I was thrilled a little while ago to be the winner of my own signed copy of Cassie Was Here, by Caroline Hickey (2007, 182pp). Thanks Mother Reader, and thanks Ms. Hickey! I read it with great enjoyment, and now, having seen that Kelly over at Big A little a has reviewed it, here are my own thoughts.
Bree is eleven, has just moved to a new neighborhood, is being blamed by her brother for his broken arm, and her mother has (literally) closed herself away (so as to get work done). Sure, she still has her imaginary friend Joey, but still she feels pretty gloomy. Then she meets Cassie--older, tougher, full of zing. Is Cassie a true friend?
The dynamics of friendship are played out, painfully and hopefully, as in real life. But although "friendship" is the main theme of this book, what stuck in my mind was the "when do you have to grow up" theme that's also being explored.
When I was Bree's age, like her, I wanted to play the games of childhood--dollhouses and imaginary friends and such. The summer I was Bree's age, I was happily sewing clothes for my dolls. Then we moved back to the United States, and I started 7th grade. Ack. Almost all the girls were desperate to grow up, and I personally was repulsed by the hairiness of the Bee Gees.
I loved Caroline Hickey's detailed and loving descriptions of the games that Bree and Joey play, but most of all, I was very happy that in the end, she has a real friend, Anna, with whom she can still be a child (thanks to Cassie, who although she has put aside childish things herself, does not despise them).