- Age Range: 10 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 5 - 7
- Lexile Measure: 740 (What's this?)
- Hardcover: 256 pages
- Publisher: HMH Books for Young Readers (November 1, 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0544636228
- ISBN-13: 978-0544636224
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.9 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 24 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #273,993 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Friendship Experiment Hardcover – November 1, 2016
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—Kirkus, STARRED review
"...first-time author Teagan underscores the importance of compassion and forgiveness as she provides thoughtful insight into a girl working hard to try to maintain control over a life filled with unwelcome developments."
"Science-minded readers will cheer to meet their match in Maddie as she conquers her demons and learns what exactly it means to have—and be—a friend."
"Madeline’s prickly independence and sense of herself... result in a character whose evolution is highly satisfying."
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I highly recommend this for anyone who is struggling to figure out how to get through the various tricks that life throws at us. Middle Schoolers will particularly relate, but even as an adult, I loved it!
What Maddie always has, though, is science. Like her father and her grandfather before her, Maddie is a scientist. (And okay, this does mean she swabs random stuff to see what kinds of mold it grows, which some of the other kids thing is a little weird.) What helps Maddie get by is writing S.O.P.s, Standard Operating Procedures. It's as if she can make sense of the world around her better with those handy lists.
But in middle school, is science enough to get by on? Wouldn't it help to have some friends in her school? What's the formula for figuring out middle school, anyway?
So, to be blunt about it, I LOVED this book. Maddie's voice felt so real to me. I loved her family, too, and the complicated dynamics with her older sister. This budding tween scientist felt utterly authentic, as did her problems and how she tried (not always successfully) to manage them. And then there's heart. Ack! This book has heart in spades. I truly felt for Maddie and her struggle to fit in and be herself in the complicated world that is middle school.
One of my favorite middle grade books this year.
"Everyone in this whole world is weird."
"It's like I don't even know myself anymore."
"There's no formula. Life is too unpredictable, too complicated."
This book is a little bit predictable, but only in the satisfying way of having a character I've grown to care about figure out what's really important, which I hoped she'd do all along.
Review copy of book provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.