Kevin has a bad attitude. He's the one who laughs when you trip and fall. In fact, he may have been the one who tripped you in the first place. He has a real knack for rubbing people the wrong way—and he's even figured out a secret way to do it with poems. But what happens when the tables are turned and he is the one getting picked on? Rhyme Schemer is a touching and hilarious middle-grade novel in verse about one seventh grader's journey from bully-er to bully-ee, as he learns about friendship, family, and the influence that words can have on people's lives.
Includes bonus material!
- Book Club Discussion Guide
- Reading and Writing Connections
In this affecting verse novel, Holt (Brains for Lunch) traces 12-year-old Kevin evolution from bully to bullied while highlighting the solace he finds writing poetry. Kevin sees his peers as "easy prey" and feels all-powerful as "king of the seventh grade." At home, however, his distracted parents barely notice him, and his siblings either ignore or actively torment him. Kevin channels his feelings of inadequacy and aggression into his journal. Tension spikes when Kevin is suspended, and his main target, Robin, finds Kevin's journal; Robin uses Kevin's own words to terrorize and embarrass him, which turns school into a nightmare for him ("The days don't even separate anymore./ It is all just one long/ never/ end/ ing/ day"). An unlikely champion emerges in the memorable school librarian who sees Kevin's potential. Though some of the roots of Kevin's bullying come across as rather obvious and familiar, and the resolution too tidy, bullies, those bullied, and bystanders alike will be left with much to ponder. Ages 10 up.