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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

3.67  ·  Rating Details ·  2,031 Ratings  ·  71 Reviews
Freddy hates being the middle one in the family until he gets a part in the school play.
Hardcover, 32 pages
Published August 1st 2000 by Atheneum Books (first published 1969)
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Aug 16, 2015 Ashley rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-lit
After I read In the Unlikely Event I decided I finally needed to read (or re-read) all the Judy Blume books, and this one was first in the list. This was okay, but I am definitely not the target audience. Kids would probably like it, though. Obviously.
Jan 22, 2013 Dolly rated it liked it
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
Jan 04, 2017 Dara rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Another classic kids' book, about a 2nd grader who's the middle child at home. He doesn't like to be in the middle. Nothing really belongs to him, and no one pays him the attention he wants. But when he's the star in a school play with older kids, he gets lots of praise. Suddenly he realizes, he's not overlooked after all.

This book was another quick read with my 8-year-old. Scholastic gives it a Guided Reading Level M, so he could have read it himself in a few days. It's divided into 4-5 short c
Kimberlee Gutterman
Freddy was always feeling left out, especially at home because he was the middle child. He no longer has his own room and didn't have anyone to play with. However, he uses the school plays as an opportunity to show everyone how special he is and in doing so he learns himself that he is special. I think a lot of children can relate to Freddy because a lot of children are the middle child of the family and psychologically speaking, they could be treated the same and be feeling the same as Freddy a ...more
Nov 05, 2016 Stacie rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Freddie is the middle kid, he really wants to be in the play. So he gets to be the green kangaroo!
Sep 28, 2016 Kara rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Easy read with James and John. Cute book
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
Jul 19, 2015 Jamie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2015
I suddenly got this wild idea that I would read Judy Blume's entire bibliography this summer. I realized that while there were many of Blume's titles that I loved, there were many I had never read and decided to just do it. I've been in a monstrous reading slump and figured Blume's short, easy reads would be what the doctor ordered.

I'm reading the books in chronological order of release date because I can and "The One in the Middle is a Green Kangaroo" came first. Published first in 1969, it is
Jun 07, 2008 george rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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
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
Sep 01, 2012 Sarah rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: picture-books
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
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
Oct 12, 2014 Maura rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
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
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
Dec 05, 2010 Cornelius rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Jul 01, 2015 Jordan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
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.
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.
Andd Becker
Nov 08, 2013 Andd Becker rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Feb 28, 2016 D'Anne rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children
I listened to this book in the car with my 6.5 year old son. He liked it fine, but we'd just listened to Frecklejuice, which is much better. Plus it seemed like the reader really yelled a lot and that gave me a headache. Middle children might find something here to relate to, but I found it boring and loud.
Mar 31, 2015 Kim rated it it was amazing
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.
Apr 10, 2011 Misty rated it liked it
Shelves: self-esteem
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.
Jan 15, 2010 ABC rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
Dec 01, 2008 Olivia rated it liked it
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
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.
Jun 09, 2010 Izzy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 28, 2014 Stephanie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kid-lit-ya
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.
Amber the Human
Sep 05, 2016 Amber the Human rated it liked it
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).
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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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