A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this book.
Gives tweens some perspective on the hazards of living life completely behind a smartphone screen. It uses common occurrences -- such as a mean text sent to the wrong person -- as teaching tools.
The greatest message readers will take away is that though cell phones are important for keeping in touch with parents and having fun, they also can desensitize you to the need for real human interaction.
Positive Role Models
Even though Katie makes mistakes, she and her friends are some of the most honest and thoughtful characters you'll find in popular literature today. Adults in the book are engaged with the kids, but let them figure out their own solutions to their problems.
Sex, Romance & Nudity
Boy/girl tween dating and talk of kissing.
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Mild name-calling, including "caveman" and "phonie."
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Products & Purchases
Mostly fictional brand names with some pop culture references, such as E.T.
Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know Katie Friedman Gives Up Texting! (And Lives to Tell About It.) focuses on a girl's attempt to give up texting after she accidentally sends a mean text about a classmate to that classmate's cell phone. There is typical middle school relationship stuff that gets sorted out and worked through, including fights with friends, secrets, and some heartbreak.
Is It Any Good?
This is a fun read that addresses technology addiction without being too preachy or simplistic. Author Tommy Greenwald creates a great story that begins with an all-too-common occurrence: sending a text to the wrong person. As the characters deal with the fallout of the mistext, Greenwald shows them to be tweens who are surprisingly open and forthcoming in their face-to-face communication.
A fun romp, the book isn't designed to get kids to give up tech, but it will make them think twice about "keyboard courage." It also serves as a great opportunity to engage in discussions about tech time and things friends can do outside of tech to connect.
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Our Editors Recommend
Books to Help Your Kid Survive Middle School
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