How to Eat Fried Worms

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"Because of a bet, Billy is in the uncomfortable position of having to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. A hilarious story that will revolt and delight bumptious, unreachable intermediate-grade boys and any other less particular mortals that read or listen to it.... Colorful, original writing in a comic vein."--Booklist.

Two boys set out to prove that worms can make a delicious meal.

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1992 Mass-market paperback Good. Go green, recycle! Book may have wear from reading, may contain some library markings. Mass market (rack) paperback. Glued binding. 128 p. ... Intended for a juvenile audience. Read more Show Less

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Overview

"Because of a bet, Billy is in the uncomfortable position of having to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. A hilarious story that will revolt and delight bumptious, unreachable intermediate-grade boys and any other less particular mortals that read or listen to it.... Colorful, original writing in a comic vein."--Booklist.

Two boys set out to prove that worms can make a delicious meal.

Read More Show Less

Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Billy could not resist the bet. Now all that stands between him and $50 are 15 soon-to-be fried worms. To snag the loot (and in turn a shiny new mini-bike), he must munch, chew, and swallow these creepy night crawlers within 15 days. Thomas Rockwell's How to Eat Fried Worms has been attracting and repulsing young readers ever since it was first published in 1973.
Children's Literature
Alan has bet Billy fifty dollars that he can't eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. Billy decides he is up to the challenge, so he begins a long process to get down fifteen worms. The first few were hard for Billy, but once he was sure that he would suffer no ill effects, the rest were easy to eat. The challenge came in actually eating them, since Alan was not ready to lose fifty dollars. As trick after trick is tried and Billy sees through each one, the drama increases. Even the boys' parents get involved, at times helping Billy eat his worms but at times almost ruining the whole thing. This was a very comical book that any boy or tomboy should enjoy. It would be a great tool in opening the door to discussing betting, even small bets, and the risks that it involves. It also deals with friends doing things that upset each other, and how to get past the issues that arise and continue being friends after the incident is over. The back of the book contains several worm recipes, though of course these are not your garden variety worm. 2006 (orig. 1953), Dell Yearling/Random House Children's Books, and Ages 7 to 10.
—Elizabeth Fresse <%ISBN%>0440445450
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-The story of Billy who, because of a bet, is in the uncomfortable position of having to eat 15 worms in 15 days.
From the Publisher
“The clear writing, clever illustrations, and revolting subject matter are sure to make a hit with many middle-grade readers.”—School Library Journal, Starred

“A hilarious story that will revolt and delight. . . . The chapters march briefly and irresistibly on, worm by worm. The characters and their families and activities are natural to a T, and this, juxtaposed against the uncommon plot, makes for some colorful, original writing in a much-needed comic vein.”—Booklist

“Rockwell’s sensibilities (if that’s the word) are so uncannily close to those of the average ten-year-old boy that one begins to admire Billy as a really sharp operator.”—Kirkus Reviews

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780440213673
  • Publisher: Random House Children's Books
  • Publication date: 5/1/1992
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 128
  • Age range: 9 - 12 Years
  • Lexile: 650L (what's this?)

Meet the Author

Thomas Rockwell is the author of a number of books for young readers. He was the recipient of the Mark Twain Award, the California Young Reader Medal, and the Sequoyah Award for How to Eat Fried Worms. He lives in Poughkeepsie, NY.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter I: The Bet

