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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

3.69  ·  Rating details ·  2,188 Ratings  ·  78 Reviews
Lately second-grader Freddy Dissel has that left-out kind of feeling. Life can be lonely when you're the middle kid in the family and you feel like "the peanut butter part of a sandwich, " squeezed between an older brother and a little sister. But now for the first time it's Freddy's chance to show everyone how special he is and, most of a all, prove it to himself!
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published July 15th 1982 by Turtleback Books (first published 1969)
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Aug 16, 2015 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.
Colton W
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017
Freddy thinks his life is poopy because he is a middle child. But then he tries out for the school play and realizes he is special, and then he decides it's okay to be in the middle. He is happy with who he is. I read my first chapter book! Yay!
Jan 21, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  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
Julie Kessler
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Listened to the audiobook with my son Ben at bedtime. He is the older brother in our house but it helped him see how his little bro feels. Not that he cares :)! Quick and funny it was the perfect story before bed.
Laura |
Aug 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2017
On the frustrations of being a middle child, and the satisfaction of finally finding something he doesn't have to share with his siblings.. I suspect it is fairly accurate.
Nov 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The first chapter book we read the girls and they loved it/ have read it twice since
Miles Ryan Fink
Good book, but very short.

Very short my child finished it In less then 20 minutes. Make it longer please.. Then we would be very very happy.
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: james-john
Easy read with James and John. Cute book
Farah Horigan
Feb 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Very cute and accurate

This book was spot on in a cute and funny way. My middle child loves it! She reads it every night.
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 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
Alyssa Nelson
May 08, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is such a cute book and one I think that kids who are feeling left out (especially middle children) would appreciate. It acknowledges the fact that sometimes having two or more siblings can be lonely because your parents’ attention is split, but it also shows that if you pursue your interests, you can stand out from others and be unique simply by being yourself. Freddy takes an interest in drama, and is therefore able to stand out when he lands a role as a green kangaroo.

The illustrations a
May 23, 2008 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
Aug 31, 2012 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
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
Aug 21, 2013 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 04, 2010 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
Jan 04, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: children-s
Another classic, about a 2nd grader who's the middle child at home. Nothing really belongs to him, and no one pays him the attention he wants. But when he stars in a school play with older kids, he gets lots of praise. He realizes he's not overlooked after all.

This was another quick read with my 8-year-old. It's a Guided Reading Level M, so he could have read it himself in a few days. It's divided into 4-5 short chapters, totaling about 35 pages. But reading it together spawned a good discussion
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 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 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 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
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.
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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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