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Penny Draws a Best Friend

Penny Draws a Best Friend

Penny Draws, Book One

Sara Shepard

How come Violet is suddenly not into drawing? Who etched the words ‘I Am Bug Man’ inside my desk? Why is Mom suddenly acting like she has a secret?

Nobody said starting the last year of primary school would be easy, and Penny Lowry’s anxiety means a million questions are always spinning through her thoughts. Luckily she’s got a lot to look forward to, like her favourite after-school activity, Art Club, and seeing her best friend Violet again after spending the whole summer apart.

The thing is, Violet has been acting weird ever since she got back. She never wants to hang out anymore, she says Art Club is for babies, and she spends all her time with Riley, the meanest girl in school. Did Penny do something wrong? And if she did, can she undo it?

In this sweet, tender and funny introduction to a lovable kid figuring out how to manage her anxiety, the author of the #1 bestselling Pretty Little Liars series gets to the heart of how to let go of the friends who aren’t right for you—and how to make room for the ones who are.


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Sara Shepard
About the Author

Sara Shepard is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars series, The Lying Game series, The Heiresses, The Elizas, The Perfectionists series, and Reputation. She is also the author of the Penny Draws series for middle-grade readers.

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16 May 2023
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Praise for Sara Shepard
andPenny Draws a Best Friend

‘Readers will likely relate to [Penny’s] concerns … This new series comes straight from the heart.’

‘Fantastically fun, funny, and heartfelt. I loved it.’

‘Perfectly captures the hilarity, anxiety, and silliness of being a kid. A charming, zippy read that will keep you smiling all book long.’

‘Heartfelt and oh-so funny—an utterly charming read that’s perfect for any kid who’s ever had a worry, or who simply loves to laugh.’

‘Like the worries in Penny’s head, drama and hilarity run amok in this sweet, relatable, and engaging story.’

‘A bright and emotionally accessible story full of wit and warmth.’

‘Heartfelt…A charming, engaging and easy-to-read story.’

‘Many middle-grade readers will see their own feelings and concerns reflected in this story, and Shepard’s inclusion of healthy coping strategies within the story make it a fantastic resource. Penny Draws a Best Friend is a heartfelt exploration of anxiety, of friendship, and of finding your people.’

‘Shepard’s light touch and sketchbook-style b&w doodles make for an engaging read that candidly portrays the effect of destabilizing changes on one child experiencing anxiety.’

‘Imbued with humor, colorful characters, and the perilous dilemmas of childhood…Shepard carefully and successfully walks a tightrope in her treatment of Penny’s worries by validating her feelings while suggesting that they should not be the only thing that guide her actions and choices. The epistolic format and the quirky, lovable main character will appeal to fans of Rachel Renée Russell’s Dork Diaries and Svetlana Chmakova’s Brave.’

‘This engaging book is full of the dramas in Penny’s life, with lots of relatable events for a reader who likes humour and action.’

‘Readers will love Penny and her quirky friends, and see familiar experiences reflected in the pages of her illustrated diary. With a Diary of a Wimpy Kid feel, this series is sure to become a sought after, passed around the playground, beloved favourite.’

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