Form and Content

(Survey of Young Adult Fiction)

Freaky Friday is told as the first-person narrative of thirteen-year-old Annabel Andrews. The story opens as Annabel suddenly wakes to find that she inhabits the body of her thirty-five-year-old mother, Ellen. After Annabel’s father (Ellen’s husband) and her little brother (Ellen’s son) leave for work and school, Annabel can freely explore the possibilities of her strange situation. She is delighted with her mother’s body, especially with her teeth, which are white and straight—and without Annabel’s braces. She is also delighted that she does not have to go to school, since she has not even begun her overdue English assignment.

Because she now lives in her mother’s body, Annabel decides to do “motherly” chores. First, she tries laundry, overfills the machine, and puts in too much detergent; the washing machine promptly overflows and stops. After the repairman whom she calls promises to be there next week, Mrs. Schmauss, the housekeeper, arrives. Because Annabel has disliked Mrs. Schmauss for years, she and Annabel “have words,” and Annabel fires her. Annabel then brushes her mother’s beautiful straight teeth, dresses in one of her mother’s slinky black outfits better suited to evening wear, experiments at her mother’s makeup table, and generally has a good time playing grownup.

After lunch, Annabel goes to the liquor store to restock the liquor cabinet. On her way home, still wearing the slinky black...

(The entire section is 595 words.)

Setting

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Freaky Friday takes place in Manhattan, where the Andrews family has a comfortable apartment. (We learn in a later book that it is...

(The entire section is 209 words.)

Literary Qualities

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Rodgers's deft plotting, her expert use of the Manhattan setting, and her accurate ear for teenage language make this an impressive first...

(The entire section is 318 words.)

Social Sensitivity

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

Freaky Friday makes no pretense of being a work of great social significance. The Andrews family lives a comfortable and affluent life...

(The entire section is 211 words.)

Topics for Discussion

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. When Annabel first discovers that she is in her mother's body, she spends a great deal of time in front of the mirror admiring her new...

(The entire section is 191 words.)

Ideas for Reports and Papers

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

1. Imagine that you are Miss McGuirk, Annabel's English teacher. You have just finished reading Freaky Friday, which Annabel has...

(The entire section is 232 words.)

Related Titles / Adaptations

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

In A Billion for Boris (1974), Annabel, Ape Face, and Boris discover an old television set that can broadcast events twenty-four hours...

(The entire section is 473 words.)

For Further Reference

(Beacham's Guide to Literature for Young Adults)

"Mary Rodgers." In Contemporary Authors, edited by Ann Evory and Linda Metzger. Detroit: Gale Research, 1983. Summarizes both...

(The entire section is 136 words.)