Michael Fry’s humorous account of the struggles of Nick, “the shortest seventh-grader in the history of the world” is a clever study of physical and verbal bullying in a school setting told in a way that makes it easy for children to relate to.
Nick is a loner and a misfit who teams up with two other odd balls — Molly and Karl — to take on the class bully, Roy. But the story is a little more complicated than it seems because Roy, who is a physical bully, is himself also a victim because of he is the recipient of bullying — albeit funny — text messages.
When Nick, Molly and Karl get together to form the Safety Patrol they are supported in their struggle by the school’s Shakespeare-quoting janitor, Mr Dupree who has the gift of telling amazing tall stories that provide lessons for life.
Nicely illustrated with funny cartoons that add to the story, The Odd Squad should appeal to children and parents and teachers. This is an entertaining and enjoyable read and highly recommended for readers aged 8+.
The Odd Squad : Bully Bait by Michael Fry is published by Disney-Hyperion. ISBN-10: 1423169247 ISBN-13: 978-1423169246 (Disclosure: a free review copy was provided via Netgalley.com)