Thirteen-year-old Maddie just wants her classmate, Lucas, to leave her alone. He keeps asking her out—as if she hasn’t already said no a thousand times! Focusing on her competitive swim team, the Electric Eels, Maddie tries to ignore him, hoping he’ll go away.
But then, when someone starts sabotaging Maddie’s family-owned pool—glass on the deck, ketchup in the pool, followed by a “code brown”—Maddie worries it’s her “admirer” trying to get even. After Maddie’s parents rule the problems at the pool just harmless pranks, Maddie and her best friend Ez decide to investigate on their own. Could it be Lucas? And how can Maddie get him to leave her alone once and for all? The future of the Electric Eels and Maddie’s family legacy are on the line.
Title: Flip Turns
Author: Catherine Arguelles
Publication Date: September 13, 2022
Publisher: Jolly Fish Press
Genres: Middle Grade, Mystery
This book was such a fun read for me because it combined my love of swimming with my love of mystery novels. As well, like any good middle grade novel, this book contained some great messages for young readers.
Maddie, our protagonist, is a 13-year-old girl who is just trying to enjoy her life, but this boy won’t stop harassing her. Couple that with someone messing with her family’s pool and you’ll find there is much to discuss in this book. I enjoyed all the representation in this book including anxiety (Maddie) and alopecia (Maddie’s bff). It was well-discussed and represented, and Arguelles wrote it well for her young audience.
There is a great cast of characters in this book including two certain boys who were cracking me up the entire time. Maddie had a great support team as she dealt with things with the boy who won’t leave her alone and things at her family’s pool. They all become Nancy Drew as they work to solve the great pool mystery and deal with a few other issues the group is facing.
Overall, I was so happy to have found this book and would absolutely recommend it for young readers or those who enjoy middle grade mystery (with a hint of innocent romance.)
Before writing novels, Catherine earned a BA in English with a minor in Women’s Studies, and a MA in Psychology, Counseling. She has worked as a counselor with middle school students, a fundraiser for non-profits, and is the proud parent of two feminist readers. She lives in Northern California and her favorite event was once the 100-yard backstroke.
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