There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom

There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom

4.4 214
by Louis Sachar, Zelade
     
 

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Bradley Chalkers IS the oldest kid in the fifth grade. He tells enormous lies. He picks fights with girls. No one likes him—except Carla, the new school counselor. She thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous, and knows that Bradley could change, if only he weren’t afraid to try. But when you feel like the most-hated kid in the whole school, believing

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Overview

Bradley Chalkers IS the oldest kid in the fifth grade. He tells enormous lies. He picks fights with girls. No one likes him—except Carla, the new school counselor. She thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous, and knows that Bradley could change, if only he weren’t afraid to try. But when you feel like the most-hated kid in the whole school, believing in yourself can be the hardest thing in the world. . . .

Winner of 19 Children’s Choice Awards

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"A humorous and immensely appealing story...Readers are likely to come away with the sense that they've been rooting for themselves too"--Kirkus.
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
Fifth grader Bradley Chalkers is bright, imaginative, antisocial and friendless. Unlike the kids at school, who hate him, Bradley's collection of chipped and broken little pottery animals allows him to be brave, smart and vulnerable; he uses them to resolve the rejection of peers and adults. Jeff, a new boy at school, offers friendship but then withdraws his offer, because Bradley is hard to like. Enter Carla Davis, new school counselor, who is caring and funny, and who gradually helps restore Bradley's self-confidence. Feelings and emotions are strongly evoked in this touching and serious story of a disturbed child that is infused with humor and insight. (10-12)
School Library Journal
Gr 4-7 An unlikely protagonist, Bradley Chalkers is a friendless, lying, insecure bully who is the oldest boy in his fifth-grade class. In this humorous novel that tells of Bradley's learning to like himself and to make friends, Sachar ably captures both middle-grade angst and joy. Bradley's triumph comes through the friendship of a new boy at school and the help of the new school counselor. Readers, like the astute counselor, can see the strengths that Bradley has, and will cheer at his minor victories and cringe at his setbacks along the way. The story is unusual, witty, and satisfying, if not always believable: a few incidents just do not work. For instance, even though Bradley has not been doing his homework, his complete ignorance of it is unlikely (``He hadn't realized. . .he would need to bring his book home''), and his total unfamiliarity with birthday parties is too extreme for a ten year old, even one who hadn't been to a party in three years. Yet Bradley's need for acceptance even as he holds back from classmates who might mock or hurt him is genuine, and his eventual success will gratify readers. David Gale, ``School Library Journal''

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780394805726
Publisher:
Random House Children's Books
Publication date:
08/28/1988
Edition description:
Reprint
Pages:
208
Sales rank:
58,680
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 7.74(h) x 0.57(d)
Age Range:
8 - 12 Years

Read an Excerpt

Bradley Chalkers sat at his desk in the back of the room-last seat, last row. No one sat at the desk next to him or at the one in front of him. He was an island.
If he could have, he would have sat in the closet. Then he could shut the door so he wouldn’t have to listen to Mrs. Ebbel. He didn’t think she’d mind. She’d probably like it better that way too. So would the rest of the class. All in all, he thought everyone would be much happier if he sat in the closet, but unfortunately, his desk didn’t fit.
“Class,” said Mrs. Ebbel. “ I would like you all to meet Jeff Fishkin. Jeff has just moved here from Washington, D.C., which as you know, is our nation’s capital.”
Bradley looked up at the new kid who was standing at the front of the room next to Mrs/ Ebbel.
“Why don’t you tell the class a little bit about yourself, Jeff,” urged Mrs. Ebbel.
The new kid shrugged.
“There’s no reason to be shy,” said Mrs. Ebbel.
The new kid mumbled something, but Bradley couldn’t hear what it was.
“Have you ever been to the White House, Jeff? Mrs. Ebbel asked. “I’m sure the class would be very interested to hear about that.”
“No, I’ve never been there,” the new kid said very quickly as he shook his head.
Mrs. Ebbel smiled at him. “Well, I guess we’d better find you a place to sit.” She looked around the room. “Hmm, I don’t see anyplace except, I suppose you can sit there, at the back.”
“No, not next to Bradley!” a girl in the front row exclaimed.
“At least its better than in front of Bradley,” said the boy next to her.
Mrs. Ebbel frowned. She turned to Jeff. “I’m sorry, but there are no other empty desks.”
“I don’t mind where I sit,” Jeff mumbled.
“Well, nobody likes sitting…there,” said Mrs. Ebbel.
“That’s right,” Bradley spoke up. “Nobody likes sitting next to me!” He smiled a strange smile. He stretched his mouth so wide, it was hard to tell whether it was a smile or a frown.
He stared at Jeff with bulging eyes as Jeff awkwardly sat down next to him. Jeff smiled back at him so he looked away.
As Mrs. Ebbel began the lesson, Bradley took out a pencil and a piece of paper, and scribbled. He scribbled most of the morning, sometimes on the paper and sometimes on his desk. Sometimes he scribbled so hard his pencil point broke. Every time that happened he laughed. Then he’d tape the broken point to one of the gobs of junk in his desk, sharpen his pencil and scribble again.
His desk was full of little wads of torn paper, pencil points, chewed erasers, and other unrecognizable stuff, all taped together.
Mrs. Ebbel handed back a language test. “Most of you did very well,” she said. “I was very pleased. There were fourteen A’s and the rest B’s. Of course there was one F, but…” She shrugged her shoulders.
Bradley held up his test for everyone to see and smiled that same distorted smile.
As Mrs. Ebbel went over the correct answers with the class, Bradley took out his pair of scissors and very carefully cut his test paper into tiny squares.
When the bell rang of recess, he put on his red jacket and walked outside, alone.
“Hey, Bradley, wait up!” somebody called after him.
Startled, he turned around.
Jeff, the new kid, hurried alongside him. “Hi,” said Jeff.
Bradley started at him in amazement.
Jeff smiled. “ I don’t mind sitting next to you,” he said. “Really.”
Bradley didn’t know what to say.
“I have been to the White House,” Jeff admitted. “If you want, I’ll tell you about it.”
Bradley thought a moment, then said, “Give me a dollar or I’ll spit on you.”

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