Writing a sequel or companion piece is always an uphill battle. If the original work is a classic, the hill looks more like a mountain. While Freaky Monday is a pleasant enough tale, with several moments of amusing plotting, it’s really just an attempted mimic of the original. The pop culture references have been updated (which might only serve to date the story later) and the protagonists fit modern ideals, but it’s all a bit tired. Freaky Monday suffers from not being a unique enough concept. If the author had chosen to really change the premise, sort of how she did in Freaky Friday's sequel, A Billion for Boris, perhaps it might have worked better. But, while the author is a fine writer, the story failed to engage this reader to the degree the original did.
However, there's certainly some students out there who might not have read, nor seen, the original. Since the writing and execution are still fine, they may enjoy the updated pop culture setting and humor of this one. As far as comparative study goes, they're probably far too close for that sort of lesson to work.
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Genre: Speculative Fiction. Age: 9-12. Pages: 192.
Themes: Overcoming Adversity, Humor, Empathy
Thank you to Harper Collins. Read from an advanced copy.
Publisher: Harper Collins. Date: May 2009.
ISBN-10: 0061664782 / ISBN-13: 978-0061664786
Buy Freaky Monday Here
Author Mary Rodgers lives in New York City whereas co-writer Heather Hach (no photo, sorry) lives in Hollywood, California. It must have been a stretch co-writing this novel (awful pun, I know). The first Freaky book has been made into two movies. Ms. Hach wrote the screenplay for the second one.
© 2007-2009 Cheryl Vanatti for www.ReadingRumpus.com