Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
Summary: Juli Baker devoutly believes in three things: the sanctity of trees (especially her beloved sycamore), the wholesomeness of the eggs she collects from her backyard flock of chickens, and that someday she will kiss Bryce Loski. Ever since she saw Bryce’s baby blues back in second grade, Juli has been smitten. Unfortunately, Bryce has never felt the same. Frankly, he thinks Juli Baker is a little weird–after all, what kind of freak raises chickens and sits in trees for fun? Then, in eighth grade, everything changes. Bryce begins to see that Juli’s unusual interests and pride in her family are, well, kind of cool. And Juli starts to think that maybe Bryce’s brilliant blue eyes are as empty as the rest of Bryce seems to be. After all, what kind of jerk doesn’t care about other people’s feelings about chickens and trees? With Flipped, mystery author Wendelin Van Draanen has taken a break from her Sammy Keyes series, and the result is flipping fantastic. Bryce and Juli’s rants and raves about each other ring so true that teen readers will quickly identify with at least one of these hilarious feuding egos, if not both. A perfect introduction to the adolescent war between the sexes.
I have seen this book on a number of “must read” lists for 5th graders and up. So, I finally decided to read it. I really don’t get why everyone was so “flipped out” over this book. It’s just an average story that tends to drone on and on in some parts.
What I liked about the book: It’s told from two different points of view. The reader gets to see how the same events are seen differently by the people experiencing them. This type of story telling is a particular favorite of mine.
What I didn’t like about the book: I didn’t like any of the characters. Julie is annoying. Bryce is a jerk. Even when he tries to redeem himself, he falls short. This is an okay read for my female students, but it’s not a book I could sell to my male students. That’s ok. Not every book is going to appeal to all readers, nor should they.
Recommended for 5th grade and up (but only for those who enjoy love stories and who don’t mind that the story is just average.)
AR Reading Level: 4.8