|Katie Friedman gives up texting! (and lives to tell about it.) (Charlie Joe Jackson)|
Author: Greenwald, Tom
Charlie Joe Jackson's best friend Katie Friedman is tough, but can she convince her fellow middle schoolers to give up their phones for a week?
|Illustrator:||Coovert, J. P.|
|Accelerated Reader Information:|
Interest Level: MG
Reading Level: 4.10
Points: 5.0 Quiz: 174601
Kirkus Reviews (11/15/14)
School Library Journal (12/01/14)
The Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books (A) (03/15)
Full Text Reviews:
School Library Journal - 12/01/2014 Gr 4–7—Katie Friedman's day begins the same way it does for many middle schoolers: she eats cereal, gets dressed, and rides the bus to school, all while texting with her friends. One day, she sends a message meant for a friend to her boyfriend, Nareem, about how she wants to break up with him. This embarrassing mix-up, coupled with the anti-technology views of her favorite singer, lead Katie to give up texting for a week, and she tries to convince 10 friends to do it with her. The incentive: backstage passes to see her favorite band. The kids end up enjoying the "real communication" that occurs when they put their phones away, but they also miss the perks of cell phones—from coordinating rides home to the quick pick-me-up of a funny text from a friend. Greenwald's message is clear: what matters is being honest and connecting with each other regardless of what medium is used. The quick pacing and well-described world make up for the potentially didactic nature of the subject. The plot is somewhat contrived, but fans of Charlie Joe Jackson's world will enjoy getting to spend more time with these characters. Small black-and-white cartoons are scattered throughout.—Gesse Stark-Smith, Multnomah County Library, Portland, OR - Copyright 2014 Publishers Weekly, Library Journal and/or School Library Journal used with permission.
Bulletin for the Center... - 03/01/2015 Katie, close sorta friend to Charlie Joe Jackson from Greenwald’s eponymous series (Charlie Joe Jackson’s Guide to Not Reading, BCCB 7/11, etc.), has just committed the Big Kahuna of communication faux pas-texted joking but disparaging remarks about her soon-to-be ex-boyfriend, Nareem, directly to him. Needless to say, they are now well and truly broken up, and Katie feels all the more the fool because, A) Nareem is a really nice guy she’d like to remains friends with, and B) she had delayed kicking him to the curb just long enough to go on one last date to see her favorite band, the Plain Janes. Maybe her life is as over-connected as her therapist Mom claims, and maybe she should take up the challenge of the Plain Janes’ lead singer to convince ten friends to go cell-less for a week, which might win her concert tickets and the performance of her own song. Rounding up ten participants is easier than Katie expects, but their sudden thrust into DIY fun and face-to-face honesty carries its own load of unexpected consequences. Katie narrates her week’s trials with all the end-of-my-world breathlessness that one has come to expect of middle-school heroines, and readers will be thoroughly amused as she and her crew, drawn from different strata of the lunchroom hierarchy, navigate life off the network. The Plain Janes subplot, however, is glaringly pedantic, and readers will readily discern that there’s a weighty message here, sugarcoated in the words of a fictional rock star. Nobody’s going to be fooled by that, but they may be a nanosecond slower to hit Send. EB - Copyright 2015 The Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois.