As a classroom teacher, I am constantly on the look-out for books that I can hand any child. At the same time, I am looking for books that are real and address issues that my students themselves are going through. Let’s Pretend We Never Met by Melissa Walker is a book that hits both of these concepts. It is a book that any kid would like. It is simple, relatable, and teaches a clear lesson.
On top of it, the book's message focuses on dealing with friendships and making the kind choice even when it is not popular. To me, that is a message that any kid should be reading about, and that is why I recommend Let’s Pretend We Never Met. It would be a great addition to any home or classroom library.
In the story, Let’s Pretend We Never Met, you meet 7th grader Mattie Markham. Mattie’s family has just moved to Pennsylvania from North Carolina. They have moved in the middle of the school year in order to help Mattie’s aging grandmother. Moving is hard for everyone, and Mattie struggles with the idea of fitting in and making new friends at her new school.
Things get better for Mattie when she meets her neighbor, Agnes, across the apartment hallway. During the winter break, Agnes and Mattie become friends, and Mattie feels better that she will know someone when school starts again after a break.
However, once Mattie starts her new school, she quickly realizes that Agnes is different, and no one at her new school seems to like her. In effort to fit in, Mattie does her best to distance herself from Agnes. However, things get complicated when she misses her friend and ends up really hurting Agnes’s feelings in her efforts to fit in.
Throughout the story, Mattie struggles with finding a way to balance her desire to be friends with Agnes with her same desire to fit in with everyone at school. In an effort to help everyone, Mattie comes up with a plan to join everyone together. Maybe just maybe, Mattie will find the courage to be herself and to be friends with anyone she wants to be friends with.