Odd Squad: Bully Bait

Odd Squad:  Bully Bait

I don't think anyone would describe middle school as a happy time in life, but author Michael Frye will make you laugh out loud as his three misfits learn to deal with the bullies.

At Emily Dickinson Middle School, Nick, the shortest kid ever, Molly, the tallest, and Karl, the nerdiest, were doing as well as any other seventh grader who didn't exactly fit the mythical mold of the perfect kid, but  Dr. Daniels, the counselor, decides they need to be socialized into middle school society.  In her view, The Safety Patrol will become their peer group, and through each other they will find the skills to ward off  the bully, Roy and his posse.

Karl loves the idea because he has always been a one man Safety Patrol, but Nick and Molly are fully aware that “Safety Patrol” is not going to get them accepted into middle school society.   Being reasonable kids, they go along with the plan.

Enter Mr. Dupree, the philosophical janitor.  Every school needs someone like this.   He relates improbable tales from his life—coaching penguins in Antarctica for the Olympics,  defending a tribe in Borneo from hobbits who steal their pigs—that seem a bit far fetched.  His strategy for neutralizing a bully to take control is simply, “You bring the crazy.”

Nick's grandmother has her own wisdom which she conveys in a way only a grandmother could.  In the beginning, you think this is just another wacky story, but the message is clear—the tormentor may be tormented by something, too. Generous amount of cartoonish illustrations, colorful characters, and crazy events will make this the perfect read for fans of Wimpy Kid, Lunch Lady, Dork Diaries, and Big Nate.

224 pages   Ages 8-12  978-1423169246

Recommended by:   Sharon Lawler, M.A. MSLS,  Librarian,  Texas USA

Read Alikes:  Charlie Joe Jackson series, Big Nate series, Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, Dork Diaries series,  Timmy Failure series

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Stuffed in the locker again.  Nicholas is pretty sure he is the smallest seventh grader in history and unfortunately his size makes him a perfect fit every time the school bully wants to stuff him in a locker.  The worst part about the locker adventure is coming out with zombie butt which as everyone knows leads to log legs.

Luckily the janitor, Mr. Dupree, is usually on hand to get the locker open so Nicholas can be free.  Mr. Dupree is no ordinary janitor.  In fact he tells Nicholas about the school ghost, Emily.  Seems she is making her presence known.

A well-meaning counselor, Dr. Daniels, has decided she's had enough of seeing Nicholas suffer at the hands of this bully. She also wants to help two other students, Karl and Molly, fight back.  So Dr. Daniels designates the three students as safety patrols.  The three kids are forced to trade phone numbers and start working together outside of school.

With the help of Mr. Dupree and his hippie wisdom and Dr. Daniels' good intentions, the three less than popular students decide to start a campaign of their own to change the school culture.

Funny and delivering a good message.

Recommended by: Barb, abookandahug.com

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