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What’s Up with My Family?

Middle School Confidential™ Series (Book 3)

illustrated by Matt Kindt

In Book 3 of the Middle School Confidential series, Jen, Jack, Abby, Mateo, Michelle, and Chris realize family relationships aren’t always perfect. Part graphic novel, part nonfiction advice, What’s Up with My Family? follows these six characters as they deal with tween and teen issues that can come up in any home. It features insider information on a wide range of family matters, from sibling rivalry to divorce and other difficult transitions.

Readers will find tips for building trust with adults at home and making family relationships stronger. There’s also expert advice on common middle school issues—like dealing with strong moods and making good decisions in heated situations. Here is some of what you’ll 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!

Filled with character narratives, quizzes, quotes from real kids, and resources, this is a family relationships book for every middle schooler who’s asked, “What’s up with my family?”

Part of Self-Help for Kids®
Free Spirit is the leading publisher of learning tools that support children’s social-emotional health.
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ISBN: 978-1-57542-333-3
Reading Level: Grade 6
Interest Level: Ages 11–14
Guided Reading Level: Y
Illustrated: color illust.
Trim Size: 6" x 8"
Page Count: 96

Praise for What’s Up with My Family?

[What’s Up with My Family?] incorporates a magazine-like design and beautiful graphic-novel-style illustrations . . . Annie Fox delivers valuable, practical advice on family relationships with real-life examples that tug at the heartstrings. I highly recommend this book to children, families, and educators.”—Once Upon a Book

“Using a magazine-style format that is part graphic novel and part nonfiction advice, Fox helps teens work out family problems like sibling rivalry, blended families, over-protective parents, and dealing with loss . . . This short, readable book will attract even reluctant readers with the format and give practical advice for all teens on improving family life.”—VOYA

“In a conversational text that includes page-length illustrated scenarios, bulleted tips, and sidebar-length sections of advice, Fox imparts solid information about family relationships . . . The layouts, fonts, and background colors vary from page to page, adding to the book’s appeal.”—School Library Journal

“Annie Fox does a nice job of showing both sides of how both children and parents feel.”—Amy Barseghian, M.S.E., parent coach

“What makes this book so unique is that not just girls will want to read it! Boys will dig it, too.”—Special Needs Kids Examiner

“The third in the fantastic series of must-have middle school backpack stuffers . . . this [book] looks at how kids relate with their families.”—Reach and Teach

“In her latest book, Annie Fox tackles the universal problem of conflict between tweens, teens, and parents. Families that use this book just might miss out on a lot of the relationship challenges that seem like a rite of passage.”—Tina Nocera, founder, Parental Wisdom

What’s Up with My Family? tackles real-life challenges, from daily drama with parents and siblings to life-changing issues like divorce or the loss of a parent. The book blends the best of ready-to-use strategies with stories from the Middle School Confidential cast of characters. Another brilliant addition to the series!”—Joe Bruzzese, author of A Parents’ Guide to the Middle School Years

Praise for the series

“Smart and funny and real, these tips and tools will help tweens deal with real life issues. I wish I had this series when I was in middle school.”—Ericka Lutz, author of The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Friendship for Teens

“Young readers will be able to relate to the teens in the books and will feel as though they’re having a conversation with their friends. Entering middle school can be tough, which is why it’s great to have a series like this that middle graders can turn to.”—Lori Calabrese, children’s books examiner,

“Thank goodness for the Middle School Confidential series! A must-have for tween girls.”—

“Packed with easy-to-read information on how to not only get through middle school, but how to thrive during these years.”—Callie Feyen, Sit a While blog

“The [Middle School Confidential series] books are fun to read and a must-have for tweens, teens, and their parents. Get them today and start raising confident, skillful kids.”—Dr. Lynne Kenney, The Family Coach

“Recommended resource.”—ParentLife

“We are getting our 5th graders ready for a new environment—middle school . . . Students are taking skills they’ve learned from Middle School Confidential and utilizing them in their daily lives . . . The students who have read the series have had a noticeably improved attitude about entering middle school. That shift in perspective is allowing kids not to dread but embrace their middle grade years. I encourage teachers, school librarians, and parents to get these on your bookshelves. They won’t be sitting idle for long.”—Books That Heal Kids blog

“Annie Fox and the creative team at Electric Eggplant have successfully published a series of comic books for the iPad directed at preteens. These entertaining stories are full of life lessons without being preachy or overly authoritative. Taking stories from actual issues that preteens face, Fox created the comics to help kids cope with things like fake friends, self-esteem, and eating disorders. With advice from a group of awkward youngsters who have their own insecurities, preteens can connect with the characters on these pages and, hopefully, make good decisions in life.”—PadGadget

  • Learning and Laughter Favorite Educational Product Award Winner
  • Common Core State Standards


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