Available in the App Store

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Middle School Confidential is a series of print books written by teen expert and anti-bullying activist Annie Fox and illustrated by Matt Kindt. Electric Eggplant, founded by Annie and husband, David, has successfully brought Book 1, Be Confident in Who You Are, and now, Book 2, Real Friends vs. the Other Kind to iTunes. Middle School Confidential apps are iPad only.

Though the series has been developed for kids ages 8-14 some chapters can be used with younger children. Book 2 addresses relationship issues; such as making friends, resolving disputes, dealing with gossip, exclusion and cyber bullying. Not only do the books contain thought provoking situations, but just as importantly, offer possible solutions the kids could use.

The app is easy to navigate, providing a method for the reader to move between chapters easily, and has been designed to remember where the reader left off. Two modes for reading the app are available, full page or zoom. Enhanced sound effects are available in the zoomed-in mode. The music and sound effects enhance the stories nicely, without being distracting. The books are more like comic books than the layout of a traditional book which I think is one more reason the books appeal to tweens and teens. The book is not narrated so the reader will need to be able to read or have someone to read to them.

Interactive quizzes help the reader in understanding why some choices are better than others. For example, after answering the 10 questions that make up the “What Would You Do?” quiz, suggestions are provided on how you could possibly improve and be a better friend. This was one chapter I have used with my kids who are younger than age 8. The chapter and quiz provided a good opportunity to talk about not judging people based on their clothes, looks and so on.

“About the Cast” is a section that introduces the reader to the main characters; providing good insight to who they are which may help in understanding why they may react a certain way in the different situations covered in the app.

Be sure to check out the Leader’s Guide to the Middle School Confidential Series, http://www.middleschoolconfidential.com/msc2/. The guide contains discussion questions, activities, and ideas on how to use this book in a classroom or group setting.

A privacy policy is available on-line; the app does not collect data, does not contain ads, in-app purchases or social media links; however the app does contain a number of external links, links to other apps and web sites for the developer, publisher, etc. The links are tucked away under the information menu and appear at the end of the story.

Bottom line

I highly recommend downloading Middle School Confidential 2: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind. It’s an invaluable tool for kids, parents, teachers and counselors.
Middle school social drama can flare up without warning and turn your world upside down. At times like this, you may wonder, “Who are my real friends?” Based on the second book in the award-winning Middle School Confidential™ series, Real Friends vs. the Other Kind follows Jack, Jen, Chris, Abby, Mateo, and Michelle from the first app as they forge friendships and navigate tough social situations. They run into relationship issues such as making friends, resolving disputes, and dealing with gossip, exclusion, and cyberbullying.

Written by teen expert and anti-bullying activist Annie Fox, illustrated by Matt Kindt, and published by Free Spirit Publishing, this graphic novel app enables readers to zoom right into the story world. The app puts decision-making power into the hands of readers, with interactive quizzes that test what a real friend would do in a given situation. With beautiful full-color illustrations and richly layered audio made up of movie-like sound effects and music, Real Friends will be a surefire hit with 8- to 14-year-olds (even those who don’t like to read!). As a bonus for parents and teachers, this app puts thought-provoking storytelling and solutions into the hands of teens who deal with tricky friendship issues every day. It will challenge teens to think about their friendships in new ways and encourage them to stand up for themselves and be more empathetic.


Regular price: $2.99