BFF or NRF (Not Really Friends)?

BFF or NRF (Not Really Friends) by Jessica Speer

Let’s face it, friendships can be challenging. BFF or NRF (Not Really Friends)? tackles friendship struggles head-on, leaving readers informed and empowered as they navigate the tricky world of friendship.

Through fun activities, quizzes, and real stories, this award-winning book helps girls decipher healthy vs. unhealthy relationship skills and how to navigate struggles. But more importantly, this book gives girls a new perspective on friendship and the role they play in creating positive change.



As Featured on Daily Mom


The Friendship Pyramid

To clarify the different phases and qualities of friendships, I sketched out the first draft of the Friendship Pyramid on a notepad. Over time, the Pyramid grew into the framework I use to help kids navigate their social world. Full blog post

Friendship Truth #1

These “Friendship Truths” eventually grew into the framework for BFF or NRF (Not Really Friends)? A Girls Guide to Happy Friendships. I’ll dive into the nine Friendship Truths in this series of posts, starting with #1.Full blog post

Friendship Truth #2

When we emphasize that social skills are learned and improve with practice, it opens the door to personal growth and change.Full blog post

Friendship Truth #3

Friendship changes and instability are the norms during the preteen and teen years, but that doesn’t make it any less difficult. Full blog post

Friendship Truth #4

A study found that most children (80%) experienced periods of feeling lonely at school. Friendship Truth #4, close friends can be hard to find, helps kids navigate friendship changes and gaps with the awareness that it is normal.  Full blog post

Friendship Truth #5

Starting around 4th grade, the term “popular” emerges in kids’ conversations about their social world. When I ask kids what makes someone “popular,” their responses reflect a consistent set of traits and behaviors. .  Full blog post

Friendship Truth #6

Yes, of course, everyone makes mistakes. We are human, after all. But, mistakes in our friendships and close relationships are sometimes difficult to navigate and repair. Full blog post

Friendship Truth #7

Preteen and teen friendships may feel fragile, so it makes sense that kids may or may not speak up when someone is not treating them well. Full blog post

Friendship Truth #8

We all have different temperaments, skills, experiences, and needs. Because of these differences, it makes sense that two people in the same conflict may respond differently .Full blog post

Friendship Truth #9

The social networks of kids and teens are complex webs. Because this network is intertwined, it is no easy task for kids who want to stop engaging with someone.  Full blog post


“With the recent emphasis on social-emotional learning, this guide discusses friendship in an accessible way…”

School Library Journal

“BFF or NRF (Not Really Friends): A Girl’s Guide to Happy Friendships takes a thoughtful and joyful approach that appeals to young teens and tweens but also to parents, grandparents, educators, and others interested in the well-being of young people. The advice in this delightful book is practical but also fun, written in a conversational style, and is a great resource to have around the house. It contains real-life situations, vignettes, scenarios, advice from other kids, practicing techniques, and fun quizzes to help readers remember the most important lessons. In other words, this isn’t another preachy tell-you-what-to-do book. It’s a friendly, interactive guidebook that shares how young people can learn about friendship and connection.”

Libby Kiszner, Columnist, Educator, and Author of Dear Libby – Will You Answer My Questions About Friendship? and other books

Many girls struggle with friendship issues in elementary and middle school. This book provides a clear roadmap for girls to successfully navigate difficult friendships while helping them gain social awareness, skills and confidence in the process.” 

Dr. Cherylee E. Hirsch, Psy.D., School Psychologist

“This is a great guide for empowering young girls on how to navigate friendships in positive, healthy ways!”

Trudy Ludwig, Author of My Secret Bully and The Invisible Boy

“Insightful, easy to read, and incredibly helpful! In a supportive and encouraging tone you’d want from a best friend, BFF or NRF gives you real solutions to friendship challenges. The fun and useful quizzes, and the unique Friendship Pyramid, combined with the nurturing wisdom and loving guidance you’ll find in these pages will help pre-teens and teens to navigate the sometimes rough waters of friendships both today and in the future. It really is a must-read!”

Denise Marek, Author of CALM for Moms Who Worry, and CALM: A Proven Four-Step Process Designed Specifically for Women Who Worry