Always in the Middle.
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.
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!