Stories about Families
Based on a print graphic novels series by teen relationship expert Annie Fox, the Middle School Confidential 3 app focuses on family relationship issues. The stars of the book app are six diverse friends who share things happening in their lives. Over the eight chapters, readers will dive into real life experiences, including how to deal with hurtful comments, protective parents, family rules that seem too restrictive, strong emotions, conflict resolution, blended and divorced families, and more.
Each chapter starts with a conflict starring on of the six friends. For example, the first chapter focuses on Mateo's feeling that his family doesn't trust him. His family calls him all the time, and they are constantly asking him personal questions. By talking it out, Mateo learns to see his family's involvement as a way of expressing their love. And his family tries to respect Mateo's privacy more.
In another chapter, the focus is on a parent who left the family and didn't keep in touch. When Michelle talks to her mother about why her father left when she was a baby, the discussion triggers a desire in Michelle to find her father. The search ends with the discovery that her father had died; but she gains a grandfather and cousins she had never known.
How This Graphic Novel Works
The stories are displayed in comic style layout, with background music playing. By double tapping on a frame, players make the app zoom in on a specific panel and add ambient sounds appropriate for the situation. From the zoomed-in view, readers can swipe to move to different talk bubbles in the frame and to advance to the next frame.
At the end of each chapter is an interactive quiz. These quizzes ask questions that relate to the story in the chapter. For example, after the chapter about the father who left, the questions focus on "Family Facts," asking readers to answer true or false to statements like: "When both parents live together, families are definitely happier." With the correct answer of "False," the quiz explains that happiness comes from family members caring about each other no matter where they live.
By exploring typical family problems inside of a story starring likable tweens, the reader can easily relate to the story. The stories present suggestions about how one might deal with relationship issues, and in this manner they serve to model helpful behavior for confused tweens and teens. The language used in the graphic novel doesn't pussyfoot around the issues; so readers relate to the discussions because the language seems authentic.
There is a lot of even-keel advice doled out in these stories and quizzes. Many times the app suggests talking things out; so this app might be the springboard families need to clear the air on various family issues.
While not as interactive as other book apps -- there are no animations -- the graphic style creates an inclusive feeling. And while voiced narration would have been fun, the dialogue is powerful and genuine, making Middle School Confidential 3
a captivating read.
The first two apps in this series are also good, and if you want to buy all three, you can save money by downloading them in Middle School Confidential Bundle
Middle School Confidential 3 is an excellent choice for all tweens and teens to explore. If your child is in the target age of 8-14, download this app. You and your child will both benefit.
This Middle School Confidential 3: What's Up with My Family? app review was written by Jinny Gudmundsen.
All tech products are judged on a five star scale by looking at the following factors: fun, education, ease of use, value, and technical.