Eric Kahn Gale is the author of The Bully Book, his first novel. He lives in Chicago.
Gr 4-7-Previously published as an ebook, this is a chillingly realistic portrayal of bullying. Sixth-grader Eric Haskins, formerly normal to the outside world, has been chosen to be this year's "Grunt"-the target of an all-encompassing bullying scheme. When all of his friends turn against him, he discovers the root of his problems, The Bully Book, and methodically attempts to locate its origin and author, and find out why he has been targeted. Realizing that the practice goes beyond the misery of his sixth-grade year to past victims, he is determined to stop it from claiming future students. Alternately told through Eric's journal entries and The Bully Book's cruel directives ("You've got to ruin the Grunt's friendships. . .You need to start fights between the grunt and his friends. Spread rumors that will cause trouble"), the story is fast paced, with strong character voice in the writing. Readers will experience the depressive reality of a bullied child as they try to solve the mystery along with Eric. Those who have been victims will root for him as he tries to make sense of the warfare waged against him, while others may recognize tendencies in themselves that should be altered. Great for discussion.-Michele Shaw, Quail Run Elementary School, San Ramon, CA (c) Copyright 2013. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
"[A] gripping debut novel...a layered and attention-grabbing
mystery. Gale's accounts of bullying are subtle and chilling, but
readers will finish the book believing that the humiliations Eric
suffers can be conquered."--Publishers Weekly
"A compelling and unusual look at a complex and intractable problem that succeeds admirably as story as well."--Kirkus Reviews