Friendship Trumps Popularity

One of the details of my real life that influences my storytelling is a history of moving a lot as a child, and an exposure to cultures other than my own. I attended first grade at an American school in Kabul, Afghanistan (during a peaceful era), and I spent my senior year in high school in Cajamarca. Peru.

Different children handle moving with different degrees of social adeptness—I can’t say I managed it very well. I was pretty consistently an outsider. I understood what it was to be different, to be made fun of, and to feel lonely. On the other hand, I also experienced the transformative magic of friendship. Usually that happened through being befriended by another outsider. The moment I made a friend, we were no longer outsiders. Who cares if you’re popular as long as you have a friend? Friendship trumps popularity, every time.


Cover of just-released paperback

The Lightning Queen cover

“The Lightning Queen,” by Laura Resau

The Curse of the Neverland, Book One in the Piper Pan and Her Merry Band Series, is built on outsiders bonding. Piper longs for “real friends.” The other girls, in spite of living together in a foster home for some time, have not formed friendships with each other. It takes the adventures in the Neverland to bring that magical transformation about.

Today’s book recommendation: The Lightning Queen, by Laura Resau, was a very special reading experience for me. It is my favorite of beasts: a children’s book that is equally appropriate for adults as for children. Its cultural setting sparked my own memories of my year in South America—the wonderful way these cultures allow the unseen and the magical to coexist with what we call “reality.”

Here’s a brief book blurb from the jacket cover of The Lightning Queen:

“Inspired by true stories from rural Mexico, this astonishing novel illuminates two fascinating but marginalized cultures—the Romani and the Mixteco Indians. Award-winning author Laura Resau tells the exhilarating story of an unlikely friendship that begins in the 1950s and reaches into today.”

Like the one between the girls in The Curse of the Neverland, the friendship between Teo and Esma in The Lightning Queen is transformative. It changes not only the dynamic between the individuals, but also the individuals themselves.

I think you’ll love this one. Happy Reading!


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