Ink Me (Seven Series)

Ink Me (Seven Series)

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by Richard Scrimger

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Bunny (real name Bernard) doesn't understand why his late grandfather wants him to get a tattoo. Actually, Bunny doesn't understand a lot of things, so it's good that his older brother, Spencer, is happy to explain things to him. But this is a task Bunny is supposed to do on his own, and nobody is more surprised than Bunny when, after he gets tattooed, he is


Bunny (real name Bernard) doesn't understand why his late grandfather wants him to get a tattoo. Actually, Bunny doesn't understand a lot of things, so it's good that his older brother, Spencer, is happy to explain things to him. But this is a task Bunny is supposed to do on his own, and nobody is more surprised than Bunny when, after he gets tattooed, he is befriended by a kid named Jaden and adopted into Jaden's gang. The gang hangs out at a gym, where Bunny learns to fight, but when it finally dawns on him that the gang is involved in some pretty shady-and dangerous-business, Bunny is torn between his loyalty to his new friends and doing what he knows is right.

Editorial Reviews

Amy's Marathon of Books blog
"An excellent story that entertained me and made me think, with great characters and a plot that moves...[Scrimger] deserves kudos for a stellar job."
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"Bunny is a likeable, engaging narrator whose storytelling style is captivating both in its naïveté and in its omissions. In its idiosyncratic rendering of the ambiguities of language, the text reveals many moments of unexpected insight and brilliance...This is a surprisingly rich book, despite its casual presentation...It is clever in its execution and wise in its thematic treatment."
CM Magazine
"An exciting story [with] a lot of hearty laughs at Bunny's misunderstandings and their consequences."
CanLit for Little Canadians blog
"Readers will be too engrossed in the upshot of Bunny's honesty and incomprehension to realize that Ink Me exposes the vulnerability of perceptions to misinterpretation...A brilliant story, less about gangs and tattoos than about our relationships with others and the roles misunderstanding and perspective play in securing or destroying the integrity of those connections."
Toronto Public Library Teen Reviews
"What I loved about this book was that I could never see where it was going. I mean never. Right up until the end. "
NJ Youth Services
"[The] adventures are exciting and readers will be anxious to pick up the next book in the series. Great for middle grade boys who want realistic fiction with action and suspense."
Children's Literature - Magi Evans
Fifteen-year-old Bernard "Bunny" O'Toole is slightly developmentally delayed and on the autism spectrum. Obeying his grandfather's last request, Bunny goes to a designated tattoo parlor in a shady part of town, where the disorganized artist mistakenly gives him a tattoo that indicates not only that Bunny is in a gang, but also that he has killed someone. When gang member Jaden sees Bunny's tattoo, he immediately welcomes him into the gang (no matter that Bunny is white, while the rest of the gang members are black) and becomes Bunny's first real friend. What ensues is a series of adventures with Jaden and the gang, which, because of Bunny's misunderstanding of the situation, might seem comical, except for the serious nature of gangs and the tragedy that inevitably comes to pass. The story is told in first person, as Bunny writes his whole story for the police, grammar and spelling mistakes included, making Bunny's voice truly authentic. This book is part of a series called "Seven the Series;" each book is written by a different author, and details a task assigned to each of seven grandsons like Bunny. Readers who enjoy this book will want to read all seven to compare and contrast the various stories, while getting to know the other grandsons. Reviewer: Magi Evans
Kirkus Reviews
Meet Bunny (short for Bernard) O'Toole--mentally slow, physically strong and fast--the observant, nonjudgmental narrator of this convoluted but enjoyable fable of Toronto gang life recorded in believable, phonetically spelled prose. His grandfather never got around to getting a tattoo while he was alive. He's left a letter asking Bunny to do it for him and he does, though the tattoo's design confuses him. The "15" makes sense--it's his age--but why is there a candle next to it? Is the tattoo why Jaden, whom he rescued from a bully, and his gang befriend him, even though they're black and Bunny's white? Accustomed to teasing and harassment, Bunny finds the gang's close bond exhilarating. Soon, he's hanging out at Jaden's gym, where the manager, Morgan, teaches him boxing. (Bunny's gifts reflect a stereotype, the disability equivalent of the "magical negro" trope.) Bunny enthusiastically joins in their mysterious deal to raise money to keep the gym open. He reacts to what he experiences; his impressions aren't funneled through a prism of fears and assumptions. (Readers won't find the gang so benign.) Loyalty is the currency of their world--something Bunny understands. Most intellectually disabled characters in children's fiction are siblings or pals whose treatment by other characters signals their compassion or otherwise. Bunny's a rare hero--not on anyone's journey but his own. (Fiction. 10-14)

Product Details

Orca Book Publishers
Publication date:
Orca Seven Series
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Sales rank:
File size:
767 KB
Age Range:
10 - 17 Years

Meet the Author

Richard Scrimger is the award-winning author of more than 15 books for children and adults. Richard’s middle-school novel The Nose from Jupiter won the Mr. Christie Award and his books have appeared on lists such as ALA’s Kid's Pick of the List and ALA’s Notable Book List. His books have been translated into Dutch, French, German, Thai, Korean, Portuguese, Slovenian, Italian, and Polish. The father of four children, he has written humorous pieces about his family life for The Globe&Mail and Chatelaine. Visit Richard at

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Ink Me 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Heidi_G More than 1 year ago
Bunny knows when people call him stupid that it's pretty much the truth.  But he does ok in the world, and his brother, Spencer, ensures that he doesn't get into too much trouble.  When the boys' grandfather dies and assigns each of them to fulfill a task, Bunny doesn't understand why he's supposed to get a tattoo.  The ink he gets turns out to have gang affiliations; Bunny doesn't understand this and gets himself into a jam.  Told with Bunny's language and spelling as a mentally challenged teen, this story was somewhat difficult to get into and might not hold the interest of young people struggling with reading.  But descriptions of gang life will sell this book; the empathy shown to the delightful protagonist by some unlikely characters will pull at your heart.