Bounce

 
Satisfying coming-of-age read.

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Single father is a strong role model. The new stepmother is caring and understanding.

Violence
Not applicable
Sex

Young teens fantasizing about kissing boys; discussion of the size of breasts on girls; father and new girlfriend have sex; father and new wife caught by teen in shower together.

Language

Just words like "boobs" and "crap" typical in teen dialogue. Friend uses profanity, but it's "bleeped."

Consumerism

Mention of stores: Gap, Kmart.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking

Teens mention smoking cigarettes.

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this book is about a 13-year-old girl facing challenges and trying to fit in. There is discussion of stuffing bras, belly-button rings, crushes and kissing boys, body changes or lack thereof, annoying siblings, parents who don't "get it," and vicious popular kids. Evyn Linney is a likeable character, funny, sassy, and, at times, sad; there are passages when she talks to her dead mother and desperately wants her comfort, and she steals money and tries to run away. Also, there are adults, specifically her father and girlfriend/new wife, who have sex and get pregnant.

What's the story?

When 13-year-old Evyn's widower father gets married to a woman with six kids, she, her father, and her older brother move from Maine to Boston to live with them. It's torture from the start. While her father starts wearing different clothes and shaves his beard and her geeky older brother gets the lead in the high school musical, she has to share a room with twins and go to an all-girl middle school.

Feeling miserable, she turns to her old best friend in Maine for support, but finds her distant. She even talks to her dead mother, seeking her comfort. Slowly she learns more about her new stepmother, her siblings, her father, and even herself and begins to move towards acceptance and growth.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

BOUNCE, the third novel by Natasha Friend, a former middle school teacher and camp director, delivers another relatable, likeable, struggling character for young teens, Evyn Linney. This is a quick, satisfying read by a popular author who really understands the age. Teens who liked Friend's other books will take to it immediately.

But unlike Perfect, where the main character's battle with bulimia can be tough stuff for young readers, here Evyn's support system -- her dad and her new mom -- are strong models who help keep Evyn grounded. It's what allows Evyn to get back to more typical teen problems like peer pressure, romantic attractions, and body changes (or lack thereof). And it's what tells you that Evyn's life turned upside down will right itself again.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about Evyn's challenges. Her situation is specific, but are her challenges somewhat relatable to all kids in middle school? Where does she find her strength? What is likeable about Evyn? Is there good communication among daughter, father, and brother? What characters do you relate to most in books and movies?

Book details

Author:Natasha Friend
Genre:Coming of Age
Book type:Fiction
Publisher:Scholastic Inc.
Publication date:September 1, 2007
Number of pages:192
Publisher's recommended age(s):12
Read aloud:12
Read alone:12

This review of Bounce was written by

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Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

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Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

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Teen, 14 years old Written bymaddy940 June 6, 2009
age 10+
 

awesome

i think for teens, this is a good book because it's easy to relate. for adults, i wouldn't recommend it. but for teens, go for it!
Teen, 14 years old Written bySpAz656muffin April 9, 2008
Teen, 13 years old Written byalice8j October 20, 2009
age 12+
 

MUST READ!

This is a very touching book that made my cry. I think that this book should be for 12+. I don't like reading that much, but I would have to say after reading this book it just made me want to read more book by Natasha Friend! THIS IS A MUST READ!
What other families should know
Too much swearing
Educational value

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