The Friends, by Rosa Guy, is the first book of a trilogy. It was published December 18, 1995, by Laurel Leaf. The other two books are called Ruby and Edith Jackson. The Friends is a novel about a little girl who lived in the sunlit West Indies island and moved to New York. She faces the challenge of adapting to the new world, alone, while facing discrimination and bullying. She also lives with a poor family: a violent father, a sick, dying mother, and a careless sister. All she needs is a friend to help her get through this.
Rosa Guy was a woman from the Carribean who was raised in the United States. Her struggle to adapt might influenced her to write the story as a reflection of her life. She died of cancer in 2012.
The Friends was awarded with several awards like The New York Times Outstanding Book of the Year citation, the Coretta Scott King Award, and the American Library Association′s Best Book for Young Adults Award.
Rosa Guy's novel received many positive reviews. For instance, Alica Walker said: "And so begins the struggle that is the heart of this very important book: the fight to gain perception of one's own real character; the grim struggle for self-knowledge." The Friends earned a 3.8/5 stars rating on Goodreads.