Set in England, this realistic fiction story covers the themes of bullying, acceptance, and friendship. These topics are common issues among upper elementary and middle school students. Designed for struggling readers (reading level is 2.1), the mature topic, older ages of the characters, and black-and-white illustrations will keep them interested while reaching their reading level. Ben is an American who is coming over to live with his English cousin Tom. Tom finds out at the last minute from his forgetful mother that his cousin who he does not even know will be at his house for the entire summer. Immediately Tom discusses this problem with his best friend Jay and they devise a plan to ignore Ben as much as possible. When Tom and Jay are confronted and pushed around by the school bully at the end-of-the-year party, Ben stands up for them and shows them a few kung-fu tricks that impress them. Tom and Jay begin to realize how rude they have been to Ben and make plans to go to America the following summer. This is part of the "Keystone Books" series. Included in the book are a table of contents, a glossary, discussion questions, writing prompts, and links to web sites.
Even as a child, Johnny Zucker wanted to be a writer. Today, he has written more than 30 books. He has also spent time working as a teacher, song writer, and stand-up comedian. Jonny lives in London with his wife and two children.
Paul Savage works in a design studio, drawing pictures for advertising. He says illustrating books is "the best job." He's always been interested in illustrating books, and he loves reading. Paul also enjoys playing sports and running.
He lives in England with his wife and their daughter, Amelia.