Tod Munn is a bully. He's tough, but times are even tougher. The wimps have stopped coughing up their lunch money. The administration is cracking down. Then to make things worse, Tod and his friends get busted doing something bad. Something really bad.
Lucky Tod must spend his daily detention in a hot, empty room with Mrs. Woodrow, a no-nonsense guidance counselor. He doesn't know why he's there, but she does. Tod's punishment: to scrawl his story in a beat-up notebook. He can be painfully funny and he can be brutally honest. But can Mrs. Woodrow help Tod stop playing the bad guy before he actually turns into one . . . for real?
Read Tod's notebook for yourself.
Shulman (Mom and Dad Are Palindromes) makes his YA debut with the story of Tod, a school bully forced to spend detention writing in a journal. Tod's latest crime was breaking into school with his buddies to steal a video camera, but he has a long history of beating up kids for their lunch money and destroying property. He's also a superb student, hiding his good grades behind his rough demeanor. As he writes, details of his home life emerge. Tod's house is barely habitable, and he is forced to help his mother in her job as a seamstress to make ends meet. His bullying is often less about wanting to hurt other kids than genuinely needing money, although he doesn't show much remorse. There's little that hasn't been done before the overly smart bully with a troubled home life is a standard trope but Shulman throws in some nice twists and gives Tod a strong, solid voice. Even the inevitable ray of hope doesn't fully distract from the bleakness of Tod's life. Ages 12 up.
Customer ReviewsSee All
This book is inspirational to some, and a good read to others. You don't have to be a certain age to read this book, although it is aimed for 13 to 17 year olds.