Logo Title Quebec Reading Connection

Flipped

Penguin Random House 2016. 246 pages
First published: 2001
ISBN: 9780375825446 (paperback)
9780375811746 (hardcover)
9780307484956 (e-book)
Original language: English
Book type: Novel
Book genre: Realistic

Text Elements:

character, characterization, point of view, structures and features

Reading Range

 
Cycle
Elementary
Secondary
 
1
2
3
1
2
ELA
K
1
2
3
4
5
6
1
2
3
4
5
ESL Intensive & Enriched
5
6
1
2
3
4
5

Description:

The relationship between neighbours Juli and Bryce evolves from Grade 2-8. Juli has a mad crush on Bryce, but begins to question his strength of character. Meanwhile, Bryce is at first repelled by Juli’s effusive attention, but comes to see her in a different light. As the balance of attraction flickers and shifts between them, benchmark moments are related from two perspectives—both characters taking a turn to tell their side of the story.

Precise, literary language conveys this story about the twists and turns of attraction. The opposing perspectives of Bryce and Juli are portrayed with depth and empathy. Good-looking Bryce prefers to stay cool: “Seriously, there’s no winning arguments with your parents, so why get pumped up over them?” Juli goes for extremes—especially with those she loves: “What did a kiss feel like, anyway?… it wouldn’t be like the one I got from Mom or Dad.… The same species, maybe, but a radically different beast.… Like a wolf and a whippet—only science would put them on the same tree.”

A strong, supporting cast of two families and school friends emphasize the myriad ways of perceiving and interpreting the same thing. From this kaleidoscope, both protagonists must look beneath the surface to gain important knowledge of the other, and themselves. As the pull of attraction switches direction, and the viewpoints flip back and forth, Juli and Bryce may find a place together in the middle. “Maybe we could sit on the porch and talk … in all the years we’ve known each other, we’ve never done that.”

  •  

    Discuss how Bryce’s character evolves over time. Which events changed him?

  •  

    Juli has remained true to herself despite some obstacles. What were these obstacles and how did she handle them?

  •  

    Using figurative language, write a short paragraph introducing a character of your choice from the text. Describe the character’s physical, social and emotional traits.

  •  

    Read Juli’s description of being in the tree. Create a painting of your favourite place to be. Write a caption describing how it makes you feel.

  •  

    Bryce’s grandfather shares some wisdom, “One’s character is set at an early age, son. The choices you make now will affect you for the rest of your life.” What does he mean? Discuss your ideas with a partner and then share with the class.

  •  

    The narrative is told through alternating chapters. In a whole group discussion, explore and discuss how the novel addresses the emotional lives of the teen characters and the relationships they form.

  •  

    In small groups, discuss how the relationship between Juli and Bryce unfolds. What memories do they have in common? Which ones are different? What does this say about the nature of first relationships?

  •  

    Initiate an inquiry into the role of feelings of love and attraction on relationships and sexual identity. Address a suitable question, using the text and additional research. Share your findings in a spoken or written presentation.

  •  

    There are two sides to this story: two points-of-view. If two people describe their interactions differently, does this mean one of them is lying? Discuss your ideas in small teams.

  •  

    Write a short essay to answer one of the following questions: What wisdom does Bryce’s grandfather try to impart to him? What does Bryce mean when he states, “I was ‘the man,’ the envy of every other guy in the school. Buddy, I was miserable”? Support your answer with evidence from the text.

  •  

    What does this story say about the nature of first romantic relationships? Is the author close to or far from the truth? Support your answer.

  • To construct his/her identity
  • To cooperate with others
  • To use information
  • Health and Well-Being
  • Personal and Career Planning
  • Ethics and Religious Culture
  • Personal Development
  • Visual Arts
  • Bruiser (N. Shusterman) (Literary Elements)