A FEW OTHER EVENTS FOR
- Happy birthday Leah Komaiko (Annie Bananie).
- Itâ€™s the birth date of John Masefield (1878-1967), The Midnight Folk, The Box of Delights, James Daugherty (1889-1974), Andy and the Lion, and Doris Buchanan Smith (1934-2002), A Taste of Blackberries.
- Happy birthday Kentucky (1792) and Tennessee (1796).
- More to read on Flip a Coin Day: Flip by David Lubar, Flip-Flop Girl by Katherine Paterson, and The Gold Coin by Alma Flor Ada, illustrated by Neil Waldman.
Today has been designated Flip a Coin Day. The word flip immediately reminds me of one of the funniest, and yet most true to life, romances written for the ten- to fourteen-year-old set, Wendelin Van Draanenâ€™s Flipped.
Told from the point of view of two protagonists, Julie and Bryce, they alternate narrating chapters. In second grade, when Bryce moved in across the street, Julie fell in love at first sight: â€śThe first day I met Bryce Loski, I flipped. Honestly, one look at him and I became a lunatic.â€ť Handsome, with brilliant blue eyes, Bryce becomes Julieâ€™s love obsession for six long years.
Passionate and intense, Julie lets Bryce know, along with everyone else, how she feels about him. When another girl in fifth grade gets near him, a cat fight ensues. Julie follows him around, smells his hair in class, and generally makes herself a nuisance.
Bryce, on the other hand, tries to blend in, get along, and not create waves. He remains aloof but polite to Julie. Their relationship is exacerbated by the socioeconomic standings of both families. Julie lives in a rented house, the eyesore of the neighborhood. Her father scrapes to get by, because he provides economic support for his brother. Bryceâ€™s father, on the other hand, believes in possessions, keeping up appearances, and displaying his wealth.
Readers follow alongâ€”through a â€śhe said, she saidâ€ť storytelling approachâ€”until Bryce and Julie reach eighth grade. Then, as is true in the lives of adolescents everywhere, things begin to tilt. Julie loses a battle to save a neighborhood sycamore tree, destined to be chopped down, and Bryce does not come to her defense. She begins to suspect that he may be much more superficial than she has realized.
But Bryce changes too and slowly comes to realize that the annoying neighbor could actually be someone special. As her ardor cools, his expands. Finally, he flips, tooâ€”and chases her around, hoping for a kiss. The book leaves the romance unresolved; they agree to sit down and actually talk to each other, something that has not happened in all six years. In the meantime readers have been taken along on a roller-coaster ride of misunderstanding and laughter. One of the funniest chapters in the book revolves around a dinner where the two families sit down to get to know each other.
Made into a motion picture and beloved by readers for a decade, Flipped is perfect for summer reading, particularly for those wondering about a certain boy or girl in their lives. Young love in all is phasesâ€”from insecurity to insanityâ€”has been brilliantly explored in this breezy, easy-to-read novel.
Hereâ€™s a passage from Flipped:
I just wanted to be with her. To hold her hand again.
To kiss her.
Before school was out, I tried to talk to her again, but every time I got close, sheâ€™d dodge me. And then when the final bell range, she disappeared. I looked everywhere for her, but she was just gone.
Garrett, however, wasnâ€™t. He tracked me down and said, â€śDude! Tell me it isnâ€™t true!â€ť
Originally posted June 1, 2011. Updated for .