Monday, September 12, 2011

"Journal of a Schoolyard Bully" Review

"Journal of a Schoolyard Bully"
by Farley Katz

Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin
Release Date: Sep 13, 2011 
Source: ARC sent by publisher

My Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from  

In the tradition of the mega successful DIARY OF A WIMPY KID and DORK DIARIES comes Niko Taylor, a school bully who must keep a journal to right all the wrongs he has done, but Niko, being a habitual trouble-maker, has other ideas.   Niko Kaylor, the terror of his middle school, doles out wedgies and collects money he doesn’t need. When he is forced to begin keeping a journal of his activities to curb his bullying ways, he secretly turns his diary into a how-to guide for bullies.  Now, against the wishes of his peers, Niko plans to conquer his middle school and teach everyone a lesson in bullying, including his teachers.  

Blog tour exclusive! 

As part of the blog tour for "Journal of a Schoolyard Bully", I have two blog tour exclusive comics from the author! Click on the comics to enlarge and read them!

My Review:

I'm pretty sure I'm not the target audience for this book, so that might be part of why I didn't enjoy it so much. I just wasn't able to get past the message that celebrating bullies sends to kids.

There's an author's note at the beginning that detailed how the reader was supposed to be laughing at the bully not with him, but I'm not sure that came across in the story. Especially since it never really seemed like Niko got his just deserts in the end. The author's note seemed to be tacked on at the last minute to make the book politically correct, especially with the bullying epidemic lately in the news.

There were laugh out loud moments, like his grouchy neighbor telling him to "get off my lawnmower" instead of the typical "get off my lawn." But there were also many cringe worthy moments such as Niko calling the police and having the grouchy old man sent to the asylum. I thought bullying like this went way too far, and I preferred the sillier things like stinky paper airplanes and I thought they were more age-appropriate.

I think the book would have worked for me more if all of the bullying incidents had been sillier and  harmless, and I definitely would have liked it more if Niko had learned his lesson. It seemed like maybe he didn't stop bullying in the end so that there could be sequels.

Bottom Line: The book has it's funny moments, but overall it might not be the best book for kids in light of all the bullying that goes on in real life.

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