Knopf, October, 2001.
Hardcover, 192 pages.
Ages 9 - 14
Juli Baker fell madly in love with Bryce Loski the moment she laid eyes on him, after his family moved in across the street from hers. Bryce is a little shy, though, so she decides to be more forward to help him out. Bryce thinks Juli Baker is the biggest pest he has ever met in his life; she follows him around, she sits in trees, and insists on giving his family free eggs from the chickens that she inexplicably raises in her suburban backyard. But when eighth grade rolls around, suddenly the tables are turned. Bryce starts to think that Juli is actually kind of interesting, while Juli starts to think that Bryce is really just a pretty face, without much depth or substance at all.
The story is told in a he said -- she said style: the chapters are told first in Juli's voice, then in Bryce's. The danger in this approach is that there will be too much repetition, as each character gives his spin on what happened. But Wendelin Van Draanen (author of the popular Sammy Keyes mysteries) neatly avoids this pitfall -- the alternating stories are, by turns, hilarious and moving. With dialogue that rings true to the age group, an engaging plot and some deft handling of such issues as honesty, social status, family loyalty and care of the mentally disabled, Flipped is a compelling and vastly entertaining read. Highly recommended.
Flipped is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the Dec. - Jan., 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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