Wednesday, August 11, 2004

Inventing Elliot--Graham Gardner

Reminiscent of The Chocolate War, this book effectively deals with both sides of bullying. Elliot is a weak loser at his old school and constantly a victim of the stronger, malicious bullies. When he moves to a new school he decides to reinvent himself--he needs to stand out just enough to fit in. He wants to be noticed in the right way, not noticed because he's trying to be invisible. His strategy works--until he's noticed in the right way by the wrong people--the Guardians who organize and orchestrate all the bullying in school. The Guardians recruit Elliot and even though he knows what it's like to be on the other side, he participates because of the relief that it's not him and the fear that it could be.

This is a good quick read. I finished it in just a few hours. There are references to 1984, and knowing Orwell's book definitely enhances the story, but it's not required. Graham does a good job examining bullies and their victims.

Possible Top Shelf depending on the reaction from the teens.
Reading: Behind You--Jacqueline Woodson
On My Nightstand:
Blue fingers : a ninja's tale -- Whitesel, Cheryl Aylward.
In darkness, death -- Hoobler, Dorothy.
Juliet Dove, Queen of Love--Coville, Bruce.
Sister Slam and the poetic motormouth roadtrip--High, Linda Oatman.
Story time--Bloor, Edward, 1950-
Summer secrets -- Hermes, Patricia.

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