Minneapolis, MN (Vocus) February 3, 2010
Life in a family isn’t always perfect. Fortunately, the new book What’s Up with My Family? (Free Spirit Publishing) is here to help. Part graphic novel, part nonfiction advice, the third book in the Middle School Confidential series follows these six characters as they deal with tween and teen issues that can come up in any home.
What is it about families that can drive middle schoolers crazy?
“I don’t know how to get across to my dad that when I ‘argue’ I’m just trying to show him my point of view.”—Bibi, 12
“My parents always ask me to do stuff with them. Maybe they like going on hikes, but I’d rather be on the computer or watch TV. Why can’t they respect that?”—Jerry, 14
When it comes to the middle school years, it can feel like everything is changing at once, including family dynamics. Will you ever be able to do things on your own, without your parents hovering? How will you follow your grandparent’s rules when they seem so outdated? And what is the secret to surviving family transitions like a move or a parent’s job loss?
Part graphic novel, part nonfiction advice, What’s Up with My Family? (Free Spirit Publishing, $9.99) by Annie Fox is here to help. The third book in the Middle School Confidential™ series follows six fictional characters as they deal with tween and teen issues that can come up in any family, such as sibling conflicts, disagreements with parents, and battles over home responsibilities. There’s also expert advice for more serious family challenges such as divorce, remarriage, and a parent’s absence.
What’s Up with My Family? features full-color illustrations, quotes from real kids, lists of helpful tips for getting along, fun quizzes, up-to-date resources for further research, and compelling character narratives. Here is some of what kids will find inside:
- Advice for passing up on “fuel-ish thinking”—runaway thoughts that can escalate bad feelings at home
- 6 tips for staying cool in hot-button situations
- Ideas for getting on the same page with parents, siblings, and others at home
- Advice for tough times—like divorce or the loss of a loved one
- Suggestions for being responsible and earning more independence
- and much more
Life can be tough enough without feeling like your home life is tough, too. By exploring this helpful book, young people will discover new strategies for making peace at home and the reassurance that all families have issues. As author Annie Fox explains, “It’s normal for family members to have trouble getting along all of the time. But normal doesn’t have to mean necessary. No matter what’s up with your family, you can find out a lot from the stories in What’s Up with My Family?.
Free Spirit Publishing
bowring (at) freespirit.com
About the author
Annie Fox, M.Ed., graduated from Cornell University with a degree in human development and family studies and completed her master’s in Education at the State University of New York at Cortland. After a few years teaching in the classroom, computers changed her life and she began to explore how technology could be used to empower teens.
Annie has since contributed to many online projects, including as creator, designer, and writer for the The InSite—a Web site for teens taking on life’s challenges. She also answers questions for the Hey Terra! feature as an online advisor for teens. Her Internet work (http://www.anniefox.com) has contributed to the publication of multiple books, including Too Stressed to Think? and the Middle School Confidential series. Annie also is available for public speaking engagements and workshop presentations on teen and parenting issues.
When not answering Hey Terra! letters, Annie enjoys yoga, meditation, cooking, hiking, traveling, and, most of all, spending time in California, where she lives with her husband, David, and the rest of her family.
About the Illustrator
Matt Kindt was born in 1973 to a pair of artistically supportive parents. Living briefly in New York, Matt has spent most of his years in the Midwest, and the last 15 years in Webster Groves, Missouri, a suburb of St. Louis. In middle school, he would often create mini-comics featuring the teachers, to the delight of his fellow classmates. Matt is the Harvey Award–winning writer and artist of the graphic novels Super Spy and 2 Sisters and co-creator of the Pistolwhip series. He has been nominated for four Eisner and three Harvey Awards. In addition to graphic novels, Matt also works as a freelance illustrator and graphic designer. When he is not working, Matt enjoys long trips to the playground with his wife and daughter.