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Spider Boy
Ralph Fletcher
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Spider Boy

3.84  ·  Rating Details ·  169 Ratings  ·  29 Reviews
Humorous story about a boy's adjustment to new surroundings and kids in a new school. Packed with fascinating facts about spiders, the story is told through journal entries and scenes of events. Contains a spider bibliography.
ebook, 192 pages
Published August 17th 2009 by Clarion Books (first published April 14th 1997)
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Giovanni Zuniga
May 14, 2015 Giovanni Zuniga rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is really interesting because it talks about spiders. The story is about a kid who has tarantulas. One of the tarantulas is called Thelma. I would recommend this book to spider fans because it has facts about tarantulas.
In "Spider Boy" it starts off with a boy named Bobby that has everything he needs. A good home, a happy family and a trusty pet turanchula named Thelma. Bobby feels as if home could never be as good as this but then realizes a tragic news given to him. He has to move to Paltz, New York for his fathers new job. This means no more football,mike, chad, any of his best friends. Now he and his only friend Thelma have to survive in there new atmosphere.
Upon ariving to New York all Boby feels is empt
Barb Middleton
Feb 13, 2012 Barb Middleton rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: realistic
Spider Boy is the new kid in school. He hates it. He’d rather spend time with his pet tarantula than make friends. When his science teacher pairs him with another girl in class he is forced to communicate with others. While 7th grader Bobby likes being with her, he is bothered by the fact she likes Chick Hall, a boy who has been bullying him since day 1. When Bobby catches Chick cheating on a test things escalate in a dramatic climax.

Great pacing, plot, and characters. I loved how this book inco
Carol Royce Owen
Nov 04, 2016 Carol Royce Owen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Seventh grader, Bobby, is living in New Paltz, New York, far from his longtime home in Illinois. He is unable to accept this new house as his home, and yearns to be back with his friends in Illinois, even leaving his watch set to central time so he can think about where his friends are and what they are doing, any time of the day.

As he starts in his new school, he is quickly nicknamed Spider Boy, when the class jock and bully, Chick Hall discover his love of spiders. Bobby has a pet tarantula, T
Joey Pinney
Oct 02, 2014 Joey Pinney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Spider Boy
Ralph Fletcher
Bobby is a student that has a hobby different from other normal children. He is obsessed with spiders, and spider facts, and pretty much anything to do with these scary yet amazing creatures. Bobby is constantly made fun of at school for his obsession but uses his knowledge of spiders to turn his classmates into arachnophobes. In the end Bobby is a likeable character and an intelligent one too.

I enjoyed the book but it would not be considered one of my favorites. I th
Shana Bae
Jun 03, 2014 Shana Bae rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read Spider Boy with my 9 year old. The author got me in trouble with my husband and I nearly died laughing at one point. I may write him a letter!! lol... We loved this book but I may have loved it the most. My husband yelled at me to keep the noise down one night because I couldnt stop laughing over a prank Bobby pulled near the beginning. I think my own fear of large hairy spiders fueled my response but it is a good, relatively quick read for 3rd-4th graders. Some themes: Spiders, Tarantula ...more
Oct 09, 2012 Francesca713 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 7th-grade
This book was really interesting and I think it was pretty good. I noticed that the author made eveything start new for Bobby. For example, Thelma shed her skin giving her a "new life", then Chick Hall stopped bullying Bobby and he said that he now felt more at home. I really liked how the author ended it this way so I am happy with it. I also liked how Bobby's friends came and helped Bobby out with actually making his room fit for him. This really showed that he has friends and is trying to sta ...more
Sep 07, 2015 Shelly rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I have a complete aversion to spiders, despite my efforts to befriend them, or at least not scream and kill them right away. Reading Spider Boy reminded me of why it's important to work towards overcoming my fears and challenges. Bobby, 13 and in the 7th grade, moves to New Paltz, NY, and because of his knowledge of spiders and a couple of outlandish tales, gets nicknamed, "Spider Boy from Illinois." One popular kid named Chick begins to pick on him relentlessly. Bobby's story is compelling writ ...more
Jackson Vander
Spider Boy by Ralph Fletcher

Bobby Ballenger is starting at a new school thousands of miles away from his old house. He moved from Illinois to New Paltz, New York. His interest in Spiders has earned him the nickname spider boy back in his old town. Bobby is very worried about his pet tarantula because it hasn't eaten since they moved. Bobby keeps a journal of cool spider facts, like how long each spider lives and their diet.

