October 20, 2010
Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen
by Wendelin Van Draanen
They may be only 7 when they meet, but Julianna flips over Bryce Losky. Excited to have another kid her own age in the neighborhood, she can’t believe her good fortune that he has such gorgeous blue eyes. She welcomes Bryce and his family to the neighborhood the only way she knows how — whole-heartedly.
Bryce, for his part, finds Julianna to be a bit too much. Too loud. Too forward. Too intense. What kind of nut raises chickens in the suburbs and sits in a tree for fun? Bryce spends his time fending off Julianna’s attention.
Just when Bryce realizes how interesting Julianna is, she overhears something that he says about her and begins to realize that his blue eyes may mask a much less attractive personality. Can he win her back or has he missed his chance?
It isn’t an easy task — to tell a story through the perspective of two different characters. But the author pulls it off and then some. You often hear about the same events from both Julianna and Bryce but their personalities and view points are so well developed that it never feels redundant.
And, with a male narrator as well as an equally strong female narrator, this book will appeal to both boys and girls. Let it open the door to some great discussions to as the book touches on how we change as we mature, pre-judging others and family responsibility.
And Julianna’s twin brothers? They reminded me of the twins in Harry Potter. No magic, but no less fun.