Friday, October 12, 2012

How to Beat the Bully Without Really Trying by Scott Starkey

When Rodney is forced to move to Ohio he finds that his new school has some bullies who pick on everyone, just like in his last school.  Rodney also feels sure that he will be the target of biggest bully Josh, just like in his last school.  Sure enough, he comes face to face with Josh on the first day and prepares to be humiliated.  But just as Josh is about to hit him, a stray baseball flies out of nowhere, hits Josh in the nose, breaks his nose, and disappears.  Since no one else saw the ball Rodney suddenly gets a reputation as the toughest kid in school - the only one who has ever been able to put Josh in his place.  Rodney is sure everyone will find out about his true nature before long but luck keeps going his way.  But how long can he continue to fool everyone, especially once his mean teacher becomes one of the people trying to ruin his life?  This is a light book that I think would be enjoyed by younger students.  However, at some point in the book I began to feel that Rodney himself was becoming a bully in a way.  I expected this would be addressed by the author but it wasn't and I believe that we are supposed to just be happy with the many ways Rodney gets back at those who are picking on him.  Most of the bullies in the book deserved it but I ended up feeling a little sorry for Josh who was cowed fairly early on.