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.
Cartoonist Katz's debut purports to get inside the head of a middle-school bully, but rapidly devolves from a Wimpy Kid knockoff with a mean streak into unfunny absurdity. Seventh-grader Niko sets the wise-guy tone early on, scoffing at his psychiatrist's suggestions that his fears of disappointing his absent father and "insecurities and weight issues" are to blame for his bad behavior (even as Katz hints that the doctor is on-target). Asserting that he bullies because he's "great at it," Niko starts off by dunking a "wimp" head-first in a toilet and locking the debate team in the gym lockers, but as the book progresses, events depart from any resemblance to reality, with Niko targeting adults and ending up bullied himself while at the Lindsey Lohan Academy for Misguided Youth. The twisted humor, delivered through Niko's cartoons as well as his sardonic ramblings, frequently misses its mark (including two potentially offensive gags involving triggering a neighbor's Vietnam War flashback and a bottle of Taiwanese hair tonic), and the lack of a resolution will likely leave kids feeling cheated. Ages 9 up.