When my son was in his tween years, I remember one of my friends describing middle school as ‘that place they send kids while they’re trying to figure out who they are.’ This age can really be rough on everybody–and there are non-trivial issues kids have to deal with. A refreshing new app by Electric Eggplant is designed to address many of these topics.
The team behind the app includes the talents of David and Annie Fox, two experienced designers who’ve worked on many bestselling electronic games. Annie is an authority on parenting and produces a regular podcast called Family Confidential.
The Middle School Confidential app actually started as an award-winning series of print books, but it really shines in app form. The app is a story presented in a graphic novel/comic book format, with appropriate sound effects and music playing in the background. Issues like bullying, self-esteem, body image and fitting in are handled in a sensitive but authentic way with no condescension.
The characters are a group of friends in middle school, and the story follows their interactions with each other. The situations shown in the app rang true to me, and the artwork should appeal to tweens/early teens. At the end of each chapter the main point is repeated, but somehow an appropriate balance is achieved, so it never seems heavy-handed. This app is the first in a series, and if the next installments are as good as the first, I’d recommend Middle School Confidential as a great resource for both kids and their parents.
This video is a trailer for the print book series, but the same artwork and music is found in the app:
My daughters are just entering elementary school, and I admit I look upon their passage into middle school with trepidation. Apps like Middle School Confidential will make the journey a little easier! Designed for the iPad, it’s well-priced at $3.99 in the App Store.
(Full disclosure: I received a copy of this app for review purposes.)