An insightful exploration of middle school bullying from multiple perspectives, by the award-winning author of Anything But Typical.
Elizabeth Moon grew up around dogs. Her mom runs a boarding kennel out of their home, so she's seen how dogs behave to determine pack order. Her experience in middle school is uncomfortably similar.
Maggie hates how Elizabeth acts so much better than everyone else. Besides, she's always covered in dog hair. And she smells. So Maggie creates a fake profile on a popular social networking site to teach Elizabeth a lesson.
What makes a bully, and what makes a victim? It's all in the perspective, and the dynamics shift. From sibling rivalries to mean girl antics, the varying points of view in this illuminating novel from the award-winning author of Anything But Typical
show the many shades of gray--because middle school is anything but black and white.
Grades 5-7. Elizabeth, whose mother expects her to help with the dogs boarded in their home kennel, is used to occasional teasing from her middle-school classmates, but she’s stunned to be maliciously targeted on a social-media site. Meanwhile, classmate Matthew is suspended for punching a teammate who was urinating on his shoes. While these incidents provide focal points for the narrative, the book looks at individual students in a broader context. Baskin takes on the complex topic of bullying and handles it in a complicated way, through multiple points of view that include bullied kids, bullying ones, and bystanders. The narration shifts from first person to third person to letters, memos, and other documents while also changing from one individual’s perspective to another’s and assuming that readers will quickly figure out whose viewpoint is featured in each chapter. Although this approach offers insights into the characters’ thoughts and motivations, it slows the story’s momentum. Still, some chapters make riveting reading, and the novel could serve as a springboard for discussion.