by Cristina Garcia
Ingrid, Shirin, and Vivien could not have come from different backgrounds. But at a summer boarding school in Switzerland these three girls, a German-Canadian, a Cuban-American, and an Iranian princess, become roommates. Not only must they navigate through cultural differences, but over the three summers they spend together they learn the true meaning of friendship.
Dreams of Significant Girls is a novel about friendship and growing up, about first loves and first heartbreak, about hope and despair. Though set in the 1970's, it is easy to relate to the girls without any real disconnect in the time spans. The subplot between Ingrid and Vivien's father's is very interesting, though the book could elaborate a bit more on that (Ingrid's father was a Nazi soldier who spared Vivien's Jewish father during the raid on the Warsaw ghettos.) One thing I liked about the book was that it did not have a happily ever after, best friends forever ending. The book's epilogue checks in with each of the girls, and we discover that while they still think of each other, life has kept them apart. The book overall had a similar feel to The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants.
Genre: Realistic Fiction
Age Level: 8-9th Grade