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Cover of Flipped
|Author||Wendelin Van Draanen|
|October 1, 2001|
|Media type||Print (hardback & paperback)|
Flipped (2001) is a young adult novel by Wendelin Van Draanen set from c.1994 to 2000. It is a stand-alone teen romance in a he-said she-said style with the two protagonists alternately presenting their perspective on a shared set of events.
Juli Baker meets Bryce Loski two weeks before the beginning of second grade; it's something about those blue eyes that attract her. Julianna knows it's love, while Bryce, like any seven-year-old boy, doesn't. Julianna stalks Bryce all through his childhood; staring at his house, asking him to play, following him at school, etc. Every day, Bryce watches Julianna climb the sycamore tree at the bus stop, from which Julianna always watches the town. She constantly asks Bryce to come join her in the tree, as well as yelling out how far away the bus is. Bryce, being unbelievably shy and annoyed by all the attention, asks out Juli's arch enemy, Shelly Stalls, to get rid of his admirer. Bryce looks over his shoulder for Julianna every time he's with Shelly, which causes Julianna to think he's being forced to date her. This provokes a catfight between Juli and Shelly over Bryce. The two break up, and Bryce is back to square one. There comes an incident in sixth grade when, much to Bryce's chagrin and irritation, Juli constantly sniffs Bryce's hair in spelling from her assigned position behind him. According to Juli, his hair smells like watermelon and he has blond earlobe fuzz. Bryce is disgruntled from this seat change, because Juli had initially sat next to him where he could see her answers and copy off of them. Now that she's behind him, he's lost that advantage, and his grades slip, especially in spelling. This halts, however, when as Juli sniffs him, she begins to whisper answers in his ear. Bryce, torn between feeling grateful and awkwardly guilty for hating her so much when she's helping him, follows the answers anyway until the end of the year.
Juli, on the other hand, can't stop thinking about Bryce in the many years she's known him. Obliviously missing his discomfort being around her, she continues to try to get him to like her. However, Juli's motives change when her beloved sycamore tree is cut down. Although Juli stays up in the branches for hours and misses school to protest its excision, she is brought down and isn't the same for weeks. Unbeknownst to Juli, Bryce feels horribly about Juli's tree, considering Juli asked Bryce to come up to protest with her and he declined. He frets over whether he could have made a difference, and contemplates many times apologizing to Juli but chickens out each time. Matters aren't helped when Bryce's wise but stubborn grandfather takes a fond liking to Juli and pesters Bryce to be friends with her—he doesn't seem to understand Bryce's annoyance with the girl. Juli's spirits are lightened when her father, who she admires more than anyone, paints her a picture of her sycamore tree. Juli often sits out with her dad on the porch for hours, listening to him talk and watching him paint. Juli hangs the picture in her room so she'll always be reminded of what the tree represented for her.
Things with Juli start to change when Juli gives Bryce and his family a batch of chicken eggs. Bryce's father immediately expresses concern that the eggs might be fertilized, so Bryce and his best friend, Garrett, sneak over to her house and try to spy on the chickens in her backyard in search of a rooster (The chickens are a result of Juli's winning science fair project, which Bryce is a bit bitter about but means a lot to Juli.) And Bryce doesn't know about the difference between chickens, hens, and roosters, so they head home without answers. Bryce's family, however, has a new concern,salmonella. Juli's yard has always been very messy, and the family is concerned about poison in the eggs. Bryce's father tells him to just say no to Juli about the eggs, but Bryce ends up just throwing the eggs away before his parents come down for breakfast. This goes on for two years, but ends when Juli catches Bryce throwing the eggs into the trash can and tells him she's lost over a hundred dollars giving him the eggs when she's been selling them to her neighbors. She runs home, leaving Bryce feeling miserable.
Things take a dive for the worse in eighth grade when Juli overhears Bryce talking to Garrett about her mentally challenged uncle. Bryce wants to punch him (to be exact "slug him"), but doesn't want to lose his friend, so he pretends to laugh. Juli, furious and hurt, decides to abandon every thought of Bryce, even though Bryce's grandpa is very good friends with Juli and helps her tame her yard. The flip comes here: the more angry Juli is and the more she ignores him, the more Bryce notices and likes Juli, especially after he finds an old article about Juli's protest for her tree from elementary school. Bryce begins to see that Juli is smart, spirited and "iridescent", as Grandpa Chet calls her. And for once, Bryce can't get Juli out of his head, and Juli hates Bryce the way Bryce hated her.
The climax comes at the eighth grade basket boys' luncheon, an auction in which boys are sold off to win money for charity. Shy Bryce hates this event, but has no choice in the matter. Bryce, being incredibly cute, gets auctioned off to Shelly and Miranda, the prettiest girls in his school, and Juli buys Jon out of pity, a boy who didn't get any offers. While on their lunch date, Bryce finds he can't focus on Shelly and Miranda: he just wants to talk to Juli. He gets his chance when Shelly and Miranda get into a huge food fight over him. While they're fighting, Bryce sneaks over to Juli's table, pulls her away from her date, and asks if she likes Jon. She answers that no, she doesn't, but is clearly still annoyed at Bryce and wants nothing to do with him. Bryce, in his relief, takes her hands, leans in and tries to kiss her, but she yanks back and runs away. Unfortunately for Bryce, this act is witnessed in front of his entire class, so he is dogged the rest of the day by taunts, especially by his friend Garrett. It is implied that Bryce drops Garrett as a friend in favor of Juli by the end.
Juli manages to get home without Bryce seeing her, but Bryce is determined now. He calls, knocks on her door, and eventually climbs her window. Juli ignores him by sitting in the living room, until she looks out the window and sees Bryce's last attempt at winning her heart: he plants a sycamore tree in her backyard. Juli now realizes Bryce has changed and waves back at him from her living room window. And at that moment Juli realizes that Bryce loves her and he wants her to give him a second chance.
Callan McAuliffe plays Bryce, while Madeline Carroll stars as Juli. Aidan Quinn and Penelope Ann Miller are Juli's parents; Kevin Weisman plays the role of Juli's mentally disabled Uncle, while Shane Harper and Michael Bolten play her two brothers. Anthony Edwards and Rebecca De Mornay play Bryce's parents, and John Mahoney takes role of his grandfather, Chet.
Flipped was filmed in Ann Arbor, Manchester, and Saline, Michigan. As part of the set, a temporary house was built on the Thurston Nature Area prairie. A few scenes were filmed in the small downtown area of Manchester, Michigan on July 27. The events take place in 1957–1963 in the screenplay instead of 1994–2000, as in the book.
- "Van Draanen has another winner in this eighth-grade 'he-said, she-said' romance." – School Library Journal, Starred
- "We flipped over this fantastic book, its gutsy girl Juli and its wise, wonderful ending." – The Chicago Tribune
- "A highly agreeable romantic comedy." – Kirkus Reviews
- "Delightful! Delicious! And totally teen." – Book Page
Awards and nominations
- 2003
- Won: Virginia Young Readers Program Award
- Won: South Carolina Children's Book Award
- 2004