AppStore User Rating:
Middle School Confidential 3: What’s Up with My Family offers sound advice and information for teens and preteens about the complex relationships in various types of families. The graphic novel format will appeal to most kids in this age group.
- Graphic novel format to tempt even reluctant readers
- 38 pages plus Meet the Cast section and quizzes
- Eye-catching graphics
- Outstanding layered sounds and effects
- Easy navigation
This app is very well-designed for the target audience. It’s easy to use and very snappy. The developers have covered all the bases. Middle School Confidential 3: What’s Up with My Family? operates smoothly and complies with all of the standard conventions for ebooks, including allowing users to choose from two modes for reading (a close up version and a larger spread), offers chapter selections, and saves the place when a user closes the app and returns later.
This addition to the Middle School Confidential app series offers some outstanding information and advice for teens and preteens about understanding and getting along with their families. Developers have taken pains to make the characters diverse and their families also represent numerous different configurations. After each chapter, readers can test their knowledge with a quiz, but it’s not the usual “how much did you learn” format. Instead, users are presented with a series of real-life situations involving characters in their own age group with an option to make a decision about how to handle things. A correct choice is colored in green and an incorrect selection leads to a red answer. Both give clear explanations of why that choice would be better or less desirable, and many of the incorrect choices have suggestions about different ways the situation or incident could be handled.
The graphic novel format of this app will entice even reluctant readers to use it. Most will be drawn into the story and will gain insight into their own lives. It’s very nice that the authors include a “Meet the Cast” section that gives background information on the main characters. This book is third in a series and also is a companion to printed materials, so it’s nice to “catch up” in this way if this app is the student’s first introduction to the series. You can read a review of the first app, Middle School Confidential 1: Be Confident in Who You Are by Electric Eggplant, here and the second app in the series, Middle School Confidential 2: Real Friends vs. the Other Kind, here on Best Apps for Kids. Parents and teachers will also want to explore the companion website to find additional activities, lessons, discussion questions, suggestions and more.
As stated earlier, the graphic novel format of this ebook will entice even most reluctant readers to explore the content. The illustrations are clear, colorful and age-appropriate. The background music is at a good level, and the additional sound effects add to the story. The quizzes are written in a clear, personable style that will appeal to students as well. It’s mildly unfortunate that these are called “Quizzes,” though; the name alone may put off some of the students who need the information most.
This app is an extremely good value. Developed by Annie Fox (anti-bullying expert and activist), the information provided is excellent, and it is presented in an easily-digestible format. Every student in preteen and young teen years needs this information, and it’s refreshing to find such sound teaching in such a student-friendly format.
This app contains no outside advertising, no in-app purchases and no links to email. All external links and links to social media are protected by a parent gate. However, the type of gate chosen may or may not be effective for the age group (9-14 years), since it involves solving math problems that many students in the audience can easily complete with mental math. This may or may not pose difficulties for parents or teachers, depending on their children’s rules for accessing the open internet.