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“Dooley’s debut middle-grade novel gets at the heart of friendship conflicts between young girls. In late elementary school, best friends are everything, and this book captures these feelings.  A fun read that reaches inside pre-adolescent girls.  Emotionally realistic.”Kirkus Review

“Most of us know all too well what it feels like to have a friend abandon us for someone else. That’s exactly what Nathalie is experiencing in “Best Friend Thief,” Laurel-Ann Dooley’s spunky preteen novel about friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness. Nathalie’s voice is accurate and engaging, and I found it easy to sympathize with her frustration. This is the perfect book for any preteen girl!” Compass Book Ratings

As a psychologist, I really loved this book. It elucidates the subtle dynamics of peer relationships in a way that young readers can relate to and understand.  Even though the story is for young girls, the cliffhangers really kept me turning the pages and I couldn’t put the book down!”  – Dr. Linda Sonna,  Author of The Everything Tween Book

“Emphasizing the potential for cultivating a compassionate response to painful awareness is the key component that sets Best Friend Thief apart from similar books.  The process of dealing with confusion, hurt feelings, misunderstanding, rejection, loss and growth is very well described.  Best Friend Thief is an ideal book for girls to enjoy and help them understand different ways of coping with this difficult problem area at times of transition.” Midwest Book Review

“This is a wonderful, well written, story that every pre-teen girl can relate to! It is very engaging and had me hooked from the first page. I highly recommend this book for any pre-teen girl or daughter.”  –  Sandy Denius, middle grade teacher, Barstow, CA, and Bryant County Schools, GA, schools

“We have your book on the shelf, and it has exceeded expectations!   This book is selling.  After five years, we still have difficulty predicting our community’s children’s reading preferences, so we think you’ve done something unusual.  Kudos!”  Karen Lacey, owner, A Novel Experience Bookstore

“This is a book that many 8-12 year old girls can relate to. Most girls in this age group deal with friend issues at one time or another, and Ms. Dooley writes in a way that young girls can enjoy. I plan on passing this book on to my own 11-year-old daughter!” — Kary Wideman, The Once and Future Librarian.blogspot.com

“My daughter and I enjoyed reading this cute book together. My daughter said she could relate to Nathalie, who she liked as a character. The girls were fifth graders like my daughter, and the scenes took place mainly at school. The author skilfully builds tension between the two friends, and even I could relate to the hurt that Nathalie felt when Blair maneuvered unsuspecting Reagan to do things with her rather than Nathalie. Nathalie is a smart girl with good values and the story is told from her point of view. My daughter thought the ending was great.” –Laura Fabiana, Library of Clean Reads Book Reviews

Amazon reviews:

Funny and Smart

“I bought this for my daughter and ended up reading it before she even got hold of it. By Chapter Three I was completely engrossed and chuckling out loud. The sharp-witted heroine is just starting 5th grade and has it all figured out until… someone else moves in to steal her best friend. It is written from the dramatic viewpoint of the 10 year old girl: “Grade issues on top of friend issues. This was the worst year ever.” The story unfolds beautifully and offers some funny observations into the world of the preteen: “Anyone who knows anything about randomness knows that no random statement can ever be used twice. It is no longer random. That’s the whole point of random. It’s a one-time-only thing.” I highly recommend this book and now that I finished it I will finally let my daughter have a crack at it….”

A good read for girls of all ages

“I, too, read this before giving it to my daughter and enjoyed the humor tremendously! It will be a situation familiar to any tween and subtly shares insights on how better to relate with friends. Bravo, Laurel-Ann Dooley!”


“This is a wonderful story that will be important for moms and daughters alike!  The events and characters are perfect for any girl – no matter how old – who’s had to survive grade school! I can’t wait to read the next adventure with my daughter & her friends…I’m sure it will be just as fun & true-to-life as BFT!”

Great choice for young readers

“Reading Best Friend Thief reminded me of the confusions and challenges I confronted as a young girl. Well-written for the preteen with appropriate language. The lead character in the book learns the value of talking to someone and asking questions before letting her imagination run wild.”

What a fun book for young girls!

“This is a fun book for young girls who are learning about the ups and downs of friendship. Ms. Dooley has truly captured the essence of modern day tweenhood for young girls and she has shared it in this delightful book about best friend thievery.”

Loved this book!

“What a great new voice for pre-teen girls. It is fun for both parent and child to read. I recommend it!”


“My daughter loved this book! She could relate right away to the characters and enjoyed the easy reading! Cleverly written in “tween” language so young girls can understand and not get bored. For once a book about real life situations and the ups and downs of friendship that real girls experience. She can’t wait for the next one in the series! Well done!”

Barnes & Noble reviews:


“A perfect book for moms & daughters to BOTH read! BFT deals with the everyday trials & tribulations of growing up & learning how to survive grammar/middle school friendships…a must read for every girl!”

An engaging read for pre-teens

“Best Friend Thief is clever, engaging, and easy for girls to identify with.”

Must Read for any pre-teen girl!

“The Best Friend Thief is a wonderful, engaging book that had me hooked from page one! It is a must read book that ANY girl can relate to!”



“Thank you Goodreads and Laurel-Ann Dooley for the free copy of Best Friend Thief. I received this book yesterday at lunch and immediately started reading it. Then, in every free moment afterward, I kept reading it until I finished it last night. I truly enjoyed this book. Dooley knows her audience! And even though this book was aimed toward the pre-teen female population, I was easily pulled in to the world of friendship between Nathalie, Reagan, Catherine, and Isabel and reminded of my younger days in middle school with the friends I had. This book was well-written. It was not preach-y and did not talk down to the reader; I can’t wait to pass it on to younger readers. Looking forward to reading more from Ms. Dooley.”