I Hate Fridays collection
The I Hate Fridays collection is a collection of books written by Rachel Flynn and illustrated by Craig Smith. Five novels were written, all involving the trials and tribulations of a set of children attending primary school, and ending in high school in the fourth novel.
The first novel begins in 4th grade and progresses by a grade each book until the 9th grade in the final book. These novels are unique because they are structured as if written by the actual children in the story themselves. The story is split into different sub-stories, all of which are written in first-person narrative from the particular character's viewpoint. In the beginning, the sub-stories were merely one or two pages long and included large black-and-white illustrations, but as time progressed, the stories became more complex in the way they were written. For the last two books, which were set in high school, the stories were around three to five pages long and contained far more text than the first three. This is used to signify the maturity of the characters after time.
- I Hate Fridays
- It's Not Fair
- I Can't Wait
- Worried Sick
- Messin' Around (novel)
The main characters, the ones who write the stories, are listed first. All other characters are listed by their first appearance in the books.
Main characters that write stories
The first character introduced in the book. He is shown to be completely arrogant and holds a very high opinion of himself, believing himself to be more intelligent than all of his peers in the 4th grade. As the story progresses, it is shown Peter does not have any friends because of how much better he thought he was than everyone else. This then causes Peter to feel very worried or scared of going to school, out of fear of the way everyone will treat him. This worry stage is especially prominent in the book Worried Sick, hence the title. In keep with the essence of being better than everyone, a story written by Thadeus shows that Peter is a compulsive liar and an exaggerated one at that, after everyone in the class compares their houses, fathers, cars, etc.
Peter has a younger sister, Sylvia, whom he finds extremely irritating and who constantly calls him Petsie. Peter gains the nickname Petsie for a short time after Sylvia walks into Peter's class with the wrong lunch.
Most likely as retribution for how arrogant he was, a number of embarrassing or unfortunate things happened to Peter in the novels. This includes falling over during a race leading to his pants coming off, exposing his underwear which is believed to be Sylvia's panties due to their pink color, his mother coming along with him to the school camp, her being the only parent there, and a horrible vacation to Disneyland in which everything that could go wrong did, such as Sylvia throwing up on the plane ride there or getting to the actual Disneyland park half an hour before it closes thanks to ill-conceived advice from a stewardess on the plane. Peter submits a creative writing essay about his trip to Disneyland to Mrs Smith in It's Not Fair and it is chosen as the best for that term; however, nobody believes he even went to Disneyland despite bringing back photos and gifts as evidence, due to his compulsive lying.
It is revealed at the end of the book that Peter eventually became a social outcast and disappeared, living a life of solitude deep in the jungle. He became infamous around town, being known as The Enigma. When Peter's father was interviewed on the whereabouts of his son, he blatantly states "I have no son!".
Kathryn is the second character introduced in the book. She is a smart girl but also holds an extraordinarily high opinion of herself (much like Peter) and is incredibly pretentious. She is best friends with Joan although as the novels progress, Joan begins to tire of Kathryn's manipulation of her, as do most of the other characters in the book. She is actively shown to loathe most of the boys in the story and does not wish to be in any type of relationship with males, beginning to hate them even more once everyone enters high school. She is perceived as being a real teacher's pet in I Hate Fridays and acts bossy and uptight towards almost everybody, leading to her friends gradually avoiding her completely as years go by. However, unlike Peter, Kathryn doesn't seem fazed by this at all.
It is revealed at the end of the book that Kathryn entered politics after graduating from university and is the local Member of Parliament. It was rumoured that she might be expanding her politics to Canberra in hopes of becoming Prime Minister. She also still maintains contact with Joan, who works in the parliamentary library.
Joan Smith is Kathryn's best friend at the beginning of the series, although as the series progresses she becomes more of an independent character in her own right. She is shown to agree with many of Kathryn's beliefs and hatred about and against boys but begins to get sick of Kathryn manipulating her and stops being friends with her after time. Joan still has genuine contempt towards many of the boys, especially Mario.
Joan surprised everyone's expectations when she was announced as the top student in the entire 7th grade class at the end of Worried Sick, even beating Thadeus. Thadeus becomes very interested in her after this and they begin a relationship together after Thadeus talks to Joan about her achievements. Thadeus is away on extended vacation in America in Messin' Around so he keeps in contact with Joan through letters, all of which she seems very happy to read.
It is revealed at the end of the series Joan spent as much time as possible at school trying to achieve as much as she could and ended up with a giant folder full of medals and certificates. She then became a librarian, working at various libraries around the state before eventually becoming Chief Librarian at the Parliamentary library in Melbourne. She occasionally talks with Kathryn whenever Kathryn is there to take a break from politics.
Sam Lancer is portrayed as a typical immature grade school boy who revels in many gross and puerile things and loves being able to constantly humiliate and tease the girls. He is awful at all his schoolwork due to the simple fact he does not care. Sam's character does not evolve very much through the series as he is shown to still be as immature and disrespectful towards everyone in high school as he was in the 4th grade. In fact, if anything, he becomes worse and worse with his schoolwork every grade. His best friends are Mario and Johnno, and later Henry, as they share a similar disdain towards school and girls.
It is revealed at end of the book that Sam dropped out of high school when he was 15 and worked a never-ending series of dead-end jobs, none of which he could ever hold down. Realising he needed to get his act together, he went back to university to study as an adult and ended up becoming Professor of Philosophy at Thorndike University, the local university. He is now addressed as Professor Lancer and is quoted as saying in his interview, "Life is merely a string of disorderly circumstances".
David Pierce is a relatively normal boy and best friends with Thadeus after having to sit next to him in 4th grade. He is also the object of many different girls' affections, in particular Kirsty who has a very open crush on him and ends up kissing him in the pantry at her house. David, however, clearly does not feel the same way. He has had a secret crush on Kerrie since the 4th grade and kept it to himself for a long time to the point where it was made certain he did not really like her anymore. He gets a girlfriend called Mary in It's Not Fair. Mary goes to another school and has three younger sisters. A number of other girls also have secret crushes on him but these girls are never revealed.
David has an obsession with soccer, aspiring to be a soccer player one day, but was not good enough to turn professional.
Other articles of the topic Children's literature : Dear Dumb Diary: Live Each Day to the Dumbest, Fuzzbuzz, Peter Goes, List of Thomas & Friends narrow-gauge engines, Witch & Wizard: The Gift, Dead in The Water (novel), Mottainai Grandma
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