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Real Friends vs. the Other Kind (Middle School Confidential) Paperback – June 5, 2009

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Real Friends vs. the Other Kind (Middle School Confidential) + Be Confident in Who You Are (Middle School Confidential Series) (Bk. 1) + What's Up with My Family? (Middle School Confidential)
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 11 - 14 years
  • Grade Level: 6 and up
  • Series: Middle School Confidential (Book 2)
  • Paperback: 96 pages
  • Publisher: Free Spirit Publishing; Book 2 edition (June 5, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1575423197
  • ISBN-13: 978-1575423197
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,519 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From School Library Journal

Grade 5–8—Jack, Abby, Mateo, Jen, Chris, and Michelle are the middle school students of various ethnicities who take readers through this slim, interactive guide. Chapters cover such topics as friendship dilemmas, so-called friends, when friendships aren't working, crushes, and making new friends. Each chapter opens with a scene played out by the students in cartoon panels. Next, bits of text, along with a multitude of side boxes, address the topic at hand. Sidebars of different "FILES" ("Real Friend," "Labeled and Judged," "Quit Pressuring Me") quote actual tweens and teens. "Need to Know?" bytes recommend relevant books and Web sites. Lists of questions are offered, along with the answers. There's a lot packed into this colorful title that falls somewhere between self-help and peer advice.—Anne Chapman Callaghan, Racine Public Library, WI
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


“In her second book in the series, Middle School Confidential: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind, Annie Fox delivers another powerful, helpful, and entertaining book for kids. . . . Reluctant readers could easily be attracted by this style where they can flip to any page in the book to get the information they need without having to read the entire book.” —Once Upon a Book

“Nine out of ten people agree that middle school can be the toughest period in a young person’s life . . . and this wonderful book by our friends at Free Spirit can help a young person in that journey. This graphic book (comic book style for those of us who grew up a while ago) should be slipped into every new middle schooler’s backpack or under his or her pillow.” —Reach and Teach

“There’s a lot packed into this colorful title that falls somewhere between self-help and peer advice.” —School Library Journal

 “Amazing, colorful, and educational. . . . Middle school kids would definitely benefit from reading this.” —Sue Scheff, parent advocate, founder of P.U.R.E.™, and author of Google™ Bomb and Wit’s End

“Fox does a remarkable job of laying out familiar middle school scenarios.”—

Learning and Laughter Favorite Educational Product Award Winner

Kidlutions™ Preferred Product Award (PPA)

“Young readers will be able to relate to the teens in the books and will feel as though they’re having a conversation with their friends. Entering middle school can be tough, which is why it’s great to have a series like this that middle graders can turn to.”—Lori Calabrese, children’s books examiner,

More About the Author

When Annie Fox's first book "People Are Like Lollipops" (Holiday House) was published, she wasn't old enough to legally sign the contract! By the time she turned 21, though, she decided that helping kids would be her life's work. After graduating from Cornell University with a degree in Human Development and Family Studies then completing her Master's in Education, she began exploring ways to use technology to entertain kids while building their emotional intelligence skills.

In 1977, Annie and her husband David opened Marin Computer Center, the world's first public access microcomputer facility. Her work there led her to write her best selling book, "Armchair BASIC: An Absolute Beginner's Guide to Microcomputers and Programming in BASIC" (Osborn/McGraw-Hill). After a detour into the world of screen writing, Annie returned to computers as an award-winning writer/designer of children's CD-ROMs. (Putt-Putt; Madeline; Get Ready for School, Charlie Brown; and Mr. Potato Head Saves Veggie Valley are just a few of the titles on which she worked.)

At the dawn of the Internet age, Annie dreamed up the idea for The InSite (, a place "for teens and young adults to turn their world around." She is the creator, co-designer, writer, and executive producer of that award-winning site. One of The InSite's most popular features is Hey Terra, a Cyberspace Dear Abby. Annie's first book for teens, "The Teen Survival Guide to Dating & Relating: Real World Advice About Guys, Girls, Growing Up And Getting Along" (2000, 2005 Free Spirit Publishing), is based on hundreds of emails to Terra and Annie's responses to them. "Teen Survival Guide" is now available as a free PDF download from

"Are You My Friend?" a Read-it-to-Me iBook was written by Annie Fox, illustrated by Eli Noyes and produced by Electric Eggplant. This digital story book for 4-8 year olds is the first of the Raymond and Sheila Series and is now available in print form on Amazon, and as Android apps for Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, and other Android tablets. The second Raymond and Sheila story "Are We Lost?" will be available in print in 2013. See for more info.

Annie's other books include: "Too Stressed to Think? A Teen Guide to Staying Sane When Life Makes You CRAZY," co-authored with Ruth Kirschner (Free Spirit Publishing) and the popular 3 book Middle School Confidential™ series (Free Spirit Publishing). Annie's Middle School Confidential apps (developed by Electric Eggplant) are available for iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, Nook Tablet, and other Android tablets (see

Through her conference appearances and public events for kids, tweens, teens, parents, and educators, Annie continues working toward her goal of empowering young people through increased emotional intelligence skills, social courage, and stress-reduction strategies. Her new book for parents and teachers, "Teaching Kids To Be Good People," is now available in print and for Kindle (see

Visit Annie at her website,
Follow Annie on Twitter: @Annie_Fox
Follow Annie on Facebook:

Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Books That Heal Kids on May 25, 2010
Format: Paperback
I own the whole middle school series. I work as a school counselor and our 5th graders love it! These are helpful books that will support kids as they transition to 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.

Looking forward to the fourth book!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Diana on July 19, 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I bought a few of this series for my kiddo to begin reading since he is starting to experience the social issues at school - peer pressure, the desire to fit in, be liked, popularity, etc. and it's only going to increase once he begins middle school. Our daily routine is - he reads a section and then tells me about it. We have done this before and sometimes in the past, he has grumbled about how boring the books are. Not this time! He tells me every day how much he enjoys reading these. I think what appeals to him most is the short length, division of content (it's presented in "short bursts") and includes quotes from real kids. This series uses kids and real world example to teach tools for coping compared to some of the more abstract approaches our previous readings together presented. Thumbs up for grabbing my kid's attention and making him ponder these issues considerably.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Jacqueline Henry on December 3, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
this book was recommended as a study tool to use with our church youth. It addresses a serious problem that confronts youth of this age in an engagimg way.
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