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Reviewed by Lori A. Moore for Readers' Favorite
MJ's New Friend by Judy Ann Lowe is about a new friend, Vebo, that MJ meets while playing soccer one day. MJ feels an instant attraction as a friend to Vebo, even though they barely speak a few words to each other on the first visit. It's a while before MJ runs into Vebo again because Vebo had been far away visiting family. When Vebo asks MJ what game they are playing, MJ can hardly believe that someone doesn't know what soccer is. He quickly starts teaching Vebo about soccer, and the other members of the team and MJ's other friends join in and welcome Vebo as a friend. That's when they discover that Vebo is from far away, in fact, so far away that it's in another universe. At first the other boys shy away from Vebo because he's different, but MJ stands up for him.
MJ's New Friend by Judy Ann Lowe teaches a lesson about acceptance of others, no matter how different they may be. Lowe expresses the need for children to look past their differences and find friendship in diversity through the tale of an alien boy making friends with boys from Earth. Nicely illustrated, this book will appeal to kids because it deals with outer space and the unknown, which is always fascinating. Diversity comes in many forms and MJ's New Friend teaches that lesson well.