I would recommend this book to any boy around my age or a little younger.
A 7th grade boy in a new school learns to adjust after moving to NY from IL. He experiences bullying, deals with lying and cheating issues along with interracial friendships, girls and forgiveness. He loves spiders. At the beginning of each chapter we read in his journal about spider facts and a few things about himself, then it switches to third person. There is some symbolism involved with the spiders and their reactions to their environments and quiet periods/changing times/molting and new st ...more
Jul 17, 2013 Debbie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: family-titles
Owen is obsessed with Fletcher's book "Guy Write," so he was really happy to read a fiction book by his writing guru. I was impressed with Fletcher's writing too, because it gave us so much to discuss. It was a well-crafted book, and we could relate what was going on with the spiders and the spider journal to Bobby's life. And it was hip enough to appeal to all types of kids, being a cool realistic fiction book. This is not Owen's usual genre at all, so I'm glad he was able to stretch himself an ...more
Bobby has just moved to New Paltz and is not liking his new situation. Fortunately, he has Thelma, his pet tarantula to help him adjust. His knowledge of spiders earns him popularity at his new middle school. Some of this popularity, however, is the unwanted kind from the class bully and his gang. Bobby makes a couple of good friends, but the bullying harassment escalates to a surprising degree. Italicized entries about spiders from Bobby's journal are interesting and enlightening.
May 06, 2013 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Bobby is new to the town, and he has almost no friends. But his best friends are the spiders. That's why he's called the spider boy.
I think this is one of my best books I read. It is just so good for my reading level. It is also my favorite book by Ralph Fletcher. I think he should write his other books like this, too. It was just so great. It has high description. I just like it.
I read this book as part of my 7/8 grade LLI groups at school. It isn't the most exciting book, but it does cover topics kids can relate to such as moving to a new school, friendship, and bullying. The main character, Bobby, goes through a major transformation from the beginning of the story to the end, which makes it a great text to use while instructing students.
Mary Thulin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dec 04, 2012 Mason.b rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think the book was good because I thoght that this is a real life story which i liked a lot about the book there was some scary parts. there was lots of parts where i feel what the characters emotions and that was great that I was in his story.
Grade 7 boy must get used to new school and surroundings. Has two tarantulas to keep him occupied. The journal he keeps shows that he has the mind of a scientist. A well-rounded character and a nice story.
Diana Pettis
Apr 24, 2014 Diana Pettis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is the novel for the gold kit in Leveled Literacy Intervention. It is geared towards fourth grade reading level. I really liked the message the author was conveying about being a new student and how to cope with that. I can't wait to read it with my students after vacation.
Mar 07, 2012 Justin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I thought that this book was good because it was realistic fiction and most of my friends know i like RF. This book was exceptionally powerfull in describing Bobby's (the main character) thoughts and feelings. This is a great book. Take my advice and read this book. 8/10.
Jan 27, 2010 Richard rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Feb 02, 2012 Henry rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is a DRA 40 book if you need information. BTW, this book is awesome! This is what I read when I forgot to bring my book for reading log.
Jan 28, 2016 Griffin rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 21, 2009 Cws added it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: jear
Aug 04, 2012 Liz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
liked it, especially since I met and had dinner with Ralph Fletcher this year. would recommend to middle school students; bullying/moving themes
Aug 29, 2011 4charlief is currently reading it  ·  review of another edition
so far its an interesting story about a teenager that moves to a new state and is trying to fit in.... but he has a facination for spiders
Jul 03, 2008 Sue rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: middle school boys.
As real as middle school stories can be--also a fast read. Both boys and girls would enjoy this book.
May 07, 2008 Sabrina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
The life of spiders. I thought I would't like it because I personally hate spiders. But it turned out to be a pretty good book.
Feb 28, 2013 Ms rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Enjoyable! And I learned so much about spiders that I just might like them now!
Bradley rated it liked it
Jan 16, 2013
Paul Chionchio
Paul Chionchio rated it really liked it
Oct 13, 2011
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this is a great book 7 6 Mar 24, 2016 12:02PM  
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Ralph Fletcher is a friend of young writers and readers as well as writing teachers. He has written or co-authored many books for writing teachers includng Writing Workshop: The Essential Guide, Teaching the Qualities of Writing, Lessons for the Writer's Notebook