Thursday, October 3, 2013

Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers (1972)

Such a strange book.  I always liked the sequel, A Billion for Boris so much better, but no one has ever heard of it (I always liked the equally unknown sequel to The 101 Dalmations called The Starlight Barking better too).  Freaky Friday is a New York City book (unlike the movies, which had a very suburban California feel to them, if I remember correctly).  Other New York City books (or at the very least the New York suburbs) include anything by Judy Blume, and From the Mixed up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankenweiler.  I'm sure if I sit and ponder, I can think of several other New York City books.  In New York City books, the kids all have to take buses, they know about subways and automats, and go to Central Park.  Freaky Friday adds Broadway shows to that mix (if I remember correctly, in A Billion for Boris Annabel and Virginia sing lyrics of Jesus Christ Superstar).  Of course, any book by Mary Rodgers would have at least a hint of Broadway, knowing who she is (Richard Rodgers daughter and writer of musicals herself).

It's wasn't as funny as I remembered it being, but it's still quite clever.  It's very adult, and I'd be curious to get a modern 10 year old's opinion about the book.  Does it still hold up?  Or does it feel outdated?

Freaky FridayFreaky Friday by Mary Rodgers
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Not as funny as I remembered it being, but still quite clever; the last few pages are worth the entire book.   It's a strange book though. It feels a bit out of its time, and there was definitely a line in 1972 between Annabel's mother and the past and Annabel and the feminist future; switching them provided the 1970s reader a look at not only the generation gap but the changing face of gender as well (Annabel's mother would most likely work outside the home today, although having living in some big New York City apartment like they do in this book, she may not have to work).   I've always like the sequel A Billion for Boris better, but people rarely know there is a sequel (the movies, I suppose).  I'm curious as to a modern day 10 year old's opinion - do they find it outdated, or is it still charming and funny?

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