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The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo
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The One in the Middle Is the Green Kangaroo

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3.63 of 5 stars 3.63  ·  rating details  ·  1,589 ratings  ·  54 reviews
Quintessentially funny Judy Blume!

Second grader Freddy Dissel has that left-out kind of feeling. Life seems lonely when you're the middle kid in the family. Freddy feels like "the peanut butter part of a sandwich," squeezed between an older brother and little sister. But now for the first time it's Freddy's chance to show everyone, including himself, just how special he is
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Paperback, 48 pages
Published July 15th 1982 by Yearling (first published 1969)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 2,372)
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Dolly
Jan 22, 2013 Dolly rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: parents reading with their children
I have always enjoyed Judy Blume's books. I loved them when I was a child and I'm excited to share them with our girls. I usually associate her work with middle-grade and YA fiction, but she also has a few fun picture books, too.

This is a fun story about the frustration of being the middle child as well as one boy's efforts to find a place in the spotlight. The narrative is short and engaging and the illustrations are colorful and complement the story nicely. I don't remember this story from my
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Megan Cureton
This is a story about a young boy named Freddy that is a middle child. He has an older brother named Mike and a younger sister named Ellen. Freddy always is being stuck with Mike's old clothes and Ellen has a room to herself and Freddy had to move in with Mike. Freddy always wanted to do something special that neither Mike or Ellen have done, so he auditioned for a school play. To his surprise, he got the part of a green kangaroo and all he had to do was hop around on stage. The day came for the ...more
Julie Decker
Freddy is a middle child. He has a lot of trouble getting attention because his brother and sister are always getting it all, and he decides to prove his individuality by getting a part in a play.

I think middle children will especially appreciate this, of course, but most children can relate to having to fight for attention and search for what makes them special. And as usual, Judy Blume works her magic on the kid logic, making this a book children will relate to.
Jordan
You can see the full review of this book on Jordan's Jewels

Judy Blume is one of my favorite childhood authors. Her writing style is as unique as her characters.

The One In The Middle Is The Green Kangaroo's Freddy Dissel is a run of the mill middle child. Ever since he was born... read the rest of the review here
Kim
I always enjoyed reading Judy Blume when I was younger, and this book is a wonderful transition book for kids. It is a great example of how even the middle child can do something different from the older and younger siblings to stand out. I was cheering this little guy on throughout the story. A real feel-good story. I will have this in my own classroom library.
george
Freddy Dissel is having a hard time. His older brother, Mike, gets all new clothes and Freddy only gets Mike's old ones. Mike won't let him play with him. Freddy's younger sister, Ellen, is just a baby. She got Freddy's old room, and Freddy was forced to move into Mike's. Plus, Ellen is just a baby, and can't play the games that Freddy wants to play. Freddy feels like no one notices him. But then he sees that a play is going to be performed at school. If he was in the play, then someone might no ...more
Emily
This book allows the middle child, who always feels left out and ignored, a chance to shine. Many children can relate to this, especially a middle child. The student is allowed to be in an older kids play, being the green kangaroo. This was a good book by Judy Blume, but she has better ones.
Stephanie
This was a sweet little story about a middle sibling finding something he liked and enjoyed as a means of standing out among his siblings. Through his interest in a school play, he begins to explore who he is outside the context of his family/home life, and it is all explained in a very simple, easily digestible story for young readers.
Amanda
I really enjoyed reading this book. I liked the idea that the main character may relate to a student who feels invisible and found a way to stand out. I enjoyed reading how excited the boy felt when he was finally noticed. This is a great book for students who don't necessary need to rely on the pictures to understand the text.
Amber the Human
Cute. Blume does a good job, as she always does, of capturing a child's angst. It's nice to see this kid get some recognition and get put in a school play (and not just any school play, it's a school play cast with older kids).
Swankivy
Very cute book where a middle child finds his specialness and identity, driving home the point that everyone is unique and needs to find their own path. I didn't relate to it much personally because I was an eldest child, not a middle child, but I thought about my sister sometimes while reading it and wondered whether being a middle child was ever like this for her. (Though I knew she didn't really have the hand-me-downs problem because we were about the same size for our entire lives.) I think ...more
Brenda
very short sweet early novel about a middle child and an event to help him feel like an individual instead of just "the peanut butter in the sandwich" of his life.

great for 5 to 8 year olds.

