- Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
- Publication date: 12/26/2012
- Pages: 240
- Source: ARC provided by publisher for review
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. Hilarious and compelling, The Bully Book is a must-read for every tween, tween parent, librarian and educator!
Bullying is nothing new, it's been going on forever. Only recently it has gotten more attention. It's a sad and horrible thing. When I heard about this book I knew it was something I wanted to read. Being a tween is hard enough without adding in getting picked on, singled out, made to doubt yourself. In this book, we not only read Eric's journal entries accounting his hardships of being the Grunt, but also we get to read along with the Bully Book too. I thought the format of writing was fabulous as it weaves Eric's personal story in with the Book that teaches the holder how to be the top of the class. What I thought was more heartbreaking while reading about some of the things Eric went through in the book, was the fact that this is actually an account of what the author actually went through in school told, as he says "through the lens of a mystery novel."
Eric is an eleven year old boy. It's his last year being in the elementary school since middle school doesn't start until 7th grade. He starts school expecting things to be normal. Sitting with his friends, being bored through class, but nothing like what it ends up being for him. Right away his best friend turns on him and goes to hang out with the jerks of the class. He then learns about the book and makes it his mission to figure out how the Grunt is chosen. He searches out former Grunts and slowly starts to learn what he needs to get a hold of the book. I thought he was a very tough kid. I would have broken eventually, but each time they try to push him further down, the more he is determined to find the way to not be the Grunt anymore.
It's a short book that follows Eric through the school year as he searches out The Book. I wanted to reach out to him, I wanted to help him. But then also, I felt bad for the person who wrote The Book too. You know that he had to be going through his own personal things. No it doesn't make it right that he did it, but while going back and forth from the passages of The Book and Eric's journal, it gives you a little insight into the person who created the book too. I think that this book should be in every school library for everyone to read. With bullying such a big issue, the more books like this that can be out there the better. Was this a blow my mind book? No, but what it was, was a great book that shows you the struggles of a boy trying to just be normal, minding his own business, and being singled out because The Book says that he is just the right person to be the Grunt. But also not letting the bullies take him down, and being stronger because of it.