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"Never trust anyone who has not brought a book with them."
Summary: There are multiple sides to every story. Eighth graders Juli Baker and Bryce Loski's story begins with a moving truck ... back when they were in second grade! Free-spirited Juli gains the unrequited acquaintance of Bryce, the reserved boy who lives down the street. Now, six years later, their differences are obvious: the Baker’s have a messy yard and plain home; the Loski's have a well-kept lawn and composed house. To Bryce, Juli is a nosy, persistent, outshining nuisance. To Juli, Bryce is blue eyes and beautiful hair. As the two inevitably grow together (they are neighbors, after all), Bryce and Juli not only learn about themselves and one another, they also start seeing the things that are below the surface. Truths are cracked open, lessons are learned (outside of the classroom), and everything is flipped.
This is a humorous story about relationships with a he-said / she-said dialogue.
Type of Reading: independent reading, read aloud book, remedial reader
Recommended Age: read together: 10 to 13; read yourself: 9 and Up
Young Reader Reaction: Van Draanen has a magical writing style, with a silly and childlike mind. My heart was touched in all ways - from breaking to stretching. Her humor, woven into the plot and character development, took away what most readers could see as redundant, since both Juli and Bryce both gave us their point of view. The only thing I did not like about Flipped was probably not finding this gem sooner. If I had read this when I was younger, life would have turned out much more different than now. I'm 17, and I recommend this lighthearted, refreshing novel to readers of all ages. This is a great gift for pre-teens, though some of the adults in the book could learn a lesson or two, as well.
Adult Reader Reaction: Review pending.
Pros: Readers get to see and feel "both sides" of the story about two teens, and all of the feelings that come with growing up.
Borrow or Buy: Buy. This is a great gift for a pre-teen! It is a book that they'll turn to on tougher days when they need a laugh - or a reminder that life goes on.