The Bully Book

Hey guys! You’ve probably noticed, but I’ve sorta been slacking on this blog. Sorry! (Blame the summer heat)

On the bright side, I’ve read about 10 different books over that course of time and I had plenty to choose from to blog about. So I choose The Bully Book, which had a plot I had never seen before.

The main character is Eric Haskins. He’s just your average 6th grader. Not too smart, not too stupid, not overwhelmingly good at sports, not the worst athlete, not the best writer, not the most horrible writer, not the kid who gets in trouble, not the goody goody, not the liar, not the most truthful.

So, why is he the bullies’ target? Eric is pretty sure there’s nothing special about him.

At first, Jason, Adrian, and Donovan are the main bullies. But surprisingly, the whole class joins in, except Melody, Eric’s friend and crush. And then Melody gets mad at Eric because he made a relationship status request for her on Facebook.

So Eric’s all alone. He’s hopeless.

Until he realizes there’s a much bigger conspiracy going on. One that features a person called the grunt. The targeted kid. And it’s in every grade on up, too.

Eric knows that he HAS to get help from other grunts. Or else he’s dead meat until college.

After searching, he finds out there’s a manual called The Book.

Eric desperately wants it.


The Book has instructions on how to pick the grunt. And maybe, just maybe, Eric can use those instructions to change himself so he won’t fit the position of the grunt anymore.

Eric doesn’t expect finding The Book to be simple. What he doesn’t realize, is that the formula is even more simple than hunting for it.

The Bully Book is a thrilling mystery that I would definitely read again. And the best part is that the pages of Eric’s journal are mixed into pages of The Book, so it’s like you want to scream at Eric “No!!!!!!! Don’t do that!!!!!!!!!!!!” ’cause The Book is revealing info on the grunt to YOU, not Eric.

I would give The Bully Book 5 stars and recommend it to 6th to 8th graders.

The Bully Book

Why Does Popcorn Pop?

Okay, guys. This book is a tad different, so just bear with me.

Different? you say. How?

Well, for one thing this book isn’t fiction, it’s non fiction. But not like I Am Malala,( which is a biography and sort of tells a story. It’s like a trivia book. For foodies.

I was browsing the library one day when I saw this book. I checked out the inside cover, which basically said that Why Does Popcorn Pop? is a bunch of answers to food related questions, like, why is ketchup “catsup,” how many animal crackers are there, why doughnuts have holes, and what’s actually IN McDonald’s meat. (Not as disgusting as you may think.)

Being the huge trivia geek and baker nerd I am, I borrowed it.

And it was actually interesting! I mean, if you want to hear a story, don’t borrow this. But if you’re up for whatever, borrow Why Does Popcorn Pop?

The only thing I found boring was the section on beer and wine. Obviously, I’m still a teenager so I don’t drink (and I don’t think I ever will when I’m older ’cause the health teacher scared the heck out of me with her addiction talk) and a whole chapter on alcohol is definitely NOT up my alley.

So, yeah. If I knew the author I would ask him to make a kid version of this book with words that aren’t as difficult (for elementary students) and no drinking section (this part should be self explanatory).

Due to a more challenging vocab, I would recommend Why Does Popcorn Pop? to middle schoolers and up. Also, I would give this book 4 stars.

Why Does Popcorn Pop?

Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North

Where should I start? I guess I could say that this book is for 4th to 6th graders. And that the main character in an African American girl named Nellie.

Nellie looks like (I mean no offense by using the following term) a white girl because her skin is so light and people often mistake her as one.

Nellie wishes she looked more like her older sister, whose skin is very dark, because she loves her.

Nellie and her family face much discrimination and evil in Tennessee; it is 1919 after all. But they’re used to it.

What I think tips them all off the edge is when their Uncle Pace (according to the sheriff) gets drunk and hit by a train and dies. It’s pretty obviously this didn’t happen on account:

a) Pace never touched alcohol in his entire life.

b) He’s African American, which leaves him (in the people’s eyes) a target of discrimination. Probably *hint hint, wink wink* someone did something to him.

After spending some final moments with her uncle, Nellie’s sister stops talking.

Nellie’s parents take her sister, Erma Jean, to a hospital care center and then their father makes the announcement:

“We’re moving to Chicago, kids!”

Okay, it didn’t sound EXACTLY like that but I’m sure that by quoting from the book I’d be breaking some sort of copyright infringement law.

Nellie and her entire family are hopeful. They think that the North will be much more accepting of who they are, but instead discrimination might actually be worse!

The only difference is that the people in Chicago stand up for their rights and the people in Tennessee don’t.

In Color Me Dark you get to see Nellie’s diary, which is pretty cool. I think it helps you understand what it was like to live in a world of discrimination even worse than today’s!

Five stars, definitely!

Color Me Dark: The Diary of Nellie Lee Love, the Great Migration North

12 Again

Patrick’s mom has mysteriously disappeared the day before her 40th birthday. All she did was go to her Mom’s house!

His father says she’s on “vacation” but Patrick and his brother, Kevin, don’t buy it. They know there’s something else going on. Murder? Blackmail? Kidnapping?

Meanwhile, Patrick’s mom, Bernadette, wakes up and finds herself a tiny little 7th grader. Even more surprising, her mom – who had been killed in a car accident – is alive! It seems like her 12 year old self, her mom, and their house has been transported to modern times!

Detta is worried about her family and is super confused, but she manages to enroll as a student and makes some awesome friends. She even relearns how to do a cartwheel!

Patrick notices the new girl but doesn’t pay much attention. He just focuses on emailing his mom from his new email account.

Finally, Detta responds to her son. She doesn’t tell him who she is (in fear of freaking him out) but tells him to find some awfully odd things that sound a lot like stuff in his grandmother’s potion recipes.

Can Patrick and Bernadette work together to fast forward the clock of time before it’s too late?

I thought that 12 Again was fairly interesting. I guess it was a mystery story.

12 Again deserves 5 stars and is for ages 11 to 14.

12 Again