Spider Boy

Spider Boy

4.7 13
by Ralph Fletcher
     
 

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Humorous story about a boy's adjustment to new surroundings and kids in a new school. Packed with fascinating facts about spiders, the story is told through journal entries and scenes of events. Contains a spider bibliography.

Overview

Humorous story about a boy's adjustment to new surroundings and kids in a new school. Packed with fascinating facts about spiders, the story is told through journal entries and scenes of events. Contains a spider bibliography.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Donna Freedman
Another new-kid-in-town novel, but a compelling one. Seventh-grader Bobby isn't thrilled about moving to New Paltz, New York, particularly when the local kids find out about his fascination with arachnids. He responds by spinning, well, a web of lies about himself and his family. Will he ever find a way to fit in? Maybe, but not without plenty of struggle first. The author puts Bobby into some sticky situations, like apologizing to the class for his lies-it's nice to see a character face up to his actions instead of having the way smoothed for him. Fletcher's writing is deft, particularly when he uses Bobby's "spider journal" as a way of showing the reader how his character feels.
School Library Journal
Gr 5-7Bobby loves spiders and keeps a journal in which he records interesting facts about them, as well as some personal reflections. He is worried about his pet tarantula because she hasn't eaten since the family moved from Illinois to New Paltz, NY. The boy doesn't have much of an appetite himself. He doesn't fit in with the rest of the seventh graders at his new school. A group of his classmates call him "Spider Boy" and make his life difficult. The use of spiders in Bobby's journal and in the plot is a unique unifying theme of this novel. However, the character development is less successful. It takes awhile for readers to care about Bobby. The supporting characters are stereotypes (bully, understanding teacher, confident older sister). The story moves slowly and is limited in intensity until a final crisis. The resolution is predictable but upbeat. Bobby finds a niche for his unique interests, new friends with whom to play football, and even a little romance.Adele Greenlee, Bethel College, St. Paul, MN
Kirkus Reviews
In a story every bit as engaging as Fletcher's Fig Pudding (1995), and less of an emotional rollercoaster to boot, a seventh- grade arachnophile and his beloved tarantula take some time adjusting to a family move.

Between missing his old home and worrying about Thelma (the spider), who has stopped eating, Bobby feels suspended, unable to accept the change in his life long enough to unpack. His parents give him plenty of room and support, plus a huge, ferocious king baboon spider he dubs "Monk" as an early birthday present. Not until two new friends take him firmly in hand, and a bully's harassment escalates into spidercide, does Bobby snap out of it. So does Thelma, who molts and once again takes to pouncing on hapless crickets. Capable of telling wild but utterly convincing tall tales about his family at school, courageous enough to make handsome apologies later (and to face his nemesis without fear), Bobby is a beguiling character who fills his notebook with fascinating spider facts (a bibliography is appended) and trenchant observations: "The female [black widow] allows the male to mate with her. And to show her appreciation she kills him. Eats him. . . . It's lucky human girls aren't this dangerous. Or who knows—maybe they are." Creating and guiding a winning cast with a light, sure hand, Fletcher puts a fine, fresh spin on a familiar premise.

From the Publisher

"Creating and guiding a winning cast with a light, sure hand, Fletcher puts a fine, fresh spin on a familiar premise." Kirkus Reviews

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780547391656
Publisher:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date:
08/17/2009
Sold by:
Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
1,096,942
File size:
183 KB
Age Range:
10 - 12 Years

What People are saying about this

From the Publisher
"Creating and guiding a winning cast with a light, sure hand, Fletcher puts a fine, fresh spin on a familiar premise." Kirkus Reviews

Meet the Author

Ralph Fletcher is the author of many well-received books for children, including the novels FIG PUDDING, and FLYING SOLO, and the picture books TWILIGHT COMES TWICE, GRANDPA NEVER LIES and CIRCUS SURPRISE. He lives with his family in New Hampshire.

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Spider Boy 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is about a boy that likes spiders. He moves to a new school. The boy name is Bobby. There is a kid that is bulling Bobby and its Chick. He calls Bobby Spider Boy from Illinois. He has a spider named Thelma.In Bobby¿s new school he has a partner and it¿s a girl. The girls name is Lucky. Bobby likes Lucky but he doesn¿t want to tell her. Bobby doesn¿t tell his parents that he is being bullying from a kid in school. His parents felt awful b/c of that. Bobby was quiet. He unpacked his clothes slowly b/c he didn¿t want to go to the new school. Then he tells Lucky that he likes her. They became friends in the movies. A purpose is that Booby lived with spiders an always studies about them. But he doesn¿t like to be called Spider Boy from Illinois. In some parts he was worried b/c of Thelma his spider. Thelma had two other spiders he was always looking at his spider Thelma. He almost lost Thelma. B/c he had it in his hand it went in back of some boxes. He knocked some boxes down and found her again. He was so worried when he lost Thelma. I thought it was a good book. I recommend this book to everyone. The genre is realistic fiction. The mood goes from serious to, funny, and then to sad. It was a good book for me and it would be a good for you to.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I loved this book. It was not only informational about spiders but it deals with problems that younger kids in grades I dunno say...3rd and 4th and relate to, like being picked on and understanding people with differnt colored skin. Belive it or not I was lucky enough to be invited to a last meeting ceromony of a Literacy Lab program called Smart Step Literacy Lab Program and Ralph Fletcher was there! His favorite animals are---SPIDERS. And he is verry funny and nice.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Awsome and educational .
Guest More than 1 year ago
this book is about a boy who loves spiders and but does not like being called spider boy.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
If you think this is a good book read flyin solo by ralgh fletcher.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Duuuduuuduuuduuuuuuuuduuuuu hehehehehe hah uuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmm aha
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
It is a very good book by Ralph Flecher
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
I actually met Ralph J. Fletcher today, his books may not be appealing but they are creative and Ralph is one of the nicest guys iv'e ever met!His favorite animals are guess....SPIDERS!I read some of his picture books and poetry books and I dont think ive ever met a better peot than him! Me and him talked for hours. How did I met Raplh Fletcher? Well he was a guest speaker at a reading 'workshop' called a Smart Step Literacy Lab and today was the last meeting and my teacher is in it(im in 6th grade and i'm a guy named Levi)And the guy who started the lieteracy lab invited me to talk about books. Ralph Fletcher has meet many authors like my all time favortie author HAN NOLAN!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Hi, I loved this book so much! It was ver Interesting 2 read and i no that u would love 2 read it 2! Its about a crazy for spiders boy. I am not gonna tell u about cause u need 2 read it ! C ya!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The black haired boy is a jerk