Readers' Favorite Review
“…The book contains twists that build suspense and some unusual characters who captured my attention. The activities in the book are surprising and entertaining while the combination of fantasy with real elements makes the story unique.
The story is fast-paced and short, which makes it an easy read that engages youngsters from beginning to end. I also liked that the questions at the end of each chapter encouraged a review of the previous chapter’s content.
I definitely think A Century of Friendship by Littlebeanseeds contains many elements that will thrill and entertain young readers.”
By: Edith Wairimu
"A Century of Friendship is a short story written for preteens to illustrate the characteristics and aspects of true friendships.This fantasy story follows Helen and her three friends during summer camp and what happens when they wander off into the woods to find an old cottage.
I did find myself intrigued with the dynamics of the parallel dimension aspect of the story and could easily see this as being turned into a full length book.
It is to show the value of friendship. In between each chapter, there is a “Friendship Note” in which the author summarizes the aspect of friendship illustrated in that chapter and challenges the readers to reflect on their own friends and relationships.
Overall, after finishing A Century of Friendship, I can say that I liked it.
I’m going to give it 3 out of 5 stars.(Full Review)
By: Rayleigh Gray
I liked the uniqueness of the story and the notes between each chapter. The friendship notes will be an excellent guide for parents & children to begin open conversations about various aspects of life and friends.
As English is not the author's first language, there are a few times the wording seemed off but certainly not enough that you couldn't follow and enjoy the story.
It's challenging to set up the background for a short story. The author builds a credible storyline touched with magic and paranormal aspects.
Overall, A Century of Friendship was entertaining and thoughtful. (Full Review)
“A Century of Friendship” by Littlebeanseeds is a children’s chapter book about Helen and her friends Mark, Shelly and Yasmin who, while exploring on a school camp, discover a secret in a rundown cottage. While the children navigate their own relationships with one-another, they soon discover that the secret has a particular significance for Helen. At the end of each chapter, the author invites the reader to think about notes on friendship, and answer questions for self-reflection about friendship, what makes a good friend, how to be a good friend and how to resolve disputes.
This is a simple yet effective story aimed at pre-teens that explores some of the more subtle issues and nuances around friendship. It is quite a unique book because it balances low fantasy against self-help – two genres that I honestly do not think I have ever seen combined before. I think that inviting children to consciously think about their relationships and what kind of behaviour they expect from themselves and others is a worthwhile thing to do.
I think probably the biggest difficulty for young readers might be the balance between the time spent enjoying the story and the time spent thinking about the questions and having the immersion interrupted. I wonder perhaps if this kind of book might be suited to being read to a class by a teacher, and then inviting the children to participate in a discussion as a group, rather than reading it alone.
Nevertheless, a very original type of book with an overwhelmingly positive message and a cute story as a backdrop. (Full review)
I was asked to review this sweet children’s book One Century Friendship, also published as A Century of Friendship, by author, Little Bean Seeds. It is a quick read, and has a message that applies not only to children, but to adults, as well.
It’s all about friendship, and how we treat each other. Each brief section (they’re not actual chapters) ends with a couple of questions for the reader to reflect on how the lesson applies to his or her life.
The author is also known as LBS, and thinks of the writer’s role as being similar to that of a farmer or gardener planting seeds, hence the seed-related pseudonym. In One Century Friendship, many seeds are planted, such as kindness, trust, concern for friends, etc.
LBS lives in Hong Kong, and this is her first book written in English. It is obviously written by a person for whom English is a second language, but the story is still relatable. People everywhere will benefit from the lessons in this little book.
Four kids venture into the woods during a camping trip and discover a mysterious box. Its owner is even more mysterious.
I enjoyed the discovery of the broken-down house and was hoping for a spooky story but the ultimate direction went sci-fi in a way the cover didn’t prepare me for. While that’s a disconnect, the language sets up a mystery well that takes an interesting and unexpected turn.
There are study questions at the end of every section, making the book feel like it’s intended to be used as a school reader. The questions are thoughtful and relevant, but comparing the book to a reader made me long for illustrations. A few spot illustrations would have clarified a lot of story points and elevated the experience.
A good story for reading comprehension studies that would benefit from additional pictures to bring it to life.
By Georgia Ball
At the very beginning of the story, there was a bit of a disconnect in the storyline; made it a bit difficult to follow what was happening. However, after the first couple of pages, the storyline took off more smoothly.
The author did a great job getting the reader hooked into the plot; moves quick enough that it keeps the reader wanting to know more, but not too quick that you’re missing any details. A plus: it engages the reader.
The ending was abrupt and unexpected; felt like the story wasn’t finished or shouldn’t have finished at that point. Just didn’t feel like an ending point.
It’s refreshing to see author’s write with a purpose. I felt somewhat connected to the author; having the same views on how powerful books are. To quote the author from her ‘About me’ section of the book:
“In her eyes, books are one of the best channels for communicating messages. LBS thinks a writer’s role is like that of a farmer planting seeds. What she wants is for her readers to understand the book’s message and be helped in some way: have their mood changed, be pleased and entertained, or even encouraged to build a better self. The seeding job takes time, and it is better to start the seed earlier than later.”
To add to the author’s reflection on friends that make fun of others: this is true up to a point. I believe a friend is also able to respect when their friends have a request to not be made fun of about a certain thing in their life; or about something that happened to them that they may consider embarrassing, and are able to respect that. There are certainly levels to “making fun” that can be tolerated, a line if you will, that’s not to be crossed. Every person knows intuitively where that line is and is able to respect that line. You intuitively know where that line is as your friendship grows with that person.
In regards to the characters in the book: I couldn’t help but think that everyone needs a friend like Shelly in their life.
This is a wonderful book to read to your children and to have a discussion with them afterward. It engages and expands their imagination. Most importantly, they are encouraged to think of someone other than themselves; and learn what a true friend is and what true friendship looks like.