina to Phildelphia over winter break, even though it means being near her beloved grandmother, Maeve. Her father is working long hours at his new job, her mother can't find work, and she has to start a new school. One bright spot is her neighbor, Agnes, who is a little quirky but very exuberant and fun. When school starts, Agnes misses the first three days back to care for an abandoned baby bird. Mattie is relieved, and is able to make new friends, including the cute Finn, who is very attentive and sweet. Once Agnes returns to school, all of Mattie's fears about her are confirmed. She's odd, and the other students stay away from her. They aren't too mean (with the exception of Marissa, who's having a hard time of her own), but Mattie realizes that if she admits to being friends with Agnes, she might lose her friendship with Shari. As her grandmother's condition worsens and the family prepares to move her out of her house, it is even more important to Mattie that her school situation is stable. Besides, Agnes gets annoying even to Mattie. Will she be able to keep her friends if she admits that Agnes is sometimes fun to have around?Let's Pretend We Never Met is a perfect model for what middle grade novels should include. The friend drama is paramount, but the family drama is deftly handled. There's nothing earth shattering occurring, but Mattie is affected by her family's situation. Many middle grade students have to deal with moving, parents' employment situations, and aging grandparents. I loved that Mattie was able to voice her concerns to her parents and eventually get help working through the issues she faced with their help. The romance with Finn is unrealistically wonderful, but what tween girl wouldn't be thrilled if a boy had his uncle send him a pencil for her favorite sports team?!The other children at school are also almost too good to be true, but do serve as an excellent but realistic example of how children should behave. Once Mattie explains to them a little about Agnes, they accept her. Agnes is never identified as being on the autism spectrum, but her character descriptions certainly read that way. She is described as having a social disorder that includes anxiety, and she has no filters when it comes to her clothing or speech. Her mother's parenting is a little suspect (she allows Agnes to miss a lot of school and stay home to be watched over by the apartment building doormen!), but this is at least questioned by Mattie's mother.Maeve is a great literary grandmother, and even though it's clear that she is in the beginning stages of dementia, the matter is handled in a positive way. Maeve eventually agrees to go into an assisted living facility and treats it as an "adventure" while still admitting that leaving her home makes her sad. This is a great example for children to see. The family faces every day adversity by working together to find positive solutions. This is played out in the case of the mother's unemployment as well. The mother doesn't hide the fact that finding jobs is difficult from Mattie, but also is optimistic about her chances and doesn't give up.Upbeat, realistic fiction with a sympathetic character is always popular with tween readers. Readers who like Lowry's Anastasia or Nixon's Alice series will enjoy meeting Mattie, and comparable stand alone titles inclue Hurwitz's Callie Be Gold, Vernick's Water Balloon, Messner's The Brilliant Fall of Gianna Z and Shang's The Great Wall of Lucy Wu.
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  • Cat
    June 12, 2017
    When I stop crying I'll be blogging about this. 💜
  • Emma Andje
    June 15, 2017
    *actual rating is 3.5 stars*Sometimes moving is hard...Mattie's family decides to move from North Carolina to Philadelphia to be closer to her paternal grandmother, for reasons unknown to Mattie. Not only does she have to leave her old school and friends behind, she also has to do it in the middle of the school year. Sometimes friendship is difficult...Mattie's two friends from North Carolina slowly become closer to each other and do not find the need to contact Mattie as often and Mattie would *actual rating is 3.5 stars*Sometimes moving is hard...Mattie's family decides to move from North Carolina to Philadelphia to be closer to her paternal grandmother, for reasons unknown to Mattie. Not only does she have to leave her old school and friends behind, she also has to do it in the middle of the school year. Sometimes friendship is difficult...Mattie's two friends from North Carolina slowly become closer to each other and do not find the need to contact Mattie as often and Mattie would like them to. Luckily, Mattie has a neighbor her age in her new apartment building. However, her new neighbor, Agnes, is a little less than normal. Despite this, Agnes and Mattie quickly become friends over the course of winter break. Sometimes you are in the wrong...When it comes time to go back to school, Agnes says home, so Mattie has a chance to start making new friends at school without the influence of Agnes. But, Mattie learns that Agnes quirkiness is seen as weird at school. Upon Agnes's return to school Mattie ignores her on campus, but hangs out with her after school in their apartment building. This split between home and school creates difficulties in Mattie's view of Agnes and she starts to resent her friendship with someone who is not see as "normal."Sometimes letting go is not easy...At the same time, Mattie's grandmother is packing up the valuables at her home. Mattie's dad spends an ample amount of time helping his mother with the packing and helping her to not confuse Mattie with her cousin, Elodie. Sometimes change is good...In the end, Mattie learns several great lessons. She discovers what true friendship is and what it takes to be a good friend. She accepts her grandmother's condition and choices for how to live out her life. She observes what an equal partnership marriage looks like in her parents, and the give and take that comes with it. She learns that people grow up at their own paces and need room to grow by themselves. And, most importantly, Mattie learns to respect the personalities of others and how to best support those she loves. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and appreciated all of the adorable moments in it. Mattie is in sixth grade, which is a difficult year in school even if you were not pulled out of school in the middle of the year. But, she takes it in stride and lives a wonderful rest of the year with her parents, new friends, and a budding puppy love. This book is relevant in context with the openness of mental disabilities and with popular culture with YouTube, cell phones, books, and movies (I especially loved the mention of the How to Train Your Dragon movies, which are some of my favorite films). It is a good opportunity to have children experience several difficult topics in a light, but still serious, way. Let's Pretend We Never Met will definitely be in my wheelhouse of go-to books to recommend for upper elementary and middle school children in the future.I was given an ARC of this book from the publisher in return for an honest review.
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  • Debbi Florence
    March 25, 2017
    A sweet middle grade read about friendship and family. When 11yo Mattie has to move from her forever home in NC to Philly, she's upset about leaving behind her two best friends, especially in the middle of the school year. When she quickly makes friends with a quirky neighbor at her new apartment complex, Mattie is relieved, until she starts to notice her new friend's sometimes odd behavior. A story about exploring new friendships and being true to your heart, despite what others may think.
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  • Kristin Mahoney
    June 16, 2017
    Such a beautiful story, with a main character whose worries are expressed in a believable way that took me right back to that age. But more importantly, my 11yo daughter devoured it in three nights and says it's now one of her favorites (praise she doesn't give lightly)!
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  • Meggan
    June 26, 2017
    The kind of book I would have loved as a kid.
  • Katie Atmakur
    May 10, 2017
    This book is so incredible i love every page of it the author of it is so talented!!
  • Misti
    June 30, 2017
    Moving from North Carolina to Philadelphia in the middle of her sixth grade year is hard for Mattie, but she knows that her family is moving because her beloved grandmother needs their support. In their new apartment, Mattie soon befriends Agnes, who is smart and creative but occasionally a little bit odd. Mattie loves playing with Agnes during the holiday break (even though she would have said she's too old for "playing"), but what will happen to their friendship when school resumes?Complex cha Moving from North Carolina to Philadelphia in the middle of her sixth grade year is hard for Mattie, but she knows that her family is moving because her beloved grandmother needs their support. In their new apartment, Mattie soon befriends Agnes, who is smart and creative but occasionally a little bit odd. Mattie loves playing with Agnes during the holiday break (even though she would have said she's too old for "playing"), but what will happen to their friendship when school resumes?Complex characters and honest treatment of difficult issues make for an engaging read. Recommended.
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