Freaky Friday is one of this century's funniest books for young adults. The basic idea—an exchange of identities— is hardly new; Shakespeare, Mark Twain, and P. G. Wodehouse, among others, have used this theme. But Rodgers's application is new: an identity exchange between generations. All the humor of the original idea remains, but added to it is the serious and important question of understanding between parent and child.
When the story opens, Annabel is bright and humorous, but obtuse. A classic underachiever at school, she is spectacularly messy at home, disorganized, and unable to get along with her family (although she does have loyal friends her own age). She fails to see how much her little brother admires her, mistaking his adoration for simple peskiness. She also fails to see that her mother is very much on her side. A day spent living her mother's life shows her these and other truths. The book, then, is about the trials of growing up, presented in an entertaining way that minimizes its overt "message."
At the end of the book, Annabel seems prepared to cope much better with her family and her school. She is ready to develop from an insecure and underachieving misfit to a more mature, open, and trusting person.
(The entire section is 211 words.)