The rules governing middle school are often a mystery, but for Eric Haskins, they’re a mystery he needs to solve, and fast. He’s a normal, average kid, until sixth grade starts. For some inexplicable reason, the class bully and his pack make Eric the Grunt. Even his best friend since first grade turns on him. Eric can’t figure out why he’s the Grunt until he hears about the Bully Book, a cryptic guide that teaches you how to “make trouble without getting in trouble, rule the school and be the man” and how to select the Grunt-the kid who will become the lowest of the low. Eric Haskins may be this year’s Grunt for now, but he’s determined not to stay at the bottom of the social ladder forever.
With bullying being such an epidemic in today’s society I wasn’t sure what to expect. I had received this originally as an advanced copy but didn’t read it right away. I had heard some good things about it from the publisher and decided to give it a go. Reading the book through two different perspectives made for a fun read. Between the book instructions and Eric’s search to uncover the secret behind this legendary “bully book” it turned into a fun and mysterious story.
Thankfully almost all the bullying was in the form of word bullying so it makes me feel better about recommending it to young readers, especially since it may help them recognize signs of bullying. However I think this is a great book that parents, teachers and any adult should read. I can even admit that my eyes were open to a broader spectrum of bullying.
5 out of 5 stars. Ages 8-12, Grades 3-7