Showing posts with label Elementary Realistic Fiction. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Elementary Realistic Fiction. Show all posts

Sunday, July 7, 2024

The Bully Book by Eric Kahn Gale

Genre: Elementary and Middle Grade Realistic Fiction

Source: I own a copy.


This book is loosely based on bullying the author faced when he was in elementary school. His main character represents so many kids today. Erick Haskins was looking forward to his last year in elementary school. He hasn’t seen his best friend Donovan all summer. When his best friend walks past him and sits with the bullies he doesn’t know what to think. When the Jason calls him the “grunt” he isn’t sure why. He has always tried to stay out of trouble. He has managed to stay out of the way of the school bullies. This year they have decided he is low man on the totem pole, the grunt. As we go through the year with Erick we see his journal of thoughts and learn that there is a “Bully Book”. The book is about his hunt for it. If he can just find it and read it then maybe he will know why he was chosen as the grunt, how to stop being the grunt, and maybe, just maybe prevent this from happening to someone else. If there is one thing he has learned this year is that leaving elementary school as a grunt, can carry over into the next year.

I think this was a eye opener for me. I am a teacher so not necessarily the target audience for this book. However, some of the subtle things I saw happening in the book are things that often happen in today. I had a couple of students who were the target of bullies. I tried my best to stop it in the classroom. Once they left my room I was often unable to protect them. As a teacher this is very disturbing. At one point one of my students stood up for the weak child. She called out the bullies on an issue I had not seen. They work under the radar I have learned. She then looked at this kid and said, “You have got to start standing up for yourself.” He chose to take whatever they gave out and just live with it. Talking to admin. Doesn’t always help.  I now know why my students passed this book around and when they finally put it on my desk, told me I needed to read it. It has characters and situations they can identify with, which makes them feel like they are not alone