Future scientist Madeline Little is dreading the start of middle school. Nothing has been right since her grandfather died and her best friend changed schools. Maddie would rather help her father in his research lab or write Standard Operating Procedures in her lab notebook than hang out with a bunch of kids who aren’t even her friends. Despite Maddie’s reluctance, some new friends start coming her way—until they discover what she’s written in that secret notebook. And that’s just part of the trouble. Can this future scientific genius find the formula for straightening out her life?
About the Author
Erin Teagan is a former research scientist and the author of several novels for kids, including Survivor Girl and the American Girl Luciana books. She lives with her family in Virginia.www.erinteagan.com Twitter: @ErinKTeagan
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
The Friendship Experiment based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
This fun and heartfelt book is about a young scientist who sees the word through her own scientific worldview. But faced with a lot of changes and issues in her life, she's forced to adjust to the way the world works — even if it's not all easily organized in her notebook of Standard Operating Procedures.
Things haven't been super great for Maddie since she started middle school. She still misses her grandfather, who recently passed away. Not to mention her best friend, who's attending a different school than she is for the first time. And having random nosebleeds due to a disorder that runs in the family doesn't make things any easier. What Maddie always has, though, is science. Like her father and her grandfather before her, Maddie is a scientist. (And okay, this does mean she swabs random stuff to see what kinds of mold it grows, which some of the other kids thing is a little weird.) What helps Maddie get by is writing S.O.P.s, Standard Operating Procedures. It's as if she can make sense of the world around her better with those handy lists. But in middle school, is science enough to get by on? Wouldn't it help to have some friends in her school? What's the formula for figuring out middle school, anyway? So, to be blunt about it, I LOVED this book. Maddie's voice felt so real to me. I loved her family, too, and the complicated dynamics with her older sister. This budding tween scientist felt utterly authentic, as did her problems and how she tried (not always successfully) to manage them. And then there's heart. Ack! This book has heart in spades. I truly felt for Maddie and her struggle to fit in and be herself in the complicated world that is middle school. One of my favorite middle grade books this year.
Madeline Little believes that every problem, from a scientific experiment to navigating friendships, can be addressed with a standard operating procedure. As a scientist, it’s how she imposes order on her world. But her expectations are upended when she has to face middle school without her best friend and without her beloved grandfather. Her family’s life has always been shaped by Von Willebrand disease, the bleeding disorder that she and her sister share, and which her father and grandfather made their life’s work. But now her sister Brooke is displaying worse and worse symptoms, and Maddie’s determination to become a world-famous microbiologist is tempered by the setbacks she faces when she tries to help out in her father’s lab. Teagan paints a painfully accurate picture of a logical, fact-loving girl thrown into the emotional whirl of middle school. I loved the way that the story gives no easy answers, and when Madeline tries to repair her relationships, not every comes around. With the help of her family and a few good friends, she is able to find her way back to what matters to her, but it comes with a painful lesson: there is no standard operating procedure for life.