Review: Katie Friedman Gives Up Texting! (And Lives to Tell About It.) by Tommy Greenwald

Middle Grade Madness

Katie Friedman Gives Up Texting! (And Lives to Tell About It.) by Tommy Greenwald

When a text goes wrong, Katie Friedman learns the hard way that sometimes you need to disconnect to connect.Here are a few things you need to know about Katie Friedman:
1. Katie is swearing off phones for life! (No, seriously. She just sent the wrong text to the wrong person!)
2. She wants to break up with her boyfriend. (Until, that is, he surprises her with front row tickets to her favorite band, Plain Jane. Now what!?)
3. She wants to be a rock star (It’s true. She has a band and everything.)
4. Her best friend is Charlie Joe Jackson. (Yeah, you know the guy.)
5. And most importantly, Katie’s been offered the deal of a lifetime—get ten of her friends to give up their phones for one week and everyone can have backstage passes to Plain Jane. (A whole week!? Is that even possible?)

Title: Katie Friedman Gives Up Texting! (And Lives to Tell About It.)
Author: Tommy Greenwald
Publication date: February 17, 2015

After Katie accidentally sends a text meant for her friend Charlie Joe to her boyfriend and hears Jane, the lead singer of her favorite band, taking an anti-cell phone stance, she decides to give up her phone. When Jane hears about it (she conveniently knows Katie’s boyfriend’s father and is from Katie’s hometown), she offers an incentive: if Katie and ten friends can last a week without their phones, they get backstage passes to her next concert. The catch is Katie can’t tell her friends about that part — that would be too easy.

On some levels I can’t relate to Katie at all. I don’t even have a cell phone, so I’m not texting my friends instead of talking to them (when they’re right next to me!) or ignoring the people I’m out for dinner with in favor of posting on Facebook or Twitter. But I do have an iPad and I’m probably a little too attached to it when I’m home, especially now that I’m playing Game of War so much. The device doesn’t matter. It’s whatever is a distraction from the world around you; it could even be a book.

I enjoyed the range of reactions from the parents, from skepticism to one mother’s near panic at the thought of not being able to get in touch with her son at any minute. I wonder how she thinks her parents coped raising her in a mostly pre-cell phone world. The kids have a variety of reactions as well. Most agree to give it a try, but some don’t last long and take their phones back. This causes a divide between the two groups of kids and things get pretty heated. In the end, they all — especially Katie — learn something about communication and about friendship.

Katie is a character in the Charlie Joe Jackson series, which I have not read. I probably will pick it up because I liked the book and the characters. Charlie Joe appears in this book, and I’m looking forward to a few glimpses of Katie in the Charlie Joe books, as well as getting to know more about Charlie Joe.

4 stars



  1. I have read one other Charlie Jackson story long ago. This one sounds like a cute story. I definitely relate to that mom panicked mom who dreaded not being able to get in touch with her son in an instant. And this coming from one who not only was raised in the pre-cell era, but also raised one in the pre-cell….and is raising another now. NO WAY would I voluntarily go back to pre-cell! LOL. I’d fail that test, for sure!
    Kim@Time2Read recently posted…Review: The Mapmaker’s ChildrenMy Profile

  2. This book is new to me! Plus this book looks so hilarious to me! And I love fun filled books!
    P.S: I also don’t own a phone
    Haniya recently posted…Allegiant by Veronica RothMy Profile


  1. […] Katie Friedman Gives Up Texting! (And Lives to Tell About It.) by Tommy Greenwald, Something Like Fate by Susane […]