Maiden Missoula Review: The Friendship Book

The Maiden is back!

And I’m very happy to report that I have survived the first three weeks of sending my children back to school. Congratulations to all you hard-working mamas and daddies who have successfully wrangled those wild monkeys and packed them up on the school bus (bonus points if their hair is brushed and their socks match).

With back-to-school, I had forgotten the entire other social world my kids have. Summer camp friends, cousins, neighborhood kids who attend other schools are their world from June until late August and then — bam! All those familiar faces appear again.

My oldest daughter was thrilled to be heading back to middle school for her 8th grade year, her chance to rule the school with her bestie. I was prepared for a nuclear hormonal meltdown when we learned that she and her bff had *gasp* no classes together! (I think those 7th grade teachers tipped off their co-workers about the chatty dynamic duo.)

Prepared for tears and a tantrum I was shocked, SHOCKED, when Zoe told me she was ok with the separation. Her friend had started a Pass It On Journal for them to share. If you didn’t make one of these as a kid, a Pass It On Journal is a Mead brand, college-ruled notebook covered with stickers, doodles, scribbles, and lots of hearts and peace signs. Best friends take turns writing in it, then they read what the other wrote and respond. Clever, and not at all a distraction from Algebra.

I felt a bit of nostalgia when I heard about the novel PIOJ. And then I found a genius book by local Missoula author Silke Jauck called Friendship Book. It is very much like a Pass It On Journal for the younger set, but there is so much more!

How it works for the kids: Start writing in your own friendship book and add a picture of yourself. There are thoughtful questions about music, games, clothes, and hobbies. After you’ve filled out your information the fun begins: Pass it along to your friends and have them do the same!

Now this is where my super smart Mom radar went off. Not only do my kids have an anthology of their childhood friends and classmates, now it’s a cinch for me to shop for birthday presents. A quick review of Makenna’s friend page and I remember she loves puppies and unicorns and hates to wear turtlenecks: Littlest Pet Shop for her! Jayden loves firemen, wizards, and football: Griz Jersey, size 6!

Silke, you are a genius!

I love the bi-lingual format of the book, too. It makes me thankful we sent Mila to Spanish immersion preschool, even if she only remembers leche and gato. As much as I adore the cute answers and appreciate the moments my kids enjoy right now, I know the real treasure will be years down the road when they re-open those pages and remember those little people who were such a special part of their lives.

And just for the record, every birthday kid this year will probably be getting their own copy of Friendship Book.


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Leah Lewis is living the dream on Missoula’s Northside with her handsome and handy husband Mark, daughters Zoe and Mila, two dogs, and a cat.  She enjoys making things on her sewing machine, with her knitting needles, and in her kitchen. You can listen to her play today’s pop music every day on U104.5 FM, or listen to her podcast about hundred or more year old pop music on her classical music podcast with Darko Butorac from the Missoula Symphony. You might catch Leah and her family relaxing in their backyard, cheering on the Missoula Osprey, or rooting for the Lady Griz on any given weekend.