Review Policy

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Book Review: Middle School Confidential Series

Author: Annie Fox
Illustrator: Matt Kindt
Interest Level: Grades 5 and Up

About The Series:
Meet Jack, Jen, Mateo, Abby, Chris, and Michelle—six kids in middle school just trying to figure it all out. The Middle School Confidential series follows these six characters as they negotiate a shifting social scene, forge strong friendships, and deal with changing family dynamics. Fun and engaging character narratives are complemented by quizzes, quotes from real kids, tips, tools, and resources. 

Be Confident In Who You Are (Book 1)

Be Confident in Who You Are brings readers into the lives of the Middle School Confidential characters as they try to meet new challenges without losing sight of who they are. Readers get practical advice for being healthy, feeling good about themselves, and staying in control of feelings and actions—even when the pressure is on. 

Real Friends vs the Other Kind (Book 2)

In Real Friends vs. the Other Kind, the characters navigate the ins and outs of friendships, cliques, crushes, and more. There’s expert information for readers on making friends, resolving disputes, and dealing with other aspects of the social scene—including gossip, exclusion, cyberbullying, peer pressure, and being there for friends who need help.
What's Up with My Family? (Book 3)

In What's Up with My Family?, the characters negotiate family rules, routines, and responsibilities. Readers will find insider tips for getting along with parents and handling common concerns that come up at home—including dealing with sibling conflicts, coping with divorce and life in a blended family, and being assertive when adults are genuinely unfair.

Why It's On My Bookshelf: Well, it's that time of year again. We are getting our 5th graders ready for a new environment - middle school. Just bringing up this topic can raise anxiety in the room. So wouldn't it be nice to have a hip, relevant, contemporary book series to help students transition from elementary to middle school? Done and done! Series found. And how do I know Middle School Confidential is doing wonders for future middle schoolers? Because kids are asking me for the fourth book (publication pending)! Since the moment I introduced the books, I've barely seen them since. A steady stream of 5th graders have been checking them out from my bookshelf. When asking kids how they like the series and how it's helping them - I was delighted by their responses. Students are taking skills they've learned from Middle School Confidential and utilizing them in their daily lives. One student recommended I share with 5th graders an activity called "Who Are Your Real Friends?" from Real Friends vs the Other Kind because it helped her evaluate her own friendships. A book that decreases friendship drama? Love it.

The students who have read the series have had a noticeably improved attitude about entering middle school. That shift in perspective is allowing kids to not dread but embrace their middle grade years. I encourage teachers, school librarians, and parents to get these on your bookshelves. They won't be sitting idle for long.

Helpful Links:
Author Annie Fox's Blog. Good Stuff.
Leader's Guide To The Middle School Confidential Series 
Learn more about the series at Free Spirit Publishing.  

1 comment:

  1. Roxanne, thank you so much for sharing your students' enthusiasm for Middle School Confidential. Knowing that my books have helped your 5th graders feel more confident about moving into the next chapter of their lives... well, that's just made my day!

    In friendship,
    Annie Fox