Author: Andrew Clements
Paperback with CD: 175 page(s)
Age Range: 7 - 10
Ontario curriculum: Language - Reading
When Jake was three years old at Miss Lulu's Dainty Diaper Day Care Center, what did he know about bullies? Nothing. But he learned fast! Why? Because Jake was kind of smart and not a tattletale, and he had no big brother to protect him. He was a perfect bully magnet.
But everything changed the year Jake was in second grade. That's when SuperBully Link Baxter moved to town. Jake had his hands full just trying to survive, until class project time. Who did the teacher assign to be Link's partner? You guessed it.
Jake has to use all his smarts -- and his heart as well -- to turn himself from Jake Drake, Bully Magnet, to Jake Drake, Bully Buster.
From The Critics:
School Library Journal
A fourth grader looks back over his years in school and his early experiences as a "bully magnet." Even as a preschooler, Jake was the perfect victim-medium sized, moderately smart, and not inclined to tattle to the authorities. He relates how, in second grade, he came up against a SuperBully, Link Baxter, who taunted him on the bus, ruined his schoolwork, and generally made his life miserable. When the boys were paired up to do a Thanksgiving project, Jake was forced to do all the research. As it turned out, however, the SuperBully was a talented model maker and sometimes forgot to be mean when he was involved in creative work. Then, moments before their class presentation, Jake discovered that Link was terrified of public speaking. Although briefly tempted to take revenge, he instead agreed to let Link be a silent participant while he gave the oral presentation. While the tone of the book is light and humorous, it is a realistic look at a common problem. There is no instant change of heart, although the two adversaries end with a reluctant respect for one another. More important is the peace theme-Jake recognizes that "behind- [every] bully face, there's another face. A real face." This title is a must for character-education and conflict-resolution programs and will have strong appeal to transitional readers.