Fifth-grader Jack eats, sleeps, and breathes baseball. He spends his days playing first base, cheering for his beloved Colorado Rockies, and having fun with his two best buddies, Lizabeth and C.J. The dawning of a new school year also brings new changes for Jack. Two bullies called Steve and Cliff have made Jack their target – stealing his lunch, his baseball glove, and deliberately knocking him down. They’ve also targeted Jack’s friends, including the new German student, Hans. The bullies manage to do all of this when adults are not even looking. Jack feels helpless and cowardly, and he soon learns to dread going to school each day. How will Jack overcome this harassment? Read this book to find out!
This was a fast-paced read that elementary school students will relate to. The author portrayed realistic situations and believable bully behavior. The story tackles many themes, such as including people who feel left out. Jack is assigned to show the new German student, Hans, around the school, but the language barrier presents a challenge for him. As he gets to know Hans better, Jack learns that they share a passion for baseball and he realizes he needs Hans’ help for a school assignment. Jack also learns to lean on trusted adults when he has a problem. I liked how Jack’s parents did not solve his bully problem for him. Instead, Jack devised a plan to confront the bullies and talked it over with his parents beforehand. Jack also learned that a classmate’s unstable home life may account for his nasty behavior, but this does not give anyone the excuse to bully. Jack’s friends and family were fun to read about, with their own unique personalities and strengths. I would highly recommend this book to students in grades 2-5.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Mr. E Review – As a young elephant, I was often teased for my small size. I could really identify with Jack’s fear of the bullies. Give this book to young children and they will be empowered to take action with any problems in their lives.
Rating: 5/5 stars!