In YA Book Reviews on December 4, 2013 at 12:47 am


by Mark Shulman

Contemporary Fiction/@2010/230 pages/Recommended for 7th grade and up

Publisher’s Blurb (Amazon):

Tod Munn is a bully. He’s tough, but times are even tougher. The wimps have stopped coughing up their lunch money. The administration is cracking down. Then to make things worse, Tod and his friends get busted doing something bad. Something really bad.

Lucky Tod must spend his daily detention in a hot, empty room with Mrs. Woodrow, a no-nonsense guidance counselor. He doesn’t know why he’s there, but she does. Tod’s punishment: to scrawl his story in a beat-up notebook. He can be painfully funny and he can be brutally honest. But can Mrs. Woodrow help Tod stop playing the bad guy before he actually turns into one . . . for real? Read Tod’s notebook for yourself.

My Thoughts:

This is a book that begs to be discussed with others who have read it. I am still trying to process my thoughts on this one. I appreciated that it showed the value and power of reading and writing, but I hated that the teachers portrayed were an absolute embarrassment to the profession. That said, it is still the story of a misunderstood and powerless boy that deserves to be read. I liked the format of notebook entries, I liked the rich vocabulary, I liked the main character, I liked the unexpected turns. And I LOVED the ending. It made the language arts teacher in me laugh out loud.

My Rating: 3.5/5 Stars

Other Reviews:


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