January 7, 2007

Shredderman - by Wendelin Van Draanen

Nolan Byrd is tired of being terrorized and humiliated by Bubba, the school bully, while the teachers and principal do nothing about it. A smart kid, Nolan decides to take matters into his own hands, and he turns a school project into a mission to do something about Bubba, once and for all.

This is a truly wonderful story that will appeal to anyone who's ever been teased or bullied, like I was in elementary school. It is very well-written, a study of believable characters, and a very interesting fifth-grade classroom, all told first-hand from Nolan's point of view. It's a feel-good book, at least at the end, when the bad guys get what's coming to them.

The illustrations every few pages really add to the story, making the reading experience even better. Readers who enjoy lots of action, nerdy kids who turn out to be not-so-nerdy, and stories where the good guys win will all love this book, and I'm guessing everybody else will, too.

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