The Bully Book: A Novel

( 68 )

Overview

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a record of The Bully Book and what it did to me.

How I fought it, and the way it fought back. . . .

I used to think The Bully Book was a myth. Then maybe a mystery I could solve.

Now I know it's a monster and I'm trying to defeat it.

Are you with me . . . or The Book?

...
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The Bully Book: A Novel

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Overview

To Whom It May Concern:

This is a record of The Bully Book and what it did to me.

How I fought it, and the way it fought back. . . .

I used to think The Bully Book was a myth. Then maybe a mystery I could solve.

Now I know it's a monster and I'm trying to defeat it.

Are you with me . . . or The Book?

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Editorial Reviews

VOYA - Barbara Johnston
Eric was a pretty normal kid going into sixth grade, but things turned ugly very quickly. With the exception of Melody and Colin, the whole class began to pick on Eric. When Colin's older brother mentions "The Book" and how a "grunt" is selected each year, Eric concludes that he has been chosen. Following various clues, he eventually locates the manual. He discovers that the book has been handed down from class to class and dates back many years. The "grunt" is always a kid like Eric who is average and passively accepts the label bestowed upon him. Eric takes steps to counteract the book's poison by rotating its pages with his own painful journal entries. Passing down this revised Bully Book will expose this hurtful tradition and, hopefully, lessen its power. With the voice of the book's original writer juxtaposed with Eric's, this novel grabs the reader at page one. Interspersed humor (bloody boogers and body fluids) lightens the serious tone and the mystery about the manual's author continues almost to the end. Calling upon his own unhappy experiences, the author demonstrates how easily bully Jason "Crazypants" and his lieutenants implement the book's toxic plan for classroom dominance; however, the novel's message about the importance of self-awareness and other tools needed to lessen the impact of bullying is equally forceful. Although it targets the middle school set, this novel will furnish teachers, parents, and teens with ammunition to combat this cruel conundrum. Reviewer: Barbara Johnston
Publishers Weekly
This gripping debut novel, previously published by the author as an e-book, explores school bullying and power dynamics from perspectives at both the top and the bottom of the classroom social order. Excerpts from “the Bully Book” address readers directly, explaining how to rise to a position of power (“You need to pick lieutenants, loyal friends who can help you carry out instructions”) at the expense of the “Grunt,” a student singled out for abuse. Sixth-grader Eric Haskins writes intervening journal entries that detail his growing awareness that he has become his grade’s targeted Grunt. Using the Bully Book’s guidance, three boys mount a step-by-step campaign of psychological warfare against Eric, sabotaging his few friendships, turning classmates against him, and collapsing his self-esteem. Yet an inner resilience emerges as Eric tries to unravel the origins of the Book, a layered and attention-grabbing mystery. Gale’s accounts of bullying are subtle and chilling, but readers will finish the book believing that the humiliations Eric suffers can be conquered. Ages 8–12. Agent: Erica Rand Silverman, Sterling Lord Literistic. (Jan.)
Kirkus Reviews
A meticulous anatomy of a bullying victim. Determinedly normal Eric Haskins is dumbfounded when his best friend, just back from camp, joins with a couple of other boys to call him "Grunt" at the beginning of sixth grade. Pretty soon, Eric is the class pariah; even decent and stalwart Melody turns away. A couple of chance remarks convince Eric that he's just the latest in a long line of sixth-grade Grunts and that the bullies are actually working from a manual. Readers know that Eric's right, because interspersed with his journal entries chronicling his miserable year are excerpts from the titular Bully Book, which advises, "You have to create yourself. And to keep yourself safe, you have to create other people too, like the Grunt." Eric's quest to uncover the Bully Book is genuinely suspenseful. The juxtaposition of Eric's journal against the Bully Book allows readers to see both the bullies' methodology and Eric's unwitting complicity. Gale gutsily portrays a gloves-off sixth-grade classroom in which variations of "gay" are flung around as insults (a usage that Eric articulately and bravely challenges). While it's hard to imagine even the numbest substitute teacher routinely allowing a vocabulary lesson to become a bullying opportunity ("Eric Haskins is generally stupid"), the other adults in Eric's life are convincingly ineffectual or self-deluded. A compelling and unusual look at a complex and intractable problem that succeeds admirably as story as well. (Fiction. 8-12)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062125132
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 9/3/2013
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 123,262
  • Age range: 8 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: HL620L (what's this?)
  • Product dimensions: 5.88 (w) x 7.50 (h) x 0.66 (d)

Meet the Author

Eric Kahn Gale is the author of The Bully Book, his first novel. He lives in Chicago.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 68 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(47)

4 Star

(9)

3 Star

(4)

2 Star

(5)

1 Star

(3)

Your Rating:

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews
  • Posted June 15, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Addicting page-turner. You won't be able to put it down!

