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by Wendelin Van Draanen  |  Grades: 7+  |  Ages: 12+  |  Lexile Level: 720

Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen Teacher Guide, Lesson Plans, Novel UnitAbout Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen

In alternating chapters, two teenagers describe how their feelings about themselves, each other, and their families have changed over the years.

The first time she saw him, she flipped. The first time he saw her, he ran. That was the second grade, but not much has changed by the seventh. She says: "My Bryce. Still walking around with my first kiss." He says: "It's been six years of strategic avoidance and social discomfort."

But in the eighth grade everything gets turned upside down. And just as he's thinking there's more to her than meets the eye, she's thinking that he's not quite all he seemed.

This is a classic romantic comedy of errors told in alternating chapters by two fresh, funny new voices. Wendelin Van Draanen is at her best here with a knockout cast of quirky characters and a hilarious series of misunderstandings and missed opportunities.

But underlying the humor are two teens in transition. They are each learning to look beyond the surface of people, both figuring out who they are, who they want to be, and who they want to be with. 


"Van Draanen has another winner in this eighth-grade 'he-said, she-said' romance."
- School Library Journal, Starred review

"We flipped over this fantastic book."
- The Chicago Tribune

"Delightful! Delicious! And totally teen." -- BookPage

"With a charismatic leading lady kids will flip over, a compelling dynamic between the two narrators and a resonant ending, this novel is a great deal larger than the sum of its parts." -- Publishers Weekly, Starred review

Biographical Note From Wendelin Van Draanen

Early Life: I was born on January 6th [1965] to Dutch immigrants (Peter & Mieske Van Draanen) in Chicago, IL. When I was very young, my family moved to California, where I still reside. I grew up with two brothers and a sister. We did a lot of camping and backpacking as a family, and also as Scouts, where we learned useful survival skills and also to appreciate nature.

Education/Careers: I had no visions of being a writer when I was in school and instead graduated college with a degree in ergonomics (for physical therapy), then went to graduate school to earn teaching credentials. I taught computer science and math at the high school level for 15 years. I began writing because I went through some awful times and learned that writing can help you sort out your troubles and find focus. It took about 10 years of active writing / submitting for me to get my first book deal, but the persistence paid off--I now have over 30 books in print (all with Knopf, which is an imprint of Penguin-Random House).

Family: I'm married to Mark Huntley Parsons (also a writer) and we have two sons (Colton & Connor). The four of us comprise the rock band Risky Whippet. (It's the most awesome fun ever!)

Hobbies: The 3 R's--Reading, Running, & Rock 'n' Roll. I played the flute and piano as a child and teen, switched to keyboards in my twenties, finally strapped on an electric guitar in my thirties and haven't looked back. I am a life-long runner. I ran track in high school and have staggered over the finish line of 6 marathons. Contrary to what you may read elsewhere, I am NOT a running nut. I run for sanity, health, and fitness.....and to raise money for and awareness of literary causes.

[Her books include the Sammy Keyes mystery series, the Shredderman quartet, and the Gecko and Sticky quartet, as well as stand-out stand-alone titles: Swear to Howdy, Runaway, Confessions of a Serial Kisser, The Running Dream, and The Secret Life of Lincoln Jones.]

You can learn more about her at or on Twitter @WendelinVanD.

Available Teacher Guides, Lesson Plans, Novel Units, and Activities for Flipped by Wendelin Van Draanen: