Monday, February 5, 2018

Beatrice Zinker Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes

*Current Giveaway*

Welcome to Middle Grade Monday! Today I am reviewing Beatrice Zinker Upside Down Thinker by Shelley Johannes. Don't forget to swing by MMGM central and check out the other middle grade blogs at Always in the Middle.

The Story-
Beatrice Zinker loves to be upside down. It not only helps her think better, but allows her to see the world from a different perspective. Her best friend in second grade, Lenny, is always there for all of Beatrice's crazy schemes. On the last day of school, Beatrice is awarded the "Best Upside Down Thinker" award from her teacher. A plan for third grade forms, and Lenny, as always, is along for the fun.

On the first day of third grade, Beatrice is ready for Operation Upside. Dressed in her ninja costume, she is eager to meet Lenny, who has been away all summer. But, the girl who walks into class doesn't look like Lenny. Not only is she not wearing her ninja costume, but she is dressed in pink, with curly hair and no glasses! What happened? Plus, she seems to have found a new best friend.

Beatrice doesn't understand what is going on, but she still prepares to secretly meet Lenny at recess so they can get Operation Upside started, but Lenny isn't interested and wants to play with her new friend. Beatrice is more confused than ever, but instead of giving up, she uses her topsy-turvy brain powers to think of a way to save her friendship and still run Operation Upside.

My Thoughts-
This book is  so fun to read. From the get-go Beatrice is a hoot,but not only that, she is kind and creative. I loved that her ability to be upside down all the time allowed her to think of how to fix different situations. In particular, she doesn't get cruel, mad or vindictive when Lenny doesn't seem to want to be her friend anymore. For most kids, their reaction would be upset, but for Beatrice it is just confusion and the thought, "How can I fix this?"

Beatrice is a character that a child can love. She represents the best part of friendship, someone that allows room for growth and doesn't bring jealousy to the table. In fact, her kindness becomes evident in the end when Operation Upside is totally revealed. It is a plan to find out the best about her classmates and then each day award one with an Upside award so that they feel special, just like she did when she got her award at the end of second grade.

I also need to mention the illustrations. I truly enjoyed watching all of Beatrice's upside down antics through the use of pictures. You can just imagine how it would feel to tie your shoe, but be upside down. The comedy evoked by the illustrations really adds that bonus content that kids will love. I'm giving this book 5 stars!


  1. This sounds like a book many kids would gravitate towards. Such a fun plot with endearing characters. I've added it to my TBR list. Thanks for the review.

  2. I read this book out loud to my kids and we all loved it. So much fun! And the illustrations are SO cute!

  3. I want to read this too. Thanks for sharing the post today.

  4. I like your description and review. Sounds like a sweet character and story of friendship. I added it to my list. Thanks.

  5. My mother always used to "stand on your head" and think about a situation. So, I love the idea of a story about a girl who does just that and views her world with a different perspective. I want to read this! Thanks for a great review.

  6. I confess, when this first sounded like another 'except the best friend had moved on, and was in a new stage with a new friend' book, I wondered if I would want to read it since I've seen that a lot of late. But this upside down approach sounds like it brings exactly the fresh air needed, and I love that Beatrice is such a positive, generous soul. Thanks so much for sharing!

  7. I love the title. That alone would make me buy this book. Thanks for the review. I think I will check this one out.

  8. I just love this cover. It fits perfectly with the title.