A funny and thought-provoking look at being different.Quirky characters, great humour and a really touching story make this a must-read for all 9 to 12 year old children.Written by best-selling, prizewinning author Louis Sachar.
Louis Sachar lives in Texas and is the author of many best-selling books for children in the USA. He is also the author of HOLES which Bloomsbury published to huge critical and commercial acclaim.
Fifth grader Bradley Chalkers is bright, imaginative, antisocial and friendless. Unlike the kids at school, who hate him, Bradley's collection of chipped and broken little pottery animals allows him to be brave, smart and vulnerable; he uses them to resolve the rejection of peers and adults. Jeff, a new boy at school, offers friendship but then withdraws his offer, because Bradley is hard to like. Enter Carla Davis, new school counselor, who is caring and funny, and who gradually helps restore Bradley's self-confidence. Feelings and emotions are strongly evoked in this touching and serious story of a disturbed child that is infused with humor and insight. (10-12)
Gr 4-7 An unlikely protagonist, Bradley Chalkers is a friendless, lying, insecure bully who is the oldest boy in his fifth-grade class. In this humorous novel that tells of Bradley's learning to like himself and to make friends, Sachar ably captures both middle-grade angst and joy. Bradley's triumph comes through the friendship of a new boy at school and the help of the new school counselor. Readers, like the astute counselor, can see the strengths that Bradley has, and will cheer at his minor victories and cringe at his setbacks along the way. The story is unusual, witty, and satisfying, if not always believable: a few incidents just do not work. For instance, even though Bradley has not been doing his homework, his complete ignorance of it is unlikely (``He hadn't realized. . .he would need to bring his book home''), and his total unfamiliarity with birthday parties is too extreme for a ten year old, even one who hadn't been to a party in three years. Yet Bradley's need for acceptance even as he holds back from classmates who might mock or hurt him is genuine, and his eventual success will gratify readers. David Gale, ``School Library Journal''