Hey, Tom! Where were you last night?"
"Yeah, you missed it."
Alan and Billy came up the front walk. Tom was sitting on his porch steps, bouncing a tennis ball.
"Old Man Tator caught Joe as we were climbing through the fence, so we all had to go back, and he made us pile the peaches on his kitchen table, and then he called our mothers."
"Joe's mother hasn't let him out yet."
"Where were you?"
Tom stopped bouncing the tennis ball. He was a tall, skinny boy who took his troubles very seriously.
"My mother kept me in."
"What for?"
"I wouldn't eat my dinner."
Alan sat down on the step below Tom and began to chew his thumbnail.
"What was it?"
"Salmon casserole."
Billy flopped down on the grass, chunky, snub-nosed, freckled.
"Salmon casserole's not so bad."
"Wouldn't she let you just eat two bites?" asked Alan. "Sometimes my mother says, well, all right, if I'll just eat two bites."
"I wouldn't eat even one."
"That's stupid," said Billy. "One bite can't hurt you. I'd eat one bite of anything before I'd let them send me up to my room right after supper."
Tom shrugged.
"How about mud?" Alan asked Billy. "You wouldn't eat a bite of mud."
Alan argued a lot, small, knobby-kneed, nervous, gnawing at his thumbnail, his face smudged, his red hair mussed, shirttail hanging out, shoelaces untied.
"Sure, I would," Billy said. "Mud. What's mud? Just dirt with a little water in it. My father says everyone eats a pound of dirtevery year anyway."
"How about poison?"
"That's different." Billy rolled over on his back.
"Is your mother going to make you eat the leftovers today at lunch?" he asked Billy.
"She never has before."
"How about worms?" Alan asked Billy.
Tom's sister's cat squirmed out from under the porch and rubbed against Billy's knee.
"Sure," said Billy. "Why not? Worms are just dirt."
"Yeah, but they bleed."
"So you'd have to cook them. Cows bleed.”
"I bet a hundred dollars you wouldn't really eat a worm. You talk big now, but you wouldn't if you were sitting at the dinner table with a worm on your plate."
"I bet I would. I'd eat fifteen worms if somebody'd bet me a hundred dollars."
"You really want to bet? I'll bet you fifty dollars you can't eat fifteen worms. I really will."
"Where're you going to get fifty dollars?"
"In my savings account. I've got one hundred and thirty dollars and seventy-nine cents in my savings account. I know, because last week I put in the five dollars my grandmother gave me for my birthday."
"Your mother wouldn't let you take it out."
"She would if I lost the bet. She'd have to. I'd tell her I was going to sell my stamp collection otherwise. And I bought that with all my own money that I earned mowing lawns, so I can do whatever I want with it. I'll bet you fifty dollars you can't eat fifteen worms. Come on. You're chicken. You know you can't do it."
"I wouldn't do it," said Tom. "If salmon casserole makes me sick, think what fifteen worms would do."
Joe came scuffing up the walk and flopped down beside Billy. He was a small boy, with dark hair and a long nose and big brown eyes.
"What's going on?"
"Come on," said Alan to Billy. "Tom can be your second and Joe'll be mine, just like in a duel. You think it's so easy — here's your chance to make fifty bucks."
Billy dangled a leaf in front of the cat, but the cat just rubbed against his knee, purring.
"What kind of worms?"
"Regular worms."
"Not those big green ones that get on the tomatoes. I won't eat those. And I won't eat them all at once. It might make me sick. One worm a day for fifteen days."
"And he can eat them any way he wants," said Tom. "Boiled, stewed, fried, fricasseed."
"Yeah, but we provide the worms," said Joe. "And there have to be witnesses present when he eats them; either me or Alan or somebody we can trust. Not just you and Billy."
"Okay?" Alan said to Billy.
Billy scratched the cat's ears. Fifty dollars. That was lot of money. How bad could a worm taste? He'd eaten fried liver, salmon loaf, mushrooms, tongue, pig's feet. Other kids' parents were always nagging them to eat, eat; his had begun to worry about how much he ate. Not that he was fat. He just hadn't worked off all his winter blubber yet.
He slid his hand into his shirt and furtively squeezed the side of his stomach. Worms were just dirt; dirt wasn't fattening.
If he won fifty dollars, he could buy that mini-bike George Cunningham's brother had promised to sell him in September before he went away to college. Heck, he could gag anything down for fifty dollars, couldn't he?
He looked up. "I can use ketchup or mustard or anything like that? As much as I want?"
Alan nodded. "Okay?"
Billy stood up.
"Okay."


From the Audio Cassette (Unabridged) edition.

Copyright 1953 by Thomas Rockwell
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 26 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 18, 2010

    good book

    I recommend the book How to Eat Fried Worms. If you like to dare people to do stuff this book will be good for you. It begins when a group of boys bet Billy to eat fried worms. Billy's mom saw him eating worms and she called the doctor. If you want to know more, you can read the book How to Eat Fried Worms.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2011

    If you need a book, this is a good one.

    Earthworm, Night crawler they are both worms in the book how to eat fried worms. This book is about this kid named Billy who makes a bet with this other kid named Joe and the bet was that Billy has to eat fifteen worms one each day and if he wins Joe has to pay him fifty dollars. also in the book it said that when Billy ate his second worm he started to like eating worms. then on one page it said that Joe and Alan cheated by putting two night crawler's together. My favorite part of the book is when Billy eats the first worm and starts to act crazy that was my favorite part because he started to act like a bird and to me it sounded funny. I will recommend this book to anyone who likes talking about worms and knows about worms.



    Wow, look at that night crawler. Ewe that is disgusting. That reminds me of a book called "How to eat fried worms". How to eat fried worms? That is even more disgusting. Do you want to hear the story? YES!

    It all started when Tom wouldn't eat his dinner, and then Billy thought that was silly. Then it all comes down to the bet. Joe bet Billy to eat 15 worms in 15 days but not in a row. Each day was 1 worm at a time. Alan and Joe were trying to cheat, because Alan couldn't find $50.

    My favorite part is when Billy woke up his parents and told them that he was eating worms. Billy's mom was starting to worry a little and woke up Billy's dad, and he said to call the doctor. Like he doesn't care.

    I recommend this book to anyone who likes comedy and jokes also bets. I wont tell the ending. I'll give you a clue . . . . Read the book!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2011

    You must read this book!

