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Your Friend in Fashion, Abby Shapiro
by Amy Axelrod

Trade Binding | 288 pages | 5 1/2 x 8 1/4 | US$ 17.95
ISBN: 9780823423408 | 02-01-2011

Grade: FIFTH | Age: 8 to 12

Themes: Coming of Age, Family & Relationships, Self-Discovery, Humor, Historical Fiction
Recommendations: A, C, K, SLJ

About the Book
Deeply affecting and laugh-out-loud funny, this coming-of-age novel captures the temper of the times and introduces readers to an unforgettable young heroine.

The lightbulb of good ideas is burning bright for eleven-year-old Abby Shapiro. As personal fashion designer for Mrs. Jacqueline Kennedy, Possible Future First Lady of the United States, she'll become famous and earn enough money to buy both a Barbie doll and a bra. Abby decides to get in touch immediately. In her letters to Jackie, she shares her wry, insightful observations—along with her drawings and fashion tips. The letters help Abby through a tumultuous year in which her father abandons the family, her gangster uncle falls in love, her beloved aunt suffers a stroke, and her relationship with her mother goes from bad to worse. This book is based in part on the author's childhood and is illustrated with paper dolls she made when she was Abby's age.

Visit author Amy Axelrod online at and the interactive book website at

Click here for the debut novels press release.


"Funny, lively, sensitive—a real winner."—Kirkus Reviews

"This engaging story has a strong visceral edge that comes out in Abby's dealings with her parents. . . . And the cover and the inside art, created by Axelrod, is great."—Booklist

"The author draws on her own childhood memories as inspiration and imbues her first-person narrative with a vivid sense of time and place. . . . A good choice for readers seeking historical fiction set in a world not too unlike their own."—School Library Journal


Check out the Debut Novels Reading Group Guide.

Readers' Guide
First novel! Questions for discussion, curriculum connections, and web links to learn about Jackie Kennedy, JFK, and more!