Monday, January 10, 2011

MONDAY: Jake Drake, Bully Buster


This fall I was asked to serve as a mentor with In2Books, a group that pairs adult mentors with third through fifth grade students. The students and the mentors read books together throughout the year and exchange thoughts and questions about what they read through email.  Jake Drake was the first book I read with my student.

Jake has a big problem - a big bully problem. For some reason, a boy named Link has targeted Jake and he makes Jake's life miserable. Jake doesn't want to tattle - that creates problems of its own - but he doesn't want to give in to the bullying either. He tries several things to help him with his problem and along the way learns some things about bullies and about Link - and himself.


I am an Andrew Clements fan, but this was my first Jake Drake book. I liked it, but not as much as books like Frindle and No Talking. I thought Jake's approach to the bullying was very realistic and his story would be a great starting point for discussions about bullying. I respected Jake's desire to avoid tattling, but I'm sure most parents and teachers would want to encourage students to seek adult help rather than trying to deal with a bully alone.

3 out of 5 stars

Recommended for: early chapter book readers, class room teachers, teachers of anti-bullying/ peace-related curricula, bedtime reading and book discussion for parents and children

Cautions: none

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