Summer
This is a fun book. Short too. It is told about the middle child in the family and how one can shine. I really enjoyed it. Judy Blume is just good.
Marcia
A perfect beginning chapter book, especially for the much maligned middle child. Stands up to the test of time and feels classic with "vintage" illustrations.
Jana
This was the book Ella chose this week from the school library. I was so excited because I also read this as a child. Just love Judy Blumenthal.
Katie Curry
Freddy Dissel, a second grader, always felt like he was left out. He wasn't big enough to play with his big brother and was too big to play with his little sister. Freddy hears about a school play and wants to join. When he finds out the play is only for fifth and sixth graders, his disappointment grows; however, Freddy is allowed to audition for the most important part of all. This cute book is great for students who are beginning to transition into reading chapter books, but still into books w ...more
Jana
Cute story about a boy who is the middle child in his family and how he finally learns to feel good about himself.
Amy
Jun 28, 2012 Amy added it
Realistic Fiction, published in 1992 for grades prek-5. Themes include family issues, sibling issues and humor. Freddy is the middle child and tends to be overlooked quite a bit since his older brother and younger sister require more attention. This all changes when Freddy is offered the role of the green kangaroo in the school play. His family is very proud of him!! Guidance counselors could use this book with middle kids and teachers could use this as an introduction to emotions and play actin ...more
Teresa Gartland
This is a realistic fiction book that could be geared towards elementary students. This story is about Freddy and how he feels excluded in his family. Freddy is the middle child and feels like he does not get enough attention from his family because of this and feels he has to do something courageous to get his families attention. Students can connect with this book, especially if they are a middle child. We can use this book to find ways that each student can shine in his or her family. Student ...more
Sarah
The middle child in this family seems like the precursor of Blume's more famous character, The Pain. This youngster is tired of getting the short end of the stick every time: sharing a room, wearing hand-me-downs, and always being second (or third) to experience new things. What can he do that will be special and get him 100% of everyone's attention? A part in the school play is just the answer.

Blume is a master of family dynamics and those scenes involving sibling bickering and the craziness of
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Hollee Young
I like Judy Blume's stories! I think this is a great transitional book for students to read.
Cornelius
The book is about a young boy who is stuck in the middle of his older brother and younger baby sister. He can never get new clothes because he always receives his brother old clothes. He can never get a room of his own because he has to share it with his brother becuase of his younger sister. The young boy just wants to impress his parents. For first grade children, I would use this book in the classroom to let children know although you have a older and younger sibbling, your parents still love ...more
Deanna Colburn
Freddy Dissel is feeling left out of his family, being the middle child is hard for him. He wants to stand out and not be hidden in between his brothers any longer. But now for the first time Freddy gets the chance to show everyone how special he is, he proves to himself that he is special too. This book would help teach the lesson of having confidence and self-esteem to the students. It is a very engaging read and really connects the reader to Freddy by feeling his emotions with him. Overall it ...more
Maura
Sadly I rarely relate to Judy Blume's books - I'm not a middle child, I wasn't anxious to get my period and I didn't know anyone with Scoliosis (Deenie). Nevertheless, these were books that were standard from my childhood. I remember reading them and knowing exactly where Judy Blume's books were located in my elementary library. This story was no exception - I read it several times in 2nd grade if I'm not mistaken. Right up there with Freckle Juice. Not my favorite of them all, but still a good ...more
Joolissa
A second grade, middle child boy who feels neglected and overlooks finds his way into a school play and gets to play a special part. This is a quick tale about how everyone needs to feel special. It's simple, but I think it would resonate with young children who feel overshadowed. It may also open the door to the conversation about how they feel and what can be done to help. Perhaps it will motivate them to find a special activity to do as well.
Olivia
Freddy Dissel is tired of being nothing more than the middle child. Then the school play gives him the chance to be recognized for himself.


Reading Practice, Vocabulary Practice


Book Level: 2.5

Interest Level: Lower Grades (LG K-3)

Fiction/Nonfiction: Fiction

Topic - Subtopic: Arts-Theater/Plays; Family Life-Growing Up; Family Life-Sibling Rivalry
Andd Becker
Delightful is the plot highlighting a second grade boy's development of self-esteem.
But how bizarre that artist Amy Aitken drew fifth and sixth graders short and slight.
In a classroom setting, I would ask students to illustrate this book, showing a realistic growth differential between seven-year-olds and ten/eleven-year-olds.
Izzy
I had to read this book for summer reading back in 2nd grade. It was not really that great. If I were u I wouldn't wast my time on this book. I would advise you to pick up:

The Harry potter books
The view from the cherry tree
The Emily windsnap books
The children of the lamp series
Molly moon books
The lightning theif books
Kirei
This book is about a middle child who gets self-confidence from being a kangaroo in a school play. For a chapter book, it is VERY short. I read it to my seven-year-old in probably under ten minutes. To be honest, I think it feels like one chapter of a longer book.
But anyway, the basic story was still pretty good.
Misty
This book is about finding your place. Freddy is a middle child and feels like he is always left out. Soon he gets a part in a play and this is what helped him feel good about himself. He didn't care that he was in the middle, he was just happy to be Freddy. This is a message I would want to portray to any student.
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Judy Blume spent her childhood in Elizabeth, New Jersey, making up stories inside her head. She has spent her adult years in many places doing the same thing, only now she writes her stories down on paper. Adults as well as children will recognize such Blume titles as: Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret; Blubber; Just as Long as We're Together; and the five book series about the irrepressible Fu ...more
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