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The Odd Squad, Bully Bait (An Odd Squad Book) Hardcover – February 12, 2013
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From School Library Journal
Gr 4-7-Seventh-grader Nick spends more time inside his locker than out. Roy, the school bully, constantly tracks him down and throws him in there. When Nick ends up in the guidance counselor's office for the umpteenth time, she assigns him to a group of other misfits called the Safety Patrol. She is convinced that if they form a bond and overcome their "peer allergies" together, they will no longer be targets for bullying. The three kids do have something in common-Roy. As much as they get on one another's nerves, they decide to band together to take him on. Though the plot gets downright silly and a bit confusing at times, the theme of friendship and, eventually, empathy for one another and for the bully, does shine through. The small cartoon illustrations on almost every page are the highlight of the book. They are clever and help clarify some of the story. Especially funny are the depictions of Nick's yoga-practicing grandmother, Meemaw, who always has the perfect wisecrack to sum up a situation. The first of a series, this title will be enjoyed by fans of Jeff Kinney's "Diary of a Wimpy Kid" books (Abrams).-Tina Martin, Arlington Heights Memorial Library, ILα(c) Copyright 2011. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Seventh-grade loner Nick Ramsey is so short he fits into his locker, a fact he knows well, thanks to bully Roy. Nick can only confront him surreptitiously by sending taunting texts as mysterious, self-assured “Max.” Guidance counselor Dr. Daniels decides Nick needs to belong to a group and assigns him to safety patrol, along with two other bullied loner misfits, supertall Molly and overweight, geeky Karl. Soon the none-too-enthused trio, guided by offbeat, philosophical janitor Mr. Dupree, set out to stop bullying. But amidst high jinks and missteps, they discover the meaning of friendship and compassion, and find confidence along the way. With generously interspersed witty cartoon drawings (final art not seen), the first Odd Squad title offers an entertaining take on some familiar themes by blending humor, absurdity, and realism into a supportive message. Despite occasional story predictabilities, narrator Nick is an engaging antihero whose issues and dilemmas are sympathetically portrayed. Sundry side characters, including Nick’s quirky grandma, Memaw, further enliven this enjoyable read, which is likely to appeal to Wimpy Kid readers. Grades 4-7, --Shelle Rosenfeld
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Top Customer Reviews
I laugh-out-loud loved this book which was a damn good thing because -in the interest of full disclosure- Mike Fry is a long time friend and neighbor. I had a lot of confidence in the great quality his work from Over The Hedge, etc., but when he allowed me to read his book pre-publication, what if I didn't care for it? Fortunately, no problem. It is both great fun and interestingly suspenseful. A page-turner with goofy illustrations and very engaging characters. It is getting justifiably nifty reviews all over the place.
Read this yourself and then give it to your favorite middle-school kids.