Flip Turns

by Catherine Arguelles (Author)

Flip Turns
Reading Level: 4th – 5th Grade

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 stop harassing her. 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.

Kirkus Reviews

A solid whodunit for swimming and mystery fans alike.

School Library Journal

Gr 5 Up--Thirteen-year-old Maddie's life revolves around the family-owned swimming pool. When vandalism and other acts of sabotage plague the family business, Maddie and her best friend Ez are determined to sleuth out the truth and discover who is responsible for the incidents. Can they figure it out before Maddie's family is forced to sell to a large fitness chain? The suspects pile up. Friendships, identity, family pressure to succeed, competition, anxiety, sexual harassment, blossoming healthy romantic connections, and class issues are all explored in this fast-paced read. Debut author Arguelles writes sympathetic characters and dialogue that rings true and genuine to the tween experience. Maddie and her friends are just the right amount of awkward and uncertain while simultaneously operating under a heightened sense of urgency that is entirely age appropriate. Communications via social media sprinkled throughout the chapters add extra texture and authenticity. The author also handles the important topic of consent; this plot line offers a discussion opportunity regarding Maddie's situation, as well as her confusion, fear, and reluctance to tell her family. Healthy relationships are also depicted as a counterbalance. While readers will likely anticipate the ultimate perpetrator of the central crimes, they will enjoy the ride and find the outcome satisfying, organic, and plausible. Maddie is white, and the cast of secondary characters is diverse. VERDICT A recommended purchase for tween collections where swimming, mysteries, and summer romances are popular.--Eva Thaler-Sroussi

Copyright 2022 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

Review quotes

Lexile Measure
Guided Reading Level
Jolly Fish Press
Publication date
September 20, 2022
BISAC categories
JUV028000 - Juvenile Fiction | Mysteries, Espionage, & Detective Stories
JUV014000 - Juvenile Fiction | Girls & Women
JUV032060 - Juvenile Fiction | Sports & Recreation | Water Sports
JUV039190 - Juvenile Fiction | Social Themes | Dating & Relationships
Library of Congress categories
Detective and mystery fiction
High school students
Interpersonal attraction

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