Middle Grade Monday is an original meme to spotlight a great Middle Grade read!
While writing last week’s MGM post, I suddenly remembered a book I had read and loved as a kid… but had ultimately forgotten as I grew older. That book is FLIPPED by Wendelin Van Draanen.
It didn’t take much to jog my memory and stir up feelings and memories of why I loved this book so much.
Flipped is a romance told in two voices. The first time Juli Baker saw Bryce Loski, she flipped. The first time Bryce saw Juli, he ran. That’s pretty much the pattern for these two neighbors until the eighth grade, when, just as Juli is realizing Bryce isn’t as wonderful as she thought, Bryce is starting to see that Juli is pretty amazing. How these two teens manage to see beyond the surface of things and come together makes for a comic and poignant romance.
First, let me say that Bryce and Juli are not teens. I think they are 12/13 in the book so not quite old enough for this to be considered YA, especially since they are in middle school.
Half of the book is Juli being hopelessly into Bryce and him avoiding her at every turn… mostly because he family is considered strange because the don’t care about the state of their yard, keep chickens, and work hard to save old trees. That’s what connected me to Juli when I was a kid- my family were definitely weekend warriors (hiking, camping, flea markets, yard sales, aimless driving) and our yard was usually haphazardly groomed with giant unruly (but truly beautiful) flower beds. We also had yard chickens, much to one neighbors revulsion. I understood Juli’s confusion over why the state of their yard should even matter.
The second half of the book is Bryce realizing Juli is fantastic and Juli realizing that Bryce is, well, kind of a jerk. The admired becomes the admiree and I loved how Bryce definitely got knocked down a peg when he realized Juli wasn’t that impressed with him anymore.
It’s a short, quick read but it’s definitely worth it!
Have you ever read FLIPPED? Thoughts?