Middle School Confidential 2: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind (by Electric Eggplant) is the second book in a very cool iPad app book series concerning the typical pressures, stresses, insecurities, and other common social dilemmas faced by the tweens and early teens age group (8-14). The theme of the second book focuses on identifying what true friendships look like as well as demonstrating healthy friendships seen throughout the chapters. The story revolves around 7 average kids (3 guys and 4 girls): Abbey, Chris, Jack, Jen, Mateo, Michelle, and Monique — you’ll get an opportunity to know the cast better by checking out the Introduction area for a peek into their different personalities. It is here that you’ll find a quote from each character, a personality summary, as well as an inside look at what each character is thinking about in their own private thoughts regarding issues such as popularity, losing weight, being too nice, being too short, protecting friends’ feelings, being unsure of oneself, as well as boyfriend/girlfriend interests. I would strongly suggest you or your child get to know the characters before diving into the story in order to get quickly clued in — it makes for a much better reading experience.
The book is segmented into 9 parts with 8 chapters (introduction and chapters). The storybook looks like an understated graphic comic book and features realistic background sounds such as texting (I actually looked at my iPhone thinking there was a text message coming through to me before realizing that is was coming from the application) and sounds of lockers slamming shut, etc. There are traditional text bubbles placed around the pages to follow and read what each character has to say. One neat feature within this app is that when you double tap on an illustrated scenario box it is be enlarged filling the screen for better viewing. Having read through the whole book, I can tell you that there isn’t any outlandish Hollywood drama here, just ordinary and believable social/emotional issues surrounding a bunch of unsure middle-schoolers, but one thing they seem pretty sure of is their strong friendship bond — even when they get mad at one another or hurt each other’s feelings. They seem to work things out and make thought-provoking decisions by acknowledging their own actions, talking about them, apologizing, and moving on. Sprinkled throughout the book are questions by “real” tweens which are discussed and answered by the cast (who give great practical advice) and a few short quizzes relating to the tough topics addressed in the story. One nice feature about the quiz section is that when the answers are rated, there is an explanation that goes along with the choices made explaining why they are good — or not so good choices.
As a parent of a middle-schooler myself, I was curious to see if this book would be relatable to my own kid, so I casually asked her to read through it and give me some unbiased feedback. I was curious to see how alike or different our views would be. It turned out that we were pretty much on the same page concerning Real Friends vs. the Other Kind: we both thought it was interesting and contained worthy and useful content, but it was a little confusing and distracting initially (but once past that hump it was easy to get right into the chapters), that it was really important to get to know the characters before delving into the story in order to identify with them all, that the music and background sounds were super cool (and even thought it was interesting how you never heard the characters talk — just background sounds only), she loved the graphics but they didn’t quite grab me — what do I know? Although many of the topics were spot on and offered thought-provoking scenarios with great solutions, according to my young teen, it would be even better if the content included some edgier topics that she and her peers are facing at school these days like: ugly and catty behavior between girls, school fights, and drugs. Regardless, this cool iPad book app is excellent and well written with a lot of valuable content presented by an expert accustomed to dealing with the social/emotional issues surrounding this age group. It’s definitely worth checking out and you can also check it on the NOOK Color, Kindle Fire, and other Android tablets as well. Check out all of our iPad app reviews. Crazy Mike
Middle School Confidential 2 iPad App Download
Title: Middle School Confidential 2
Size: 25.5 MB
Developer: Electric Eggplant
Store: iTunes App Store
Middle School Confidential 2 iPad App Download
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*Disclosure* The developer may have provided a “promo code” (paid voucher) for this iPad app review. http://www.crazymikesapps.com
Middle School Confidential 2 iPad App Developer Description
Middle school social drama can flare up without warning and turn your world upside down. At times like this, you may wonder, “Who are my real friends?” Based on the second book in the award-winning Middle School Confidential™ series, Real Friends vs. the Other Kind follows Jack, Jen, Chris, Abby, Mateo, and Michelle from the first app as they forge friendships and navigate tough social situations. They run into relationship issues such as making friends, resolving disputes, and dealing with gossip, exclusion, and cyberbullying.
Written by teen expert and anti-bullying activist Annie Fox, illustrated by Matt Kindt, and published by Free Spirit Publishing, this graphic novel app enables readers to zoom right into the story world. The app puts decision-making power into the hands of readers, with interactive quizzes that test what a real friend would do in a given situation. With beautiful full-color illustrations and richly layered audio made up of movie-like sound effects and music, Real Friends will be a surefire hit with 8- to 14-year-olds (even those who don’t like to read!). As a bonus for parents and teachers, this app puts thought-provoking storytelling and solutions into the hands of teens who deal with tricky friendship issues every day. It will challenge teens to think about their friendships in new ways and encourage them to stand up for themselves and be more empathetic.
“…Annie Fox’s series of graphic novels was cutting-edge in print—[but] even more amazing on the iPad! I am delighted to see the quizzes from the book included in this second app. These interactive activities can help young people integrate the important lessons from the novels into their lives. Electric Eggplant has really perfected an otherwise near-perfect series with this additional interactive content.”—Carisa Kluver, Digital Storytime
“…even better than its predecessor. Is there any way to give a five-and-a-half star review?”—Lory Gil, Padgadget
“Two thumbs up! This is a series not to be missed.”–Andrea Gardner, Applicable2U
“Who needs to pay $8 for a movie ticket, when you have the drama of middle school right in your hand?”—Lori Calabrese, National Children’s Books Examiner.com
“Will challenge teens to reflect upon their relationships and think critically about what it means to be a true friend.”—Mindy Douglas, Software Smoothie
• Interactive quizzes test what you would do in a sticky social situation
• Page swipe or touch page edges for easy navigation
• Auto-save feature remembers your place in the story
• Info page allows you to jump to the beginning of any of the 8 chapters
• 38 pages of story plus bonus Meet the Cast pages
• Two modes of reading: full-page mode or double-tap to zoom-in for frame-by-frame reading
• Movie-like sound effects and music (enhanced sound in zoomed-in mode)
• Compelling stories that deal with universal tween and early teenage stumbling blocks:
+ The Boyfriend/Girlfriend Zone
+ Communication problems
+ Conflict resolution
+ Out of control emotions
+ Friendship issues
+ Peer Approval Addiction (doing whatever it takes to fit in)
• Thoughtful solutions for teens grappling with personal and social issues
• Designed for the hard-to-reach “tween” age group, including reluctant readers
• Powerful addition to an advisory or character education curriculum
• Ideal for teachers who use technology in the classroom
Electric Eggplant is a member of Moms with Apps, a collaborative group of family-friendly developers seeking to promote quality apps for kids and families.
Recommended Ages: 8-12,13-14
Categories: Books, Reading
Updated one of the page images to fix text button.