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Sydney A. Frankel's Summer Mix-Up Hardcover – November 1, 2021
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Sydney Frankel, soon to be a sixth-grader, is looking forward to a summer of fun with her best friend, Maggie. She figures she deserves some time to herself to do what she wants before her mom delivers Sydney's new sibling in just four months. Too bad Sydney's mom has other plans for her.
Sydney's forced to take a summer course at the South Miami Community Center. She's allowed to take any class, except for what she really wants―a reading course. But when Maggie comes up with a switcheroo plan so that they can both take the classes they like, unexpected complications arise.
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"Sydney A. Frankel loves to read. Her mother insists that she take a summer class in anything but reading in order to broaden her horizons and gain self-confidence. Sydney’s friend, Maggie, loves to dance. Her mother insists that she take a summer class in reading because she needs the practice. What are two bright, determined, creative rising sixth-graders to do? Switch identities at the community center where the summer programs are held, of course. Sydney attends Maggie’s reading class; Maggie attends the dance class in Sydney’s stead. Naturally, the plan leads to a complex comedy of errors involving other kids, teachers, and, ultimately, parents.
Complications include a new sibling for Sydney, a wise bubbe, a crush, a missing pet turtle, and a looming end-of-year program showcasing the accomplishments of all the children in the summer program, with parents and even grandparents invited. Sydney and Maggie learn some important lessons about developing new strengths and also about the values of owning up to actions, being honest, and accepting responsibility.
This amusing romp with its twisty plot and its sparkling writing teaches these lessons with a light touch and a large helping of humor. The easy-to-read chapter book format is inviting. Readers will be both entertained and enlightened." ― Michal Hoschander Malen, Jewish Books Council
Big secrets, best friends, and pitch-perfect characters drive this funny, touching story.
Shy, book-loving Sydney Frankel wants to spend her last summer before middle school lying around reading and hanging out with her best friend, Maggie. But Sydney’s mother wants her to be confident and ready for the big transition; she makes her sign up for a summer course at the community center instead. Making it worse, her mom won’t even let her take the one course she is interested in―the one about books. Maggie, on the other hand, is signed up for the reading course but would prefer to take dance. The girls hatch a plan to cleverly solve both their problems by switching identities, in the process creating a raft of mishaps, chaos, and opportunities to grow. Will the friends have what it takes to keep their deception going? It’s hard to pretend to be someone you aren’t when you are still trying to figure out who you are in the first place. Sydney must also navigate her feelings about her mother’s pregnancy, adding some urgency to her need for independence and creating the conditions for the girls’ madcap plan for coping with their summer disappointments. The book’s treatment of the complexities of tweendom are pitch perfect: the need for autonomy, the intensity of friendships, crushes, and the messy process of growing up. Main characters are White and Jewish.
A sweet, heartfelt story about friendship and family." ― Kirkus Reviews
About the Author
- Publisher : Kar-Ben Publishing ® (November 1, 2021)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 264 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1541598628
- ISBN-13 : 978-1541598621
- Reading age : 8 - 12 years
- Grade level : 3 - 6
- Item Weight : 10.4 ounces
- Dimensions : 5.5 x 0.88 x 7.75 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,016,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
- Customer Reviews:
About the author
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Sydney Frankel is going into sixth grade and her mom insists she take a summer class.
No problem right? Well, yes a big problem, they do not agree on which class Sydney will take.
Sydney loves reading so a reading class is what she desires most. Of course her mother says she can take absolutely ANY class Except reading.
So Sydney hatches a plan to switch classes with her best friend Maggie.
Surpisingly this works out and both girls are in their preferred classes.
Couple this with Sydney being nervous about becoming a big sister really soon, and it's a mixed up but fun summer.
I really liked the girls and their strong friendship.
I thought Sydney's fears were realistic.
I enjoyed following Sydney's progression and growth in the summer class.
And the ending was super cute too.
Even though this book is for middle grade readers, I think even teens or adults would enjoy it as well.
Highly recommended! 4 *****
So I thank NetGalley and the author and publisher for the opportunity to review this book.
I know that I'm still a child at heart because the clueless adult things parents do will forever irk me. I did have some trouble at the start of the book because we meet Sydney and her mom in a standoff about enrolling in some summer classes to help her boost her confidence and break out of her shell before starting middle school. While this is a great thing, obviously, the Clueless Parent thing starts off strong: it's a lot of "I know what's good for you and you'll thank me later, you'll understand when you're older" from the mother when that's not only just so irritating to hear, but obviously not how her daughter responds to anything. Like that's not an effective way to convince her to do anything, especially what she's scared of and not herself into.
So of course, Sydney's not going to do what her mom says, and she devises a switcheroo with her best friend Maggie which I LOVE. I don't enjoy the summer full of lies and deception, but I love that kids will always find a way around their parents' rules while still abiding by the general gist of the situation. It seems like Sydney's parents would have been open to an honest communication but were just caught up in their own goings-on (new baby on the way) - but that also means they should've known their kid would have outsmarted them. (And she mostly *does* follow their wishes and joins a class, just not the one they were trying to force upon her!) See, they'd all benefit from an honest sit-down. But then, where would the fun be?
Without giving away the ending, I love that the characters found their own paths, and did find ways to push out of their shells over a productive summer, just not the ways the adults would have forced them to.
Kids will not want to put this book down, it’s so funny! Without even realizing it, kids learn the value of friendship and loyalty to family and friends. I strongly recommend this book.