Bessica Lefter Bites Back

Bessica Lefter Bites Back

4.2 5
by Kristen Tracy
     
 

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Bessica's settled into middle school life . . . her friendship with Sylvie is back on, she's made some cool new friends, she's dealing with the psycho-bullies, and handling more homework than should ever be allowed. But what's worrying her most these days are her mascot duties. The pressure's on to be the funniest, wildest bear mascot her school's ever

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Overview

Bessica's settled into middle school life . . . her friendship with Sylvie is back on, she's made some cool new friends, she's dealing with the psycho-bullies, and handling more homework than should ever be allowed. But what's worrying her most these days are her mascot duties. The pressure's on to be the funniest, wildest bear mascot her school's ever seen—and to make sure her rival tiger mascot doesn't humiliate her on the field. Is that even possible?

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Will have readers laughing aloud."—Booklist
"[Bessica's] endearing qualities keep one rooting for her."—School Library Journal
"A fun story."—Midwest Book Review
"Informative and worthwhile."—VOYA
VOYA - Laura Lehner
Bessica is back, after having won the coveted school mascot job in The Reinvention of Bessica Lefter (Delacorte, 2011/VOYA February 2011). She is now a bear, complete with giant head and furry paws, so she sets out to learn all she can about the beast in order to increase her bear-iness. In the meantime, her grandmother is spending too much time with her new boyfriend, and Bessica gets in a texting fight with her best friend and is uninvited to her disco/jungle birthday party. This installment of the Bessica Lefter middle school series is not as humorous as the first book, and the characters are not all likable. Many of the kids are unrealistically, unjustly mean spirited, and Bessica herself has a regretful streak of spitefulness. She tends to learn tough lessons the hard way, but somehow things always turn out right and she triumphs in the end. The redeeming factor is the attention paid to issues worth talking about: bullying, our reliance on texting for communication, and the treatment of animals in our society. When Bessica visits the bear park with her family, she is shocked and disappointed by how tame the captured bears are. When she agrees to take care of a friend's pet lizard, she is appalled by the way the feed crickets are enhanced nutritionally for the lizard. Several other threads, including one about the effect of chemical pollutants on animals in Antarctica, make it an informative and worthwhile read. Reviewer: Laura Lehner
Children's Literature - Annie Laura Smith
How can Bessica Lefter handle the other pressures of middle school while she strives to become the funniest, wildest bear mascot her school's ever seen? The rival tiger mascot, T.J., does not make life easy for her either. Can she survive humiliation on the field by that rival? Can she count on her friends to help, or will they abandon her? A texting war with her best friend ends their friendship. Her grandmother has a boyfriend. Bessica has a job lizard-sitting for the cute boy next door. These problems all interfere with her quest to be the best mascot ever. How is she received when she attends a birthday party for her former friend when she goes uninvited? Will this bring her life crashing down around her? Follow Bessica's quest as she indeed ?bites back,' and see how she deals with the problems that seem to seek her out as she makes her way through the sixth grade. The story addresses bullying through showing rather than telling. Reviewer: Annie Laura Smith
School Library Journal
Gr 4–6—In this sequel to The Reinvention of Bessica Lefter (Delacorte, 2011), Bessica has made up with her best friend, Sylvie. She is about to make her debut as the half-mascot of North Teton Middle School. She has found some new friends. Things are going fairly well for her, considering that her grandmother is still on vacation with Willy, a man she met online, and Alice, the other half-mascot, still hates her. Then Bessica learns that T.J., the mascot she will face off against at the first game, plans on humiliating her with a facebomb. She's not sure what that is, but she knows it's not good. Not even feeding the dreamy Noll's lizard while he's away at horseback riding school or her grandmother's early return can distract her from her worries about what will happen. If T.J. succeeds, her whole school will be humiliated. She just needs to decide whether to bite first or bite back—and not get in trouble for it. Give this gently humorous first-person narrative to fans of Clementine who have outgrown her. Imagine Clementine as a middle schooler and you have Bessica. She's often tough to take, but her endearing qualities keep one rooting for her.—Brenda Kahn, Tenakill Middle School, Closter, NJ
Kirkus Reviews
Sixth-grader Bessica's new middle-school persona meets a host of problems, including mending a friendship damaged by mean text messages, facing a bully in her first outing as team mascot and coming to terms with her grandmother's boyfriend. Readers unfamiliar with The Reinvention of Bessica Lefter (2011) may find it difficult to get their bearings in her world. In that book, her habit of acting without thinking resulted in having to start middle school without her best friend but also won her a shared spot as a bear mascot for the school teams. This volume picks up where that left off, without much explanation. Rumor has it the opposing mascot in the first game will facebomb her. Neither Bessica nor readers learn what facebombing actually is in this context until after the disastrous event, in which Bessica literally bites her opponent. Figuratively, she also bites her former best friend, Sylvie, not only through her phone but also through a well-meant but mean-spirited birthday present. The first-person narration barrels along, as Bessica would, with neither forethought nor reflection. After the fact, Bessica spends more time justifying her unthinking behavior than examining it. Without having met her in the first book, readers will not have gotten to know this preteen well enough to understand or care. Start there. (Fiction. 9-13)

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Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780375989612
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
03/13/2012
Pages:
272
Product dimensions:
5.70(w) x 8.30(h) x 1.00(d)
Age Range:
10 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Will have readers laughing aloud."—Booklist
"[Bessica's] endearing qualities keep one rooting for her."—School Library Journal
"A fun story."—Midwest Book Review
"Informative and worthwhile."—VOYA

Meet the Author

KRISTEN TRACY grew up in a small town in Idaho, where she learned a lot about bears. Sadly, she was not clever enough to reinvent herself in middle school. Also, technically, Kristen Tracy never went to middle school. She attended North Bonneville Junior High, where she took classes in industrial exploration (which involved lots of saws), Idaho history, public speaking, and keyboarding. Her least favorite class was PE, in which she was forced to run, tumble, hurdle, play shuffleboard, and perform the flexed-arm hang.

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