Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

This is a great young adult book.  I would even say upper elementary.  Remember when I read Sammy Keyes?  I forgot too, but this is the same author.  Rob Reiner made a sweet PG movie based on this book.  And by based, I mean exactly the same.  Although he took it back a few decades to the early 60's.

Flipped is told creatively from two different narrator's point of views.  Bryce Loski, and Julianna Baker who loves him.  They are neighbors, and have lived across the street from each other since they were in second grade.  The majority of the story takes place when they are in 8th grade, with some flashbacks to earlier days.  The chapters alternate between Bryce and Juli, and are clearly marked that way.  Although I might classify this as an innocent romance, it really is more of a coming of age story.  It is short and sweet.

Bryce's grandfather comes to live with his family, and serves as a better rolemodel than his father.  He is worried about Bryce, and tells him, "One's character is set at an early age, son.  The choices you make now will affect you for the rest of your life."  I think this can be true.  Kids are really working out what kind of person they want to be when they are Bryce's age, and patterns of behavior seem hard to break down the road.

When Juli is upset, her mom tucks her in bed and, "And she made me cry all over again when she kissed me goodnight and whispered that of all her many blessings, I was her best and brightest."  I love it, and even more when you see how it affects Juli.  The next day she is working to fix up her yard and recognizes that, "Surely, I thought, a few bushes and some dilapidated wood couldn't stop someone's best and brightest blessing!"  It makes me hope my kids internalize what I tell them.

There are some tender conversations between Juli and her dad that I really liked.  Also between Bryce and his grandpa.

"I went to bed that night feeling very full and very happy.  And as I lay there in the dark, I wondered at how much emotion can go into any given day, and thought how nice it was to feel this way at the end of it."

I recommend this book.  I think it is a sweet story with good character development and a nice resolution.
I also recommend the movie.  Reading the book actually felt a little redundant to me since I already knew the story, and the movie stayed so true.  I think I'd recommend reading the book first.  Both are really good.


Sharlene, Mom, Grammy said...

Kammy, I keep forgetting to tell you that I love your quote by Emerson and Pres. Hinckley.

Thanks, as always, for the great book reviews!

Betsy said...

I'm excited for this one and already have it on hold. Thanks!