Thursday, June 24, 2021

Seven top books about teen friendships

Brittany Ackerman is a graduate of Florida Atlantic University's Master of Fine Arts program in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has completed a residency at the Wellstone Center in the Redwoods, and has attended the Mont Blanc Workshop in Chamonix, France under the instruction of Alan Heathcock. She has also attended the Writers by Writers Methow Valley Workshop under the leadership of Ross Gay.

Her first collection of essays and winner of the 2016 Nonfiction Award, The Perpetual Motion Machine, was published with Red Hen Press in 2018. Her debut novel, The Brittanys, it out now with Vintage.

At Electric Lit Ackerman tagged seven "books about teen friendships from the 1970s to 2000s," including:
In Zanesville by Jo Ann Beard

The 14-year-old narrator of In Zanesville is best friends with Felicia, aka Flea. These two girls, who are members of the marching band, are invited to the popular girl’s sleepover by some sweet strike of luck.
I look at Felicia, who looks back at me, coolly, chewing. I point to my chin, and her eyes bug out in alarm. She takes her napkin and saws away at her own chin, eyes grateful. I give her a slight nod—Yes, you got it—and then glance questioningly at the pop on the counter. She discreetly mimes opening a bottle and then looks back to her plate.
These are friends who read each other’s minds, who can understand a glance from across the room, who are always aiming to help each other fit in, or at the very least not stand out. The book encapsulates a year in the life of these two girls as they grow apart, fall back together, and try not to burn down the house.
Read about another entry on the list.

--Marshal Zeringue