When Bella and her family move house, things are strange and different. Then she meets her new next-door neighbour, Magda. Bella thinks things are looking up as the two girls quickly become friends- but Magda has a talent for getting into trouble which Bella seems to get the blame for...
This is a sweet, very readable story exploring what friendship means and how difficult it can be to resist others when they are persuasive and personable! Bella finds herself blamed for things that Magda has done- and Magda seems happy to let this happen. Is she really being a good friend? How does this make Bella feel? What could she do to help herself in this situation?
Yet Bella- a 'good' girl- is drawn to the fun, extrovert side of Magda's personality and enjoys being with her. The scrapes they get into are exactly the kind of things that children do, simple mischief and fun, but Bella isn't used to behaving in this way!
The story offers an excellent starting point for discussion and debate about these issues and is the perfect inspiration for lots of drama and role play. It is good for talkng about how to handle situations and when and how to stand up for yourself when things you don't like are happening.
The short chapters and wonderful illustrations make this a great bedtime or story time read
There are more adventures to come involving these characters and it will be interesting to see what happens to this friendship!
Trouble Next Door by Chris Higgins, illustrated by Emily Mackenzie
Bloomsbury ISBN: 978-1408868836