An iPad App to Help Middle Schoolers Distinguish Real Friends from the “Other” Kind

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Free Spirit Publishing and Electric Eggplant release graphic-novel-style iPad app for "tweens" and teens: Middle School Confidential 2: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind

iPad app Real Friends vs. the Other Kind

Middle School Confidential 2: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind

This sophomore release is even better than its predecessor. Is there any way to give a five-and-a-half star review?
—Padgadget

Free Spirit Publishing and Electric Eggplant announce the release of their new iPad app Middle School Confidential™ 2: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind, the sequel to their iPad app Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are. This continues the story of Jack, Jen, Chris, Abby, Mateo, and Michelle—a tight-knit group of friends in middle school—and follows them as they work to strengthen friendships while navigating tough social situations.

Real Friends vs. the Other Kind is based on Book 2 of the award-winning Middle School Confidential series written by teen expert and anti-bullying activist Annie Fox, M.Ed., and illustrated by Harvey Award–winner Matt Kindt. Designed for 8- to 14-year-olds, the iPad app gives readers a look at how their peers handle making friends, resolve disputes, and deal with common hazards of the middle school social scene—like gossip, exclusion, peer pressure, and cyberbullying. The app puts decision-making power into the hands of readers, with interactive quizzes that let readers choose how they would handle these situations.

“We all want, need, and deserve friends who accept and respect us for who we are. In the emails I receive from teens, friendship comes up more than any other topic. The questions usually boil down to, ‘My friend isn’t being a friend. What do I do?’” says Annie Fox. “I wrote the book Real Friends vs. the Other Kind to empower tweens and teens to change the way they deal with feelings and situations—to show them that they are the key to creating the kind of relationships they want.”

Real Friends vs. the Other Kind makes full use of iPad technology—containing richly layered audio with movie-like sound effects and music and featuring the option to zoom in for frame-by-frame reading or zoom out for a page-by-page view. Interactive quizzes test readers on what a real friend would do in sticky social situations. An auto-save feature recalls your place in the story and a menu page permits jumping to any of the eight chapters. “Meet the Cast” pages include insider information about the characters.

Carisa Kluver of Digital Storytime said, “I thought Annie Fox’s series of graphic novels was cutting-edge in print—Middle School Confidential is even more amazing on the iPad! I am delighted to see the quizzes from the book included in this second app. These interactive activities can help young people integrate the important lessons from the novels into their lives. Electric Eggplant has really perfected an otherwise near-perfect series with this additional interactive content.”

Real Friends vs. the Other Kind was produced by Electric Eggplant and is currently available worldwide exclusively for the iPad for $2.99 through the iTunes App Store in the Education category. The app will soon be available for NOOK Color, NOOK Tablet, Kindle Fire, and other Android tablets.

Last year, Electric Eggplant released Be Confident in Who You Are, the first iPad app in the Middle School Confidential series, which has garnered praise from Common Sense Media, CNET, iPhone Life, Kirkus Reviews, School Library Journal, and Digital Storytime, among others. The app is currently a finalist in the 2011 Cybils Awards in the book apps category. Be Confident in Who You Are is available on the iPad, NOOK Color, NOOK Tablet, Kindle Fire, and other Android tablets. Normally priced at $2.99, it’s currently on sale for $.99 in iTunes.

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Elena Meredith
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