All Alone in the Universe by Lynne Rae Perkins


Date reviewed: 4/10/03                       Age/Grade:  Grades 3-5      IL  9-12              Author’s website

Summary: Debbie is slowly losing her best friend Maureen to another girlfriend. She knows that she can be alone, but truly doesn’t want to. As she watches the world continue, oblivious to her pain, she wonders if she will ever be truly happy until she realizes that her teacher’s advice is right on.

Personal Reaction: I liked the tone of voice used in Debbie’s descriptions of life around her and the illustrations that Debbie would use if this were a diary (but it’s not, so that can get confusing).

Points for discussion with children:  friendship, best friends

Possible classroom uses: This novel is about friendship and can be used successfully at any grade level whether having students write about their friends or analyzing what makes a good friend, etc.

Connections to other books? This book reminds me of Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging by Rennison (though Rennison’s book is for older readers and is MUCH funnier). I also thought that this book was similar in tone to Everything on a Waffle by Horvath. The issue of best friends is so omni-present in literature today, but I think that girls who like this might like P.S. Longer Letter Later or Snail Mail, No More by Danziger/Martin.

Realia: bicycle, rose, art projects used in the story: “antique” vase, “stained glass” candleholder, cigar box jewelry box, starched string ornament

Food items connected to story: cheese sandwich, strawberries & cream

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