    EWWWWW!!! Never Eat Fried Worms you know why you should never eat fried worms. You should never eat them because they can make you sick like Billy. Never eat them even if you made a bet for money or something else.
    What happens in How To Eat Fried Worms is that a boy named Billy is doing a bet with two other boys named Joe and Alan. You want to know what the bet is? The bet is that Billy has to eat 15 worms in 15 days and if he does he is going to get $50 but if doesn't he is not getting anything.
    You want to know what is my favorite part is?
    My favorite part of How To Eat Fried Worms is when Billy ate all the worms and said I won the $50.
    I recommend this book to you because it is funny and the author wrote the book with good expression. This is why I recommend this book to you.


    Mustard ketchup and horseradish on a worm? That is from the book how to eat fried worms. The book is about 2 friends that make a bet to see it Billy can eat 15 worms in 15 days. The friends start the bet by saying that Tom stayed in for not eating his dinner then Billy said that he could eat anything then Joe said no you can't how about worms? And that is how the bet started. My favorite part was when Joe and Alan sendt a fake letter to Billy's mom. I don't recommend that anyone else read this book because it was boring.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2006

    this book is amazing!

    When I read this book I was amazed.I read it millions of times, and I still lagh when read it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 30, 2005

    Best book ever!

    How To Eat Fried Worms is a hillarious story! I have read it dozens of times and still laugh out loud and cheer for corageous Billy. A great story for all ages.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 14, 2004

    A Very Good Book!

    Have you ever read How to Eat Fried Worms? Well, I have and it is a good book. It doesn¿t have many pictures, but it is still a good book. It seem like a mystery book sometimes because you don¿t know what¿s going to happen next. The book is about a kid named Billy. He makes a bet with two kids named Joe and Alan. Joe and Alan bet Billy he couldn¿t eat 15 worms in 15 days. If Billy can eat 15 worms in 15 days, then Joe and Allan will give Billy 50 dollars. I like the end of the story because Billy had to sneak out of the house so he could do something, but I can¿t tell you what he had to do. If you have a dog or a cat at home, you should read How To Eat Fried Worms to him/her.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 27, 2001

    This is a good book READ IT

    This book is cool. I had to read it for a class assiment and I couldn't put it down. It may sound gross but it is soo cool.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 3, 2012

    Great book for younger children.

    This is a good book to read with your child.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 4, 2008

    funny and werid but exciting!!!

    I love this book. It is the funnest book I have ever read. My favorite part was when he ate the first worm and actually liked it. I recommend this book to people that like funny and gross things at the same time. The part that worried me was when the main charcter omost. lost the beat but then ate the last worm right as the time ran out.This book intertained me through the whole story. I hope they come out with HOW TO EAT FRIED ANTS!!!!! haha that is a book i would read also. I hope after reading my review you will go out and get this Funny Werid but Exciting.!

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 16, 2006

    Eating Worms

    It was an okay book because it started not to make sense in the middle. then when it got to the end it started to make a little sense. i hope to see the movie so i can see it more clearly.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 30, 2005

    Okay, but not the best....

    This book was interesting, but did not satisfy me fully. It is fairly enjoyable, so I still recommend it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 20, 2002

    Classic!

    With the Harry Potter craze, it reminded me of this book that I read as a young girl. Yea, sure, I thought is was digusting, but I couldn't put the book down. Everyone was talking about this book. Especially the boys, so I had to check it out. I'll buy it to have on my shelf for my kids when they are old enough.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2001

    The Slimy Worms

    I think that How To Eat Fried Worms is very outstanding because I love to read great and interesting books about boys getting in trouble. I think Joe is in some ways like me because I would try to cheat too. My favorite part is where Billy gets thrown in the tool closet. I reccommend this book to other kids who likes to read in the summer.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2001

    A Gross And Slimy Story

    The best part of the book I really liked was when Billy fried and put ketchup, mustard, lemon,Worchestershire sauce,and cinnamon-and-suger on the worms. Billy chopped up the worms and ate one bite at a time. The slimy and gross worm would be great at the dinner table.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2001

    'Nice and slimy!!!, made me want to eat worms!!!'

    How to eat fried worms is a really juicy but funny book. Imagine... eating 15 worms for 50 $$$ Would you??? I would

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 30, 2001

    Exhilerating

    Thomas Rockwell, (author) makes Billie an exciting character. Billie gets caught in a tough situation when he makes a bet to eat fried worms. It is a book you can not put down because each time you want to it gets closer to knowing if he will make it through the bet to win fifty dollars.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2001

    Gross but Good Story

    The bet was funny that Joe, Alan, Billy, and Tom made. Billy had to eat 15 worms in 15 days so he would win 50 dollars. He put stuff on them to make them taste better.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2001

    A Delicious Story

    I thought that this book would be boring but I was wrong. It was great when Tom and Billy daydreamed about driving the dirt bike to unusual places. I reccommend reading this after dinner!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 25, 2000

    A funny book

    I think this book was really funny. My favorite chapter is 3:15 am. Their mom had to call Doctor Mcgrath when Billy had eaten five worms that afternoon.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 15, 2000

    How to Eat Fried Worms

    I didn't like this book becasue it was really boring. This book might be better to someone who likes worms. I hate worms! I think boys would like this book better than girls. This book really grossed me out. I think Billy is the stupidest kid on earth beacuse he ate worms.

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