FRAZZLED for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

Middle school can be a scary place for kids… especially the first few weeks. Abbie Wu is y648one of those kids. She narrates her rocky road as a sixth grader at Pointdexter Middle School. Filled with black and white drawings, it may remind you of the Wimpy Kid series with a female as the protagonist.

This will be a big hit for those that want to relieve some of their own anxiety if they are dealing with the  switch from elementary to middle. The story and pictures are enjoyable, despite the unlikely reaction to Abbie’s way of dealing with feeling left out. She starts a lunch time food trading scheme the administration spends way too much time worrying about.

Nevertheless, with its fast pace and a family that grows on you, I’m looking forward to more of Abbie Wu.


FULL PLOT (From HARPER COLLINS) If you ask me, the worst part about middle school is the fact that it is MIDDLE school. Nothing good happens in the Middles, and since middle school is the middle of all Middles,

I am guaranteed, without a doubt, 100% doomed.

Meet Abbie Wu. She’s about to start middle school and she’s totally freaking out—and not just because she’s stuck in a family that doesn’t quite get her or because the lunch ladies at school are totally corrupt or because everyone seems to have a “Thing” except her. Abbie Wu is always in crisis.


  1. The author is a doodler at heart and the pictures are just what you’d expect from a tween MC. Charming, spot on, and never the same.
  2. Abbie is a middle kid who must follow in her older brother’s footsteps. He’s perfect, a jock, and the world loves him. Abbie and Peter’s sibling relationship is well portrayed and provides the most change of the characters.
  3. Abbie begins to find her identity in unexpected ways. It’s a lesson that is perfect for all middle school students. Very endearing.
  4. Conflict is everywhere. Friends, teachers, and family all provide interesting subplots and Abbie’s voice shines. She has many amusing observations and sketches.
  5. A supportive family, including Aunt Lisa, and no bullies. A rare happening in MG these days.

FAVORITE LINESOnce everyone was settled, a woman in a frumpy suit walked up to the podium and introduced herself. Mrs. Kline looked nice, but she also looked really tired, kind of like the “before” version of ladies on those makeover shows or like one of those grown-ups who always complains about needing coffee.


Let’s get this out of the way first.

Yes, I work in publishing.
Yes, my name really IS Booki.

Sometimes I joke that I got hired because of my name. Who knows, that might be kind of true.


To be honest, I didn’t plan on working in publishing. Actually, I didn’t plan on studying writing or literature, or anything book-related at all. At one point, I was heading towards biochemistry and pharmacy school. To be fair, at another time, I was thinking pretty seriously about becoming an elephant trainer.

Things change. (Read the rest of HOW I GOT INTO PUBLISHING here.)


Make a comment if you have time. I enjoy reading all of them. Click on the comments link below.

Check the links to other Middle Grade novels over at Shannon Messenger’s Marvelous Middle Grade Monday post.


About Greg Pattridge

Climbing another mountain...always striving to reach the next peak in my life and career.
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14 Responses to FRAZZLED for Marvelous Middle Grade Monday

  1. Interesting author name and weird how that might have helped her work in publishing. This sounds like a book lots of girls could relate to.

  2. This sounds like a fun book for middle graders. I don’t like to gender books, but sometimes it needs to be done and I like the idea of this being like a girl’s Wimpy Kid..

  3. Love this cover! And there’s nothing like doodles in a middle grade book. This sounds like a great book.

  4. This is a great cover and a title! I like strong protagonists who find their way and with their own style. Sounds like a fun read.

  5. I think my middle school daughter might like this one. Thanks for the review! 🙂

  6. cleemckenzie says:

    Kids this age are so in need of stories to show them they aren’t the only ones feeling insecure.

  7. This book sounds completely delightful!

  8. taracreel says:

    I love this title. Such a middle grade thing to think and shows the voice without even opening the book. Great review!

  9. I have to get this for my kids! Thanks for the heads up.

  10. The doodle of Booki on an elephant is totally endearing, and if it’s any indication of what the illustrations are like inside Frazzled, I’m already drawn in (no pun intended…maybe). The idea of a lunch time food trading scheme has a lot of fun potential!

  11. jennienzor says:

    This sounds like a lot of fun. A lot of kids have a hard time with this transition. And I could relate to the quote from Abbie too. Middle school was my least favorite time in school–but it sounds like this book brings some laughs to that awkward time. And yay for no bullies! Thanks for featuring this!

  12. You make this one sound really, really worth getting and reading. I especially like the idea of Abbie finding her own identity while living in the large shadow her perfect brother casts. Thanks for a great review.

  13. Andrea Mack says:

    What an entertaining cover! I really like your description and comments about this, so I’m going to be looking for it. Thanks for the review!

  14. Pingback: FRAZZLED #2 | Always in the Middle…

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