Freaky Friday (#1) by Mary Rogers

Published: 1988
Goodreads badgePublisher: Puffin
Pages: 154
Format: Book
Genre: Junior Fiction
★   ★   ★   ★  – 4 Stars

Annabel thinks her mom has the best life. If she were a grown-up, she could do whatever she wanted Then one morning she wakes up to find she’s turned into her mother . . . and she soon discovers it’s not as easy as it looks

This is a great book that covers the wonderful scenario of a child wishing they were a grown up for a day and some how thinking it was going to be fantastic. I rather enjoy these kinds of stories, not entirely sure why but there is the fact we get to read about a 10 year old or a 13 year old or whatever being in an adult body but still having the intellect and thought process of someone younger. Hilarity ensues.

Freaky Friday
doesn’t use a child, Annabelle is 15, but she is someone’s child which is the better focus of the story. Her behaviour is that of a self-centred teenager sometimes and she is portrayed well in that respect. Personally, I don’t think the same story would not have worked if she was any younger or older. Being 15 she is old enough and yet not old enough at the same time which only adds to Rogers’ storytelling.

I used to read this so much when I was a kid, I never found myself wanting to switch places with my mother but I enjoyed the mystery surrounding it and what it was that caused the switch. We do not get to see the switched Annabelle’s side of this story through her mother’s eyes, we just see the results at the end and hear the odd mention as the day progresses.

Adult Annabelle has to deal with the maid, keeping control over the family problems and the issue of missing children. Rogers is very good in writing through the voice of Annabelle as she tries to behave like her mother. You can see she is trying to be responsible while still reverting to age appropriate reactions and slip ups.

Not analysing the short story too much but there is a lot of trust involved here, who knows what Annabelle could have messed up or done, not to mention no one really thought just how weird it could get if your daughter become you and having to deal with all the possibilities your husband might pose. That takes away from the innocence a bit I guess, it wasn’t meant to be a long switch that was the result of something unchangeable.

What I did like about this book as opposed to others in this story is that it was not just a child wanting to be a grown up version of themselves, it was Annabelle envying her mother’s life. I think that’s what gives it that little bit extra, it wasn’t about the child so much as it was about the child and the mother, they are connected. Annabel isn’t being selfish she is being jealous. There are no extreme morals thrown in our faces by Rogers but you do get a sense by the end that every one has had it tough and you can’t just wish things to be better and you should be happy with who you are.

I will also add that personally, if I had to choose a movie adaptation, I would got with the 1976 Jodie Forster and Barbara Harris version. Disney, for some unknown reason, has adapted Freaky Friday three times over the years, the first screenplay being written by the author, which could explain why it was a better story. But then as we must modernise and make it more relatable to the kiddies a 1995 version was made that wasn’t completely bad, but by 2003 when Jamie Lee Curtis and Lindsay Lohan took a crack, I must say that is where they completely ruined the story for me and I had to go read the book again just to try and forget what they’d done. Though because this was one of my most read books as a child I must always let it win over any movie version.

What I did learn however is that 1. This is the first in a series which I never knew about, and 2. Apparently in 1882 a similar story was written involving a father and son. I think seeing a father and son switch places would be extremely interesting, but coming from the 1880s that has to make it even greater. I found it on The Project Gutenberg site and as soon as I finish I will regale you in its wondrous tale (fingers crossed it is as wondrous as I hope it to be).

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