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on June 7, 2011
I just finished this book after reading it from start to finish in one sitting. It's an amazing book, and really feels like the author has experienced something like this because of how accurately it portrays what a number of people went through going to public schools.

I was not at all a popular kid at any point in my schooling, but I'm lucky enough that I never had it as bad as the Grunts in this story did. Despite that, there were many points throughout the story that I identified with Eric Haskins. I felt it was a well-written, thought provoking story, appropriate for someone of any age.

This story and it's conclusion will stick with me for a long time, and I plan on recommending it to everyone I know!
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on June 12, 2011
I agree with a previous reviewer that it didn't really sound like a 10 year old talking, but the story was fantastic. I'm so glad to see the Starkids are branching out into other mediums, I can't wait to see what else they do!
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on January 5, 2013
The hardback edition of this book was republished by HarperCollins, eliminating the typos and grammar mistakes that were found in the self-published ebook. So buy the physical book if it's going to bother you and distract from the story.


Almost overnight, Eric has become the school's Grunt, the one kid who gets mercilessly bullied by the rest of his sixth grade classmates. His mission is to figure out why this is happening, and why him? Before this he was a nice kid who hadn't done anything to get bullied over.

It all stems from the so-called "Bully Book", an instruction manual handed down from year to year telling how to become a bully, how to pick a victim, and how to get ahead by stepping on the other kids.


The book alternates between Eric's journal pages and pages from the bully book, giving you a good understanding of the relationship between the bully and the bullied, the thoughts and fears of both sides, and what drives them to do what they do.

This book really opens you eyes to the world around you, and I'm sure that everyone can relate to someone in this book, whether it's Eric or the bullies, from your own experience or watching it happen to someone else. You can tell that the author has had some bullying in his past from the way it's written with such real emotions and thoughts that will pull you into the story, making you interested in what will happen next, keeping you surprised through the twists and turns, and quite possibly will make you cry. And then cry some more.


I would truly recommend this book to anyone. Whether your an adult, teen, or child. This book has the ability to impact you so strongly that you will never ever forget it.
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on December 5, 2013
I read this book and liked the book so much I decided to tech it to my 6th grade class with great response! I have suggested it to all our staff.
The book addresses bullying in a unique way- the main character really goes on a quest to figure out why he is being bullied. I like the characyer's strength. The author also points to adults who help and those who don't seem to care. As a teacher, this puts us on alert about a problem we seem to be aware of but that still persists.
A great perspective, a twist ending and my students are all hooked on reading it! Five stars!!!
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on June 8, 2011
"The Bully Book" gives interesting insight into not only the lives of the bullied, but also into the bullies themselves. It also delivers thought provoking ideas on societal structure.

My only two quibbles were that 1. It didn't really sound like a ten-year-old telling it. and 2. The ending felt a tad rushed to me.

Even so, "The Bully Book" is well worth the read.
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on February 13, 2013
"The Bully Book" was a difficult read, not in the sense of the level of writing (which was good writing but clearly written at a young person's reading level) so much as in the sense that I very strongly identified with the feelings of the main character. Growing up I often felt as if there must be some secret conspiracy, uniting all my peers in hating me, vehemently and openly. The mystery of the Bully Book is enthralling, and the characterization of the adults as either unwilling to help or actively deterring the quest felt real, genuine, like something I would have felt at that age. I read this book in one sitting and had to sit back and just sit for a moment when I was done, to think about the secret revealed at the end and how it made me feel...and whether I agreed with it.

Over a year later, it still has me thinking.
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on April 23, 2013
I thought The Bully Book was a a great debut novel. The Bully Book is about a boy named Eric. He is tormented by his classmates and he can't figure out why. It turns out that there is a book passed down every year from the sixth graders called The Bully Book. In the book, it says if you want to become popular you have to pick a student to bully, among other things. Eric makes it his mission to find the book and put an end to the bullying. The Bully Book teaches kids how bad it feels to be bullied. It hurts physically, mentally, and emotionally. The plot had me turning pages wondering if Eric was going to find the book. I liked all the characters. I could identify with Eric. I was bullied quite a bit in middle school. I thought the ending was great. I don't think the author could have picked a more perfect ending for the book. I look forward to reading more of the Eric Kahn Gale's work in the future.
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on November 23, 2014
Eric is an average kid, so he shouldn’t stand out. But this school year, he will. Former friends and ruthless classmates turn on him. He wants to find the underlying cause of this sudden treatment and discovers a terrible conspiracy against boys who are given his label. Eric is this year’s Grunt.

The Grunt is someone chosen to be an abused outcast. There’s a Bully Book out there, an instruction manual on how to choose and torment the Grunt. Eric does whatever it takes to get his hands on it. He goes to extreme lengths and risks his safety. His bullies are onto him and threaten him, but that doesn’t stop Eric.

This is a powerful novel about bullying and the social interactions of middle schoolers. The pacing and action make this a fast read. I rooted for Eric as he researched, spied on people, and interviewed others in order to find the Bully Book.
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on January 18, 2015
The only flaw I see in the book is its unsatisfying ending. The victim's choice of "revenge" (it really isn't that at all) falls far short of bringing a potential perpetrator - bully - up short. Kids that mean are not swayed by conscience in my opinion; they haven't been taught values. It seems to me that what the protagonist attempts to do will fall on deaf ears.

Other than that, the portrayal of the experiences of the protagonist are excellent.
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on April 3, 2013
I read all the reviews before I purchased this book but was curious to see for myself! I was looking for a good book for my 5th grade tutoring students and WOW, did I ever find one! Both students had reported instances of bullying at school which at times involved them and other times, involved their friends. The author has written a book that is very hard to put-down. It flows with the same urgency for resolution as any mystery novel. It keeps you questioning, searching, trying to figure out what is happening and what WILL happen!

I really enjoyed the layout and the message. The book intersperses the pages of the main character's diary with the actual pages of the bully book that he's trying to find. I hadn't put this together right away... because the age of the writer of the bully book seemed all wrong... but it all comes together in the end. That said, I was curious about the ending because some reviewers didn't agree with the book ending the way it did. I have no idea what they were wanting instead. I thought it was perfect and I was actually in tears.

One of the best juvenile fiction books I've ever read!
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