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Sydney A. Frankel's Summer Mix-Up

Sydney A. Frankel's Summer Mix-Up
Danielle Joseph By (author)
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Lerner Publishing Group

Limited ***

5.3 X 7.5 in
264 pg

JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Self-Esteem & Self-Reliance
JUVENILE FICTION / Family / New Baby
JUVENILE FICTION / Social Themes / Friendship
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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.


"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 CouncilWebsite

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 Journal

Author Bio

Danielle Joseph was born in Cape Town, South Africa. The author of several young adult novels and picture books, she lives in Maryland with her husband, three kids, and a dog named Ringo. When not writing, she can be found swimming, listening to music, and chasing after her dog.