Frazzled

(Harper)

 

Middle school is full of change.

 

Booki Vivat

Genre: non fiction

Reader Appeal: Ages 8-12

 

Middle School: Just the thought of it can send chills through the most confident adult. Middle School (or Junior Highs, same animal different name) has its own sound; squealing girls, boys whose voices can’t say a sentence in the same octave, teachers speaking in stern, yet exasperated voices. The smells, enough said. Your place in the hierarchy depended a lot on your size and your shape. Middle School. So scary that even Stephen King writes about it. Often.

Abby Wu knows what I’m talking about. She’s in middle school and she thinks it’s the worst! She quotes the wise words of the prophet Murphy “If anything can go wrong it will” and for Abby just about everything is going wrong. Sisters, cats, locker thieves and new science partners. Especially the new science partner, Jessica Wyatt. Jessica does not subscribe to Murphy’s law. In fact, after Abby does careful research of Jessica she concludes that “Jess was not fazed by anything” Abby and Jessica have a rough start but as they learn to trust one another things start to fall into place.

Sure, there are lessons to be learned from Frazzled, even as an adult. But learning those lessons is more fun with Abby. Bad things will happen, change is inevitable and you can bet by the time you are out of middle school you will have a catastrophe to your name.

This is Booki Vivat’s second book about Abby, I’ll go back and get the first for a few soon-to-be middle school girls I know. I’ll read it first though. I could use some reminders about change and catastrophes and impending doom!

 

Let's Talk About It

Use these questions to spark discussion among family members who are interested in this book:

•Abby and Jessica become science partners randomly. Abby especially is less than thrilled. Have you ever been in that situation? What good things came from it? What bad things? What did you learn from it?

• Do you believe that “everything that can go wrong, will go wrong”? What things have gone right?

• Adults only. What do you remember from middle school? What lessons would you want to teach about how to best get through it?

--JH

 

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