Read The Friends by Rosa Guy Online


A powerful, award-winning novel about friendship.Phyllisia Cathy--She is fourteen. Her problems seem overwhelming: New York, after life on her sunlit West Indies island, is cold, cruel and filthy. She is insulted daily and is beaten up by classmates. What Phyllisia needs, God not being interested, is a friend.Edith Jackson--She is fifteen. Her clothes are unpressed, her stA powerful, award-winning novel about friendship.Phyllisia Cathy--She is fourteen. Her problems seem overwhelming: New York, after life on her sunlit West Indies island, is cold, cruel and filthy. She is insulted daily and is beaten up by classmates. What Phyllisia needs, God not being interested, is a friend.Edith Jackson--She is fifteen. Her clothes are unpressed, her stockings bagging with big holes. Her knowledge of school is zero. She has no parents, she swears and she steals. But she is kind and offers her friendship and protection to Phyllisia. "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."--Alice Walker, The New York Times...

Title : The Friends
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780440226673
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 192 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Friends Reviews

  • Chante
    2019-04-26 04:47

    I've read "The Friends" when I was a little younger and the again recently, I'm surprised that I forgot how interesting this book is. It tells the story of a young girl,Ruby, who has a hard time fitting in with American culture. She is from Haiti, I assume, and she is extremely smart, but, sorry to say, ignorant in a way. When her entire class is mean to her and one person Edith saves her from further trouble, she manages to lose her temporarily all because she thinks she's better and above the one peron who never turned their back on her. Ruby's having severe family problems and finds it hard to cope.

  • Ryan
    2019-04-27 08:10

    I just finished reading this book for the second time, and it's one of the best books I've read for young adults. The story centers around Phyllisia, a young girl from the West Indies who has just moved to Harlem. Phylissia is intelligent and strong willed. When a poor girl named Edith sticks up for her in class, Phyllsia realizes, with some distress, that she'll have to pretend to be her friend. Thus begins a story that investigates social/economic class in a very personal, experiential way. My students are getting a lot out of this book. The plot structure and character development are both well done.

  • Lanier
    2019-04-27 09:17

    Great look at the cultural shocks newly arrived female teen (Caribbean) has in Harlem's volatile early 1970s. Again, some twist on the adult(caregiver)/child dynamics as well as the class, race, institutional break downs. Unfortunately there aren't more novels from this genre and equally regretable, Rosa Guy's other sequels: "Ruby" and "Edith Jackson" are no longer in print. I'm told Ruby is very good. Poitier's "Measure of a Man" is a great insight to Phy's and her family's experiences prior to coming to the US.

  • Asha
    2019-05-21 07:47

    IRB#3 This book was extremly great. If you are from the carribean like myself you will be able to relate to the protagonist Philliysia. It was a very great book filled with drama and suspense. I would also recamend this book to teenagers who have a difficult time communicating with there parents.

  • Kecia
    2019-04-25 05:00

    I admit I'm curious about what happens in the next two novels Guy wrote with these characters (Ruby, Edith Jackson), and the fact that I'm curious means that the story achieved its ends, somewhat...

  • Mary
    2019-05-16 08:48

    For fourteen-year-old Phyllisia Cathy, the problems that she has as well as her lifestyle have become increasingly overwhelming. Having recently arrived from an island in the sunlit West Indies - along with her mother, father and sixteen-year-old sister, Ruby - Phyllisia finds it a very difficult adjustment to live in New York. After growing up in such an idyllic paradise, she finds New York cold, cruel and filthy; nothing at all like her previous home. She is insulted daily and is constantly beaten up by her classmates. What Phyllisia desperately needs, as it seems divine intervention is currently unavailable, is a friend. When she first started out searching for a friend, Phyllisia would never have put fifteen-year-old Edith Jackson's name anywhere near her list of potential candidates. Edith's clothes are unpressed, her stockings worn and baggy with big holes. She is nothing but a ragamuffin in Phyllisia's mind. Edith's knowledge of school studies is essentially zero; she barely goes to class. She has no parents, she swears and she steals. But she is the only one kind enough to offer her friendship and protection to Phyllisia when she needs it most.I must say that I found this to be a very intriguing book. In my opinion, it was a deeply thought-provoking and engaging story with a moral; told from a very different perspective. This is a story that I wasn't expecting to be as poignant as it was and I give this book an A+!

  • Shirley
    2019-05-21 11:08

    Language and mention of rape make this book suitable for young adults or adults. The Friends is a highly emotional voyage into the mind of a teenage girl who immigrated from the West Indies to Harlem. It gives insight into the thought processes that motivate teenage and adult behavior. There are characters to be hated and characters to be admired but in the end the characters can at least be understood. The following statement by Mom was important to understanding she and Calvin's roles in the novel. "I am not condemning your father. He is the way he is. I love him the way he is. I wouldn't have wanted him any other way. And because of that, today was the first time I allowed myself to see that the things we love and accept, the things we value, make us parents our children's problems." (pp. 110-111) Most of the characters in the novel display frustration brought on by their own fears or failure to acknowledge the motives behind their own behavior. Calvin, the father, and Miss Lass, the teacher, demonstrate the power of fear. Phylissia struggles with determining values with friends and family. Edith, Phyll's friend, becomes the catalyst for everyone's change.The Friends is a worthwhile but unsettling read.

