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The Friendship Experiment

4.07  ·  Rating details ·  347 ratings  ·  84 reviews
Future scientist Madeline Little is dreading the start of middle school. Nothing has been right since her grandfather died and her best friend changed schools. Maddie would rather help her father in his research lab or write Standard Operating Procedures in her lab notebook than hang out with a bunch of kids who aren’t even her friends. Despite Maddie’s reluctance, some ne ...more
Kindle Edition, 272 pages
Published November 1st 2016 by HMH Books for Young Readers
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Erika The Friendship Experiment is a really good book. If you like science, you'll love it even more!…moreThe Friendship Experiment is a really good book. If you like science, you'll love it even more!(less)

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Middle school, friendship disasters, and science make up this delightful debut by Erin Teagan. Madeline Little is an aspiring scientist who carries cotton swabs with her everywhere and grows cultures in petri dishes in her bedroom closet. She can’t wait to be a world famous scientist… but she has to get through middle school first. I loved this sweet and funny book!

–Karina Glaser

from The Best Books We Read In January 2017:
Victoria Coe
Mar 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I received an advance readers copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

The Friendship Experiment is a great middle grade book full of heart and humor and SCIENCE! Budding scientist Maddie Little is starting middle school. She doesn't have her best friend, but she does have standard operating procedures (SOPs) that she writes in her secret lab notebook and uses to navigate scary situations, big and small.

From How To Get Out of a Boring Tea Party with a Known Thief to How to Fake Sleep
Jenn Bishop
Feb 22, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Things haven't been super great for Maddie since she started middle school. She still misses her grandfather, who recently passed away. Not to mention her best friend, who's attending a different school than she is for the first time. And having random nosebleeds due to a disorder that runs in the family doesn't make things any easier.

What Maddie always has, though, is science. Like her father and her grandfather before her, Maddie is a scientist. (And okay, this does mean she swabs random stuff
Jul 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: middle-grade
I love stories about friendship, so this one caught my eye right away. A lot of the book is more about understanding what friendship means, rather than watching a strong friendship in the works, and I enjoyed going along on the journey with the main character as she figures it out.

There's some fun science in here and also deeper themes related to loss and adjusting to changes in life. I especially loved the references to Maddie's relationship with her grandfather who has passed away before the b
Ms. Yingling
Jan 13, 2016 rated it liked it
E ARC from

Maddie's sixth grade year is not off to a good start. Her grandfather, a famous scientist who researched Von Willebrand Disease with her father, has passed away after struggling with Alzheimers, and the family is selling his house. Her best friend, Elizabeth, is going to a fancy private school and has too much homework to hang out with her. She doesn't have anyone to hang out with at lunch except for Riley, whom she has taken an immediate dislike to, and several other qui
Ashley Blake
Jun 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade
Loved this heartwarming and funny book about a girl who loves science and is dealing with some big changes in her life, as well as a chronic illness she and her sister share. This book has everything I love about middle grade fiction--the importance of friendship, humor, a messy character who's learning who she is and how to move through the world. Throw in some petri dish experiments and and spider crickets, and this is a book I'll rec to everyone. ...more
Lee Malone
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This fun and heartfelt book is about a young scientist who sees the word through her own scientific worldview. But faced with a lot of changes and issues in her life, she's forced to adjust to the way the world works — even if it's not all easily organized in her notebook of Standard Operating Procedures. ...more
Tom Malinowski
Oct 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction, juvenile
Madeline Little wants to be a scientist and has high hopes to get there while in sixth grade. Her dad works at the nearby university laboratory. Dealing with the loss of her grandfather, starting a new school, making and possibly losing friends, and the fact that her and her sister have a blood disease is all weighing on Madeline so she deals with it the best way she can by writing SOPs, Standard Operating Procedures in her journal. When Madeline makes questionable choices, she needs to decide h ...more
Laura Salas
Throw Harriet the Spy into a blender with The Fourteenth Goldfish, and you get The Friendship Experiment. Madeline has lots going on in her life, with her grandfather's death, the fact that her best friend is attending a different middle school, and the blood illness shared by several members of her family (which is full of scientists). Her attempts to hold on to things and people and to be a perfect scientist get her into lots of engaging trouble. She writes SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) ...more
Jul 30, 2016 rated it really liked it
Maddie’s having a rough year. Her grandfather, who was a scientist just like she wants to be, has just died, and the family is forced to sell his house. If that weren’t bad enough, middle school is starting and her best friend is going to a private school instead of the public school Maddie will attend. To cope, Maddie turns to her first love: microbiology. She swabs for samples, keeps a lab notebook (which includes observations about everything and everyone) and begs for lab time. In the meanti ...more
Aug 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Aspiring scientist Madeline Little is having a difficult time. Her grandfather passed away, her best friend has switched schools, oh and she has a rare blood disorder; Von Willebrand Disease.

With her best friend gone, Madeline struggles to make new friends in middle school. It's especially difficult being around her ever so popular older sister Brooke.

