May 21, 2013

Tween Tuesday: The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale

 4 fudgy brownies.

Cover Love:
Yes, very eye catching!

Why I Wanted to Read This:
I ordered it for my library and it was the first book I pulled out of the box.  Caught my eye right away!  Here's the synopsis from GoodReads:
The rules governing middle school are often a mystery, but for Eric Haskins, they’re a mystery he needs to solve, and fast. He’s a normal, average kid, until sixth grade starts. For some inexplicable reason, the class bully and his pack make Eric the Grunt. Even his best friend since first grade turns on him. Eric can’t figure out why he’s the Grunt until he hears about the Bully Book, a cryptic guide that teaches you how to “make trouble without getting in trouble, rule the school and be the man” and how to select the Grunt-the kid who will become the lowest of the low.

Eric Haskins may be this year’s Grunt for now, but he’s determined not to stay at the bottom of the social ladder forever.

Romance?: No but some sixth grade crushes are talked about.

My Thoughts:

This was such a good commentary on how people follow the herd.  Nobody really had any reason to not like or target Eric, they just did it because Jason started it.  The author of The Bully Book had the hierarchy of life in a classroom nailed and everyone who used the book from then on used it perfectly.  The sad part is that people who knew better, people who should've been better, still followed along.

I don't know that Eric and Donovan's friendship would've ever lasted because Donovan obviously wanted popularity, but he was an ass.  I really wanted a scene where Eric had it out with Donovan and he admitted what he did was wrong.  But that's not true to life.

Melody really drove me nuts.  I can't believe she kept asking Eric why he was mad at her.  Really?  Really?  Are you that wrapped up in yourself?  His life was miserable and you didn't help at all!  Of course he is made at you and he should be.  Smiling at him once doesn't change how you haven't been there all year.  Again, that is pretty true to life, but it was very frustrating!

I think the worst part is that most kids get this without having a book or manual to give them each step.  It's so easy for them to turn on others for no reason.  I see it every single day in the middle school, especially sixth grade.  People say high school is the worst for kids and I think it can be bad, but I think middle school is actually the worst. 

I didn't like the ending.  I get it, the author is basically saying things don't change, and I know they don't.  But, I wanted Eric to make them change.  Or at least to be able to go forth into middle school with more hope.  He changed how he felt, but I don't know if it was enough.

To Sum Up:  A book that many, many kids could benefit from reading, from the top of the social hierarchy on down!

Book bought for my library.

1 comment:

  1. I've read somewhere that The Bully Book is similar to The Fourth Stall by Chris Rylander, which I unfortunately haven't read yet either. I'll have to see if it shows up in my library.