Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Be Confident in Who You Are: Middle School Confidential: A Review

Be Confident in Who You Are: Middle School Confidential – by Annie Fox with Illustrations by Matt Kindt

Full Disclosure: I was given a free copy of this e-book for the purpose of a review.

I am a huge comic book fan. I created a graphic novel course in my high school because I knew there were a number of students in my school that were reading these types of stories and I wanted to help them get the most out of their reading. Graphic Novels appeal to readers in a different way than traditional texts do. With the advent of e-readers, like the iPad, comic books are now more accessible to the average readers. One graphic novel, Middle School Confidential, does an excellent job of telling an important story for students in Middle School.

One of the reasons I love this app is the way it integrates sound. Chapter 1 is entitled: Do You Like The Way You Look? It takes places in the driveway where some kids are playing basketball. As you move from panel to panel, you can hear the sound of a basketball bouncing on the concrete. When the scene shifts to a local pool, you can hear the sounds of the crowd talking and having a good time. You can even hear the sound of a page turning when you go from one page to the next! I know it seems small, but to a young reader, it is cool to actually hear what is going on in a scene while reading the dialogue.

Each chapter is about certain part of growing up that all of us had to deal with at some point. Self image is a big one in those pre-teen/early teen years and I like the way this story addressed these issues. Each chapter provided a different situation where kids were dealing with real life issues and talked about their feelings. Whether it is about making assumptions, freaking out at friends, dealing with stress and the other issues kids deal with daily, this graphic novel does an excellent job of walking the reader through these situations. After each chapter, there is a nice bit at the end that sums up the story.

One of my final take-aways from reading this graphic novel is that this should not be just given to kids to read. This is something that should be read WITH kids. These short stories are a great jumping off point for deeper discussions. That’s what I like most about the app. It allows for more conversation and that is what some kids need most of all. The chance to talk about many of these issues with another adult might be just the thing a kid needs, and Be Confident in Who You Are: Middle School Confidential provides that opportunity.

Uses: I see this being used in a couple of ways. First, it would be wonderful for parents to use with their own children. Read a chapter a day for a week and have conversations about what is at the core of each chapter. It is always great to read with your kids and even better if the kids can walk away with something important. The other use would be in the classroom. If a teacher has an iPad, they could download the app and connect the iPad to the projector and speakers to play the app for class. Now, the entire class can experience the story and can partake in the class discussion.

Price: $3.99 – This might seem a bit much, but the story and the conversations that can come from it are priceless.

About the Authors:

If you have an App or other product that you would like me to review, please send me an email at OneNerdyTeacher@gmail.com or seem my About Me page for more information.

- @TheNerdyTeacher

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