Madeline copes through all this by writing SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) in her secret lab notebook. She's basically constantly writing li
Aug 12, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Such a great read. I was fortunate to read an advanced reader copy of this book, and I'm so glad I got a chance to read. What a great premise, and who isn't a fan of science? Certainly, being twelve is hard, but the characters in this story can kids see that it's not so bad after all.

A great one to recommend this school year!
Aug 02, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read an E-ARC, provided by Edelweiss, of this middle grade story featuring girls who enjoy learning (and science). I found their experiences to be true-to-life, and I enjoyed the unique medical aspect of the story. I look forward to getting a hard copy so I can share it with my students.
Ms Threlkeld
Entertaining coming of age story about a girl starting middle school who makes all kinds of mistakes and has to deal with the consequences. This will appeal to a lot of MG readers.
Casey Lyall
Jul 02, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Still reeling from the death of her grandfather and facing the start of middle school, Maddie is feeling lost. She falls back on what she knows - science. As she finds her way through new friendships and odd situations, she writes up her own SOPs (Standard Operating Procedures) to help figure things out. When her new friends discover her methods, things get messy. This book was so sweet. Full of heart while nimbly navigating the trials and tribulations of middle school along with the rocky road ...more
May 25, 2017 rated it liked it
Its quite a good book
Amy Bearce
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Captures the beginning of sixth grade and tricky friendship situations very well. I liked that there were plenty of adults in the story who were pretty realistic and loving.
Brandy Painter
Originally posted here at Random Musings of a Bibliophile.

I always feel bad for books that come out in November/December. They often get lost in the shuffle as Best of Year lists are made at this time and many are too busy to read new books. If you're not paying attention, it is easy to miss these books entirely. The Friendship Experiment by Erin Teagan is one such book. It is delightful and one of those books that naturally attracts middle grade readers yet I haven't seen many people mention it
Sep 22, 2016 rated it really liked it
Received an ARC of this book. Madeline Little is starting middle school, just after her beloved grandfather who lived up the street died. Her cheerleader sister Brooke moved out of their shared bedroom into the basement laundry room. Her best friend Elizabeth is going to the private middle school instead of the public school that Madeline will be attending. Madeline is very interested in science, just like her father, and not too interested in tofu and hemp clothing like her mother.To cope, Made ...more
I won a copy of The Friendship Experiment from a Goodreads Giveaway.

Eleven-year old Madeline Little is an intelligent, inquisitive and the next Marie Curie in the making. She is going through a few difficult changes in her life; switching to a new middle school that lacks the resources that recognize her brilliance, mourning the loss of her beloved scientist grandfather, fretting about her own father who is working hard to seek a cure for the family's genetic disease, her own turbulent relations
Dec 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: childrens-books
Maddie isn’t looking forward to middle school. Her grandfather died over the summer and they are clearing out his house to prep it for sale. Her best friend has changed schools too. Maddie enjoyed writing Standard Operating Procedures for her grandfather, helping him cope with his dementia as his Alzheimer’s progressed. So she continues to write SOPs in her lab notebook and carry it with her all the time. She brings it to middle school and starts to document ways to cope with middle school and w ...more
Kathy MacMillan
Oct 28, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Madeline Little believes that every problem, from a scientific experiment to navigating friendships, can be addressed with a standard operating procedure. As a scientist, it's how she imposes order on her world. But her expectations are upended when she has to face middle school without her best friend and without her beloved grandfather. Her family's life has always been shaped by Von Willebrand disease, the bleeding disorder that she and her sister share, and which her father and grandfather m ...more
Oct 05, 2016 added it
Shelves: read-in-2016
HARRIET THE SPY meets THE THING ABOUT JELLYFISH in this humorous and poignant novel about science-obsessed Madeline Little, who is missing her only friend, grieving her grandfather's death, and managing a chronic illness that she and her sister both have as she begins sixth grade. Maddie is realistically flawed, adorably prickly, and completely endearing. I was fascinated with the genetic condition that runs in Maddie's family and the way her scientist father and grandfather have dedicated thems ...more
Rachel Grover
Nov 26, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cute story about Maddie who starts sixth grade dealing with family and friendship issues. The mixture of her being a budding scientist, along with an annoying but loveable sister is perfect for MG readers today. An easy one to booktalk and recommend to girls coping with similar issues. This book is a great answer to "What should I read next?" for readers of The Fourteenth Goldfish and The Thing about Jellyfish. On order for my MS library. ...more
Nov 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: kid-lit
This is an amazing book--fascinating subject, different approach to the difficulties of middle school friendships and so full of heart! I totally related to it. And I loved the interweaving of science--brilliant!
Dec 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: giveaways
I was seriously surprised how good this book is - especially considering its for 10-12yr olds. I am very impressed and pleased I won this on a giveaway. I highly recommend it for young girls in your life.
Corabel Shofner
Nov 01, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Scientifically proven that this is an excellent book.
Propht Mwalwisi
Nov 02, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Theresa Grissom
Nov 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: middle-grade, 5th, 4th
Really, really enjoyed this book. :)
Nov 30, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Received as a goodreads giveaway. Wonderful heartwarming story for middle grade readers. Would definitely recommend to a young reader.
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