January 15, 2011

Dexter the Tough - by Margaret Peterson Haddix

"I am the new kid.  I am tuf. This morning I beat up a kid."  That's what Dexter writes on his first day at a new school, when the teacher asks him to write a story.  It's all true, but it's hardly the full story.

This short but interesting realistic fiction book tells fourth grade Dexter's story, from his move away from his parents to live with his grandma to his first fight, and his first new friendship.  Dexter's life is tough, and from the moment he arrives at his new school he hates everyone.  The principal, the janitor, the lunch lady, and the kid crying in the boy's bathroom.  When Dexter hauls off and hits that kid, his life takes a turn in directions he never could have expected.  Can Dexter get his life back together and be the person he wants to be?  Will he ever see his parents again?  Will his teacher ever get off his back about this story she's made him write?  Is Dexter as tough as he thinks?  Read it and find out!

This is nothing like the author's other books, such as the Shadow Children series or The Missing series, both of which feature longer books and more complex and action-packed plots.  This is basically a long short story about a kid who is trying to figure out who he is and how he got here, and for that, it's pretty good.  Read it if you like school stories, or tales of kids who just need a good friend to help them figure things out.

1 comment:

Ms. Yingling said...

How did I miss this one? I'll have to take a look.