Book Reviews

The Bully Book- Eric Kahn Gale

TheBullyBook Eric Haskins assumes sixth grade will be another typical school year & hopes that it might even be better; considering they’re now the big fish in the little elementary school pond. However, when his best guy friend Donovan and his best girl friend Melody ditch him for Jason “Crazypants” Crazinksy, the biggest bully in their grade, he realizes that he’s now a guppy in a pond overflowing with sharks.  For seemingly no reason, nearly everyone in the sixth grade has turned on Eric. They taunt him, call him “The Grunt,” spread rumors about him, and discourage anyone from being his friend. When Eric discovers there’s a secret “bully book” he’s determined to find out who wrote it, who has it, and why he’s been deemed this year’s “Grunt.” Chapters alternate from the mysterious “Bully Book” (which instructs kids how to be “cool,” tells them to pick one kid and make his life miserable) to Eric’s journal entries. When Eric finally gets his hands on the book, he’s upset yet relieved to find out the reason why he was chosen: “The Grunt is someone who does not know who he is. And you are someone who tells him who he is. He is the Grunt” (157). Eric rips out the pages from his journal and inserts them between chapters of the bully book. Perhaps his entries will deter the next three kids who will inherit the book the following school year from becoming jerks. Eric realizes that in order to stop being “The Grunt,” he needs to stop acting the part and more importantly, believing in it.

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