    As a forewarning to those of us reading this book thinking "YAY MORE STARKID STUFF!!" you are mistaken. Don't read it with Starkid in mind. Read it because it's just plain awesome. I'm sure we all remember what it was like in 5th grade. Some of us were bullied. Some were bullies. Some were bystanders who merely looked on, while others were mocking the bullied ones along with the bullies. We all remember that one kid who was always the target of bullying. The one who was ugly, stupid, boring, and easy to make fun of, according to the bullies. Eric Gale. A normal kid. Nothing special or extraordinary. All it took was the first day of 5th grade to know what a hell it was going to be. Suddenly targeted as the "Grunt," he is mocked and bullied by three main bullies, one of which was his former best friend, and soon they have the whole class playing the game of "make the Grunt's life living hell." Eric wants to get to the bottom of this, and wants it to stop. He will go to any length to stop this madness, and when he figures it out, he's going to make them pay. Not only is our protagonist an extremely likeable, sympathetic character, but his writing style and way of leaving you with cliff-hangers at the end of each chapter (well, journal) is amazing and extremely well done. Along with the bits and pieces of the actual "Bully Book" scattered between the journal entries, this book is such a page-turner there is no way you can put it down until you are done with it. Read and Enjoy!

    5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 7, 2011

    Starkid Potter!!

    So, right off the bat, you can assume it's good. I mean, come on. Eric, Nick and Matt we all know are TOTALLY AWESOME. It's Starkid Potter. You just KNOW it's gonna be good. Just maybe we can get Julia's book on here...

    4 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 10, 2013

    Doesnt load

    Dont buy wont even show u a wird

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 23, 2013

    TELL ME?

    WHO IS STARKID?

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 17, 2011

    STARKID BOOKS ON NOOK!!!!!

    OMGOMGOMG!!!!! finally this got on nook!!! I highly reccomend it to EVERYONE!!!!!!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted July 20, 2011

    I got the free sample but its not letting me open it! If your going to buy it then i suggest you get the whole book not the free sample

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 7, 2012

    Too old?

    Looks awesome but im 13. Should I still read it?

    2 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 12, 2012

    This is the best book i ever read

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 31, 2011

    Wow

    This is an amazing story. It has .nothing to do with starkid if thats what looking for but it is still amazing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 8, 2011

    supermegafoxyawesomehot!!...For 5th graders.

    This is a very cute book:) I'd definitely recommend it to anyone in grade school, but for those Totally Awesome Starkids out there, just be warned that it has NOTHING to do with Starkid or Starkid productions except for the fact that Matt and Nick Lang illustrated it. It is still a very good book...just not what I was expecting.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted January 9, 2013

    This book is fantastic, and from a wonderful author. I think tho

    This book is fantastic, and from a wonderful author. I think those bullies feel pretty dumb now. This book will change your life, and everyone needs to read it. Bystander, bully, or grunt, it speaks to all of us. I literally want to use all my character to express to you how much I love this book. It is definitely in my top four of all time. I feel like it would have changed the way I was in grade school, but now it will change the way I look at the whole entire world. I am so grateful for Eric to be brave enough to share his experiences with us readers. PLEASE READ THIS BOOK! Do yourself a favor. Eric's background with Starkid also doesn't hurt the credibility of this book and how excellent it is. This is not just a story, it is someone's life, and it will influence yours. It has the power to eradicate bullying, and I want everyone to experience the joy it gave me. Truly genius.  

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 26, 2012

    This book was, needless to say, TOTALLY AWESOME! But, if you're

    This book was, needless to say, TOTALLY AWESOME! But, if you're expecting a book about Starkids or a sequel to Little White Lie, you're looking in the wrong place. Go read Julia Albain's book if you want it to be about Starkids. And if you just want to read all the Starkid books,Lauren Lopez has a cookbook out called, These Treats Don't Suck. But, this book is still wonderful, Starkid or not and I suggest you to read it

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted May 7, 2012

    STARKID! enough said

    STARKID! enough said

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted June 29, 2011

    Woop

    Starkid is the best!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 15, 2011

    Sample

    I+bought+the+sample+but+am+not+able+to+open+it%2C+it+keeps+crashing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 14, 2011

    Wont+open

    I+got+the+free+sample+of+this+book+but+it+wont+open+so+i+cant+reas+it

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 6, 2014

    TO:People who get bullied.

    I sometimes think I do to!At home or at scool.I useally think no one likes me but thats not ture!!!Find a good friend and you stand up to that bully toggether!!!-Sammyrainbow120

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted August 2, 2014

    Tottally against bullying

    And you should be to. Hi my name is Bridgit Mendler from Disney Channel and im here to tell you that when school gets back in i want you all to stand up for all those people who are getting bullied. Tell a teacher, or parent. It's the only way to really stop bullying. Once again this is Bridgit Mendler hoping to see you on Disney Channel; against bullying! Bye!!! ;D

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 9, 2014

    Amazing

    The bully book was a great book. Eric dud a great job and I hope writes many more like this one. I recomend this book for people 9 to 99!

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted February 4, 2014

    Llllllllllll

    Tlhlilsl lblololkl lwlalsl lrlelalllllyl lglololdl.l l

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 68 Customer Reviews

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