  • Nicholas During
    2019-05-15 11:08

    An okay book. While the plot has all the hallmarks of the a classic YA novel, the writing lets it down a bit. The West Indian speak was cool, but not cool enough and a bit all over the place really. What was most interesting this book is the divisions among black classes. Middle class children shocked to realized that father's restaurant caters to poor black customers; black middle class snobbishness towards to poorer people, especially when it relates to shabby clothes; and the hypocritical propriety of parents. Coming after reading The Expendable Man I feel like I've read more books about the black middle class in the past weeks than ever before. But again, the writing is a bit weak and overall I was slightly disappointed in the book. Which may be okay since it was meant to be written for someone much younger than me.

  • Asha Hedrington
    2019-05-08 07:49

    This novel was ideal for me because it was one that I could strongly relate to. Like the protagonist, Phyllisia, I also moved to New York from the West Indies around the same age. I also had the same problems adjusting to my new environment as she did. However, it was the differences in our lives that keep me interested in the story. Unlike me she was not welcomed by loving arms, but cruelty, especially in school. Phyllisia was beaten and tormented by her classmates daily, until she meet Edith Jackson, who was her total opposite. Unlike Phyllisia, Edith was dressed in filthy clothes and was highly uninterested in school. However, it is said that opposites attract, and their friendship started. This book is great for young teens, especially the ones going through major changes.

  • Lydia Coyour
    2019-05-08 09:17

    I absolutely Love this book! It is so interesting, and the word choose is perfect! It really made me open my eyes, and see around me! I would definitely recommend this book! It is really hard for me to find an interesting book, that will always keep me on my toes, but when i picked this book up and started to read, it made me so... well it's just unexplainable! Even though I am only 11 years old, I really love this book! I sometimes just sit and think- "What would it really be like if I was in that time period?" I imagine what friends i would have. And thats good, because this book is a book full of imagination! -From the Imaginer :)

  • Kathy
    2019-04-29 09:49

    I had never heard of Rosa Guy until my cousin mention a book by her last month. Well as it was Ms. Guy gas been writing for years. "The Friebds" is the story of two "friends," Edith & Phyl, that are classmates in NYC. Phyl newly arrived from "The Island" that is being bullied and beaten by the other classmates for being different and a good student. Edith eventually comes to her defense . This is a story of family issues, coming of age,differences in attitudes and cultures. I really enjoyed this story to the point that I'm reading the complete series.

  • Shirley Cooper
    2019-04-24 07:00

    I read this book in 1975 when I first started teching. One of the kids chose it from a selection of black books which I bought from my own money as the school wasn't interested in these books - haven't come a long way? After reading her book review and a discussion I too the book home and read it overnight.

  • Julie S.
    2019-05-24 10:52

    This was an odd little book. It's not that I strongly disliked it or anything. It's just that there seemed to be a lot missing. The characters seemed disconnected and irrational, so it was hard for me to connect/relate to them. Usually I can relate fairly well, so this surprised me.

  • Mariana
    2019-05-08 07:59

    I loved this book! It was a very quick read! At first, it was slightly hard to understand the context of which it was written but, reading through till the end brought me to not being able to put it down! I loved reading about the hard friendship between the two girls. Very fascinating.

  • Susan
    2019-05-13 08:57

    Black girl in NY deals with family, race, class. Odd, fascinating story, simple language.

  • Simon
    2019-05-04 08:01

    I waited a long time to read this.

  • Alshia Moyez
    2019-05-05 09:13

    This is the book that got me hooked on reading. It was the "gateway" book in my early teens.

  • Fatuma mohamed
    2019-05-03 10:48

    omg what a touch storyi loved reading this book i can read over and over again

  • Jo
    2019-05-24 03:57

    I loved this author when I was a teenager - many moons ago. The fact that she was from the Caribbean and wrote stories from her immigrant perspective also helped.

  • xX♥..annakinz..♥Xx
    2019-05-01 07:05

    I gave this book 8/10. This book seems to be set for people who do not understand how hard it can be for some people living & sufferin by poverty or racism

  • Lindsay
    2019-05-13 07:50

    Another fav read from childhood.

  • Jedzaphilly
    2019-05-22 06:14

    Because I will always love Rosa guy books no matter how old I am.

  • Redpath
    2019-05-13 08:04

    This is a heartfelt book.

  • Cesar
    2019-04-27 05:10

    i read this book in the college and i like

  • Erin Hardin
    2019-04-26 05:07

    i highly recommend this book! it is a great book

  • Alisha Figueroa
    2019-05-02 08:57

    Don't judge people u never know when u may need them.

  • Mel
    2019-05-02 09:17

    So far the book is good.Her problems seem overwhelming i think she is lonely she only wants Edith but why can she make other friends??

  • elissa
    2019-05-14 05:58

    One of my favorite booktalks in the 90's. The friends are Phyllisia, newly arrived in Harlem from the Caribbean, and Edith Jackson, a girl who is often picked on in school.

  • zingha.
    2019-04-30 07:53

    A powerful look and friendship, class and the journey to becoming a Black woman.

  • Lexi Leitz
    2019-05-04 07:50

    AMAZING but not as good as divergent:)