Flipped Author: Wendelin Van Draanen Publisher: Scholastic
About the book (from jacket flap): The first time she saw him, she flipped. The first time he saw her, he ran.
And from the second grade to the seventh, that’s how it was. She says: “My Bryce. Still walking around with my first kiss.” He says: “It’s been six years of strategic avoidance and social discomfort.”
But in the eighth grade, their views of the world — and each other — turn upside down. He says: “I’d spent so many years avoiding Juli Baker that I’d never really looked at her, but now I couldn’t stop.” And she says: “I felt a cold, hard knot tighten in my heart. I was through with Bryce Loski.”
Is there hope for happiness in junior high? Have you flipped? My thoughts: I randomly picked this book off our library shelf when I first got my job about three years ago. I remember reading it and liking it but I was so overwhelmed with finding me feet in my first library job! I really didn’t think about it again until I saw the movie trailer last spring. I decided to skim the book to get a refresher but ended up reading it cover to cover! I had forgotten how great it was.
Flipped has dual narrators, a style I’m finding I love more and more. Bryce Loski and Julianna (Juli) Baker meet when Bryce moves to town the summer before second grade. The story is told by Bryce and Juli when they are in eighth grade. I liked the back and forth between the two characters. I also loved how differently they interpreted the same situation. Working with middle schoolers I see this daily! The whole “this is what he/she said/did and I bet it means this” drama. I loved it! The book was laugh out loud funny at parts and had me nearly in tears at other parts. It’s just such a sweet, heart warming tale. I simply loved it. It was one of those books that made me smile and sigh with contentment when I was done reading it.
This was also one of those rare times when I loved the movie as much as the book! I saw it with a friend and her seventh grade daughter (one of the coolest middle schoolers you’ll ever meet!) They had read and enjoyed the book as well. The movie was a hit with all of us.
The book itself takes place around the time it was published (2001) but the movie is set circa 1960. I really liked this change. It gave the movie a bit of a Wonder Years feel and the story really fits that time. The soundtrack was fabulous and the cast well chosen. I loved the way that they would show a scene from Bryce’s point of view and then Juli’s. I couldn’t wait for Christmas; I rushed out and bought the DVD. It’s great for any age! You should really give it a try! Here’s the trailer to give you a hint of what it’s like.