Phyllisia eventually recognizes that her own selfish pride rather than her mother's death and her father's tyrannical behavior created the gulf between her and her best friend.
Set in 1960s Harlem, this is the story of Phyllisia, a 14-year-old West Indian girl who has recently moved to New York with her family. Although her glamorous older sister is easily accepted in this new world, Phyllisia finds life in the United State much more difficult than she ever expected. At school, she is mocked for her foreign manners, her accent, and--hardest for her to understand--her intelligence. Only Edith, another loner, seems willing to be her friend, but Phyllisia isn't sure she wants to be friends with someone like Edith, a girl Phyllisia feels is beneath her both socially and intellectually. Further complicating matters is the fact that Phyllisia's mother is seriously ill, a situation that greatly increases the tension between Phyllisia and her tyrannical father. As Phyllisia's life becomes more difficult, she comes to understand that she and Edith might have more in common than she ever imagined, and that Edith might indeed be her true best friend. The first in a trilogy which includes RUBY and EDITH JACKSON, THE FRIENDS addresses such issues as racism within the black community, the roles of women and girls in society, child abuse, and the true meaning of friendship.
- Fiction + Literature Genres, Juvenile Fiction
- Social Issues / Friendship, People + Places / United States / African-American, General
- June 1, 1983
- June 1, 1983
- Rosa Guy