Children’s book of the week: Three Girls

The cover of Three Girls, a book by Katie Clapham.
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Here’s the spot where we recommend a children’s book every week – this time it’s Three Girls by Katie Clapham.

Clapham, writer and co-owner of the family-run independent bookshop Storytellers, Inc, has written a novel that is pitch-perfect for younger teens on the start of their YA journey. Deliciously funny and joyously heartwarming, few reads are this warm and positive whilst handling relatable and difficult topics.

“We just want to show that friendships forged here are the real deal. Genuine. Built to last. That sort of thing. For the brochure. Do you mind?”

Minnie, Lena and Alice appear together in a batch of their school’s latest promo pictures. They’re not friends. In fact, they barely know or even like each other. But some great mind decided they’d be a perfect trio to advertise the school, not knowing that this staged photo would lead to the development of friends for life.

Not that the three girls realise that right now, they’ve got more than enough to worry about. Minnie has dedicated her whole life to sport, but a freak accident totally upends all she’s worked so hard for. Lena has always viewed Minnie as an arch-rival, can she now usurp her and take over as Queen Bee? And Alice has a secret that will bind them all and change everything, forever.

Told through multiple perspectives, hopping between all three of their stories, each of the trio has a distinctive voice that is quickly formed and impossible not to love. It’s refreshing to read a story that follows the formation of a friendship, let alone one that is as true and profound as theirs.

Together they navigate turbulent experiences such as insecurity, bullying, first love, finding the confidence to stand up for yourself, and taking control of your own life – all told with kindness and humour.

What stands out most, along with the organic nature and plausibility of their budding friendship, is the inspirational feminist bite the book has. The most important thing in the book, and to its central trio, is the platonic love they have for each other. It’s truly refreshing to read a story that shows female friendship in all of its powerful significance.

A joyful burst of a read.

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