Tender and funny, this story of friendship and family is reminiscent of Beverly Cleary’s work. Fans of Ramona will have no trouble connecting with and rooting for lively and likable Lexie, and doll aficionados will also enjoy this engaging title.
—School Library Journal
In Parenteau’s well-conceived story, transformations come slowly and believably... Parenteau weaves in information about the Friendship Dolls so subtly that it never overshadows Lexie’s story; an author’s note explains the project in full.
Period details from the actual 1926 exchange of Friendship Dolls provide fascinating context for this old-fashioned heroine’s journey of personal growth. ... Historically inclined readers will enjoy this heartwarming story and its feisty heroine.
Set in 1926, this moving description of a child’s coming to terms with a new family arrangement includes a real event: an exchange of dolls between Japanese and U.S. schoolchildren conceived as a message of peace. Period details abound, but what rings most historically true is the 11-year-old’s relationship with dolls: Emily Grace, who will carry goodwill messages to Japan; and Annie, recipient of confidences and not a few tears.
The true story of how American children sent more than twelve thousand dolls to Japan in 1927—to promote friendship, trust, and future peace—serves as backdrop to this well-crafted, involving story.
—The Horn Book
The 1920s setting is nicely rendered through dialogue and descriptive details, and Lexie is a sympathetic heroine. The doll “ambassadors of peace” premise is also interesting and historically true, and an author’s note on the real story is provided.
—Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books
Students will relate to Lexie as she faces her dilemmas. She is a realistic character.
—Library Media Connection