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The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo

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Overview

Lately second grader Freddy Dissel has that left-out kind of feeling. Life can be lonely when you're the middle kid in the family who feels like "the peanut butter part of a sandwich," squeezed between an older brother and little sister. But now for the first time it's Freddy's chance to show everyone how special he is and, most of all, prove it to himself!

Second-grader Freddy hates being the middle one in the family until he gets ...

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The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo

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Overview

Lately second grader Freddy Dissel has that left-out kind of feeling. Life can be lonely when you're the middle kid in the family who feels like "the peanut butter part of a sandwich," squeezed between an older brother and little sister. But now for the first time it's Freddy's chance to show everyone how special he is and, most of all, prove it to himself!

Second-grader Freddy hates being the middle one in the family until he gets a part in the school play.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Squeezed between a big brother and a kid sister, Freddy employs newfound histrionic abilities to escape being ``the peanut butter part of a sandwich.'' Ages 5-8. (July)
School Library Journal
Gr 1-3-- First published in 1969 with turquoise and yellow pictures by Lois Axeman (Reilly & Lee, 1969; o.p.), this was substantially updated and revised in 1981 (Bradbury) and reillustrated in black and white by Amy Aitken. That same text has now been reillustrated by Trivas in bright watercolor washes and black crayon line. The multiracial cast of fifth- and sixth-graders still welcome the second-grader; Freddy still proudly sheds his resentment over being ranked as the ``one in the middle'' of his siblings; and the theme of being glad to be you is still validly presented. Trivas's lively renderings depict contemporary children and settings in an edition sized to match her reillustrated version of Blume's The Pain and the Great One (Bradbury, 1984). --Susan Hepler, Alexandria City Public Schools, VA
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440467311
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 7/28/1982
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 39
  • Sales rank: 214,191
  • Age range: 5 - 8 Years
  • Lexile: 310L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.35 (w) x 7.62 (h) x 0.16 (d)

Meet the Author

Judy  Blume

Judy Blume, one of America’s most popular authors, is the recipient of the 2004 National Book Foundation Medal for Distinguished Contribution to American Letters. She is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of beloved books for young people, including Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, and novels for adult readers, including Wifey, Smart Women, and Summer Sisters. Her work has been translated into thirty-two languages.Visit Judy at JudyBlume.com or follow her on Twitter at @JudyBlume.

Debbie Ridpath Ohi writes and illustrates books for young people. Where Are My Books?, the first book that Debbie has written as well as illustrated, launches in 2015 from Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers. Her illustrations also appear in picture books Sea-Monkey and Bob (written by Aaron Reynolds, 2015), I’m Bored (New York Times Notable Book, written by Michael Ian Black) and Naked! (also written by Michael Ian Black, 2015), as well as ten Judy Blume chapter books and middle grade titles reissued by Atheneum/Simon & Schuster. For more info, visit DebbieOhi.com or @inkyelbows on Twitter.

Biography

Before Judy Blume, there may have been a handful of books that spoke to issues teens could identify with; but very few were getting down to nitty-gritty stuff like menstruation, masturbation, parents divorcing, being half-Jewish, or deciding to have sex. Now, these were some issues that adolescents could dig into, and Blume’s ability to address them realistically and responsibly has made her one of the most popular – and most banned – authors for young adults.

Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret, published in 1970, was Blume’s third book and the one that established her fan base. Drawing on some of the same things she faced as a sixth grader growing up in Elizabeth, New Jersey, Blume created a sympathetic, first-person portrait of a girl whose family moves to the suburbs as she struggles with puberty and religion. In subsequent classics such as Then Again, Maybe I Won’t, Deenie, Blubber, and Tiger Eyes, Blume wrote about the pain of being different, falling in love, and figuring out one's identity. Usually written in a confessional/diary style, Blume’s books feel like letters from friends who just happen to be going through a very interesting version of the same tortures suffered by their audience.

Blume has also accumulated a great following among the 12-and-under set with her Fudge series, centering on the lives of preteen Peter Hatcher and his hilariously troublesome younger brother, Farley (a.k.a. Fudge). Blume’s books in this category are particularly adept at portraying the travails of siblings, making both sides sympathetic. Her 2002 entry, Double Fudge, takes a somewhat surreal turn, providing the Hatchers with a doppelganger of Fudge when they meet some distant relatives on a trip.

Blume has also had success writing for adults, again applying her ability to turn some of her own sensations into compelling stories. Wifey in 1978 was the raunchy chronicle of a bored suburban housewife’s infidelities, both real and imagined. She followed this up five years later with Smart Women, a novel about friendship between two divorced women living in Colorado; and 1998’s Summer Sisters, also about two female friends.

Blume has said she continually struggles with her writing, often sure that each book will be the last, that she’ll never get another idea. She keeps proving herself wrong with more than 20 books to her credit; hopefully she will continue to do so.

Good To Know

Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing was inspired by an article given to Blume by her babysitter about a toddler who swallowed a small pet turtle. She wrote a picture book introducing Fudge (based on her own then-toddler son), the turtle, and older brother Peter; but it was rejected. A few years later, E. P. Dutton editor Ann Durell suggested that Blume turn the story into a longer book about the Hatcher family. Blume did, and the Fudge legacy was born.

Blume is not an author without conflict about her station in life. She says on her web site that, as part of her "fantasy about having a regular job," she has a morning routine that involves getting fully dressed and starting at 9 a.m. She has also getting out of writing altogether."After I had written more than ten books I thought seriously about quitting," she writes. "I felt I couldn't take the loneliness anymore. I thought I would rather be anything but a writer. But I've finally come to appreciate the freedom of writing. I accept the fact that it's hard and solitary work."

Blume's book about divorce, It's Not the End of the World, proved ultimately to be closer to her own experience than she originally imagined. Her own marriage was in trouble at the time, but she couldn't quite face it. "In the hope that it would get better I dedicated this book to my husband," she writes in an essay. "But a few years later, we, too, divorced. It was hard on all of us, more painful than I could have imagined, but somehow we muddled through and it wasn't the end of any of our worlds, though on some days it might have felt like it."

Her most autobiographical book is Starring Sally J. Friedman as Herself, says Blume. "Sally is the kind of kid I was at ten," Blume says on her web site.

Blume keeps setting Fudge aside, readers keep bringing him back. The sequel Superfudge was written after tons of fans wrote in asking for more of Farley Hatcher; again more begging led to Fudge-a-Mania ten years later. Blume planned never to write about Fudge again, but grandson Elliott was a persistent pesterer (just like Fudge), and got his way with 2002's Double Fudge.

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    1. Hometown:
      New York's Upper East Side, Key West, and Martha's Vineyard
    1. Date of Birth:
      February 12, 1938
    2. Place of Birth:
      Elizabeth, New Jersey
    1. Education:
      B.S. in education, New York University, 1961
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 8 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 8 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 7, 2010

    Bought while hoping

    Our 8 year old daughter is not a fan of reading. We've looked for books that might retain her interest without luck before deciding on this one. I read Judy Blume when I was a kid and thought that maybe she would enjoy it to. Not only did she READ the book, she also enjoyed it. She was thrilled by the characters and talked to us about the things she read, getting excited about it all. For kids who just don't think they will ever enjoy reading, Judy Blume is definitely an author to consider!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 26, 2008

    I loved this book!!!

    This book teaches you that it doesn't matter how small you are if you want to do something because it just matters if you have the talent.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 24, 2008

    Wonderful Wow!

    I am the middle child and when I read this book I liked it because I felt like Freddy. When I finished reading it made me feel better.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 7, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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    Posted November 18, 2009

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    Posted May 11, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 27, 2010

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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