Friend or Fiction

Jade wishes her family could leave their no-name town in Colorado already. What kind of place can’t keep a few nice flowers alive or considers three stores a mall, anyway? Everybody else made sure to move away sooner than later, including every best friend Jade’s ever had. But it’s tricky to leave when her dad’s recovering from cancer. So, stuck in a dead-end town with absolutely zero friends, Jade makes one up. In the pages of her notebook, she writes all about Zoe—the most amazing best friend anyone could dream of. The stories flow around-the-clock, especially during boring science lessons or lonely lunch periods. But the plot really thickens when Jade loses her notebook and an actual girl named Zoe shows up at school. In real life. Jade notices that new Zoe seems to have an awful lot in common with made-up Zoe. But who could pull off something this incredible? More importantly, are Jade and the real Zoe destined to be best friends, regardless of how or why Zoe turned up in the first place?


Publisher : ‎ Charlesbridge (October 8, 2019)

Hardcover : ‎ 272 pages

ISBN : ‎ 9781623541088

Reading age : ‎ 10 – 12 years

Lexile measure : ‎ 660L

Praise for Friend or Fiction

“Cooper’s writing engages readers, challenging them to decide whether Zoe is a hallucination, or a magical girl there to help Jade through a tough time.” —BayViews

“Cooper integrates tips about writing and being a good friend into her magic-touched, relatable middle school story, while somber subjects, such as family members with cancer and life in an economically distressed town, add further layers to the appealing narrative.” —Publishers Weekly

“Readers who enjoy the craft of writing will find plenty to like here . . . There are plenty of writing tips . . . This contemplative fantasy has plenty of character development. Offer to fans of Kate Messner and Sarah Weeks.” —School Library Journal

“Jade is introspective and narrates with quiet humor; anyone would be lucky to have her as a friend . . . a solid, unusual story that speaks to the need for friendship.” —Kirkus

“Can Jade Levy be my best friend? I adored this heartwarming story about friendship and family, the magic of writing, and learning to love what’s real.” —Sarah Mlynowski, co-author of Upside-Down Magic

“A charmingly relatable and magical novel that’s as moving as it is entertaining. A perfect follow-up to Abby’s first two novels and a delightful story on its own.” —Laurie Morrison, author of Up for Air

“A book about friendship and discovering what’s right in front of you with writing tips along the way! This is a book that will bring great discussion.” —Shelli T., 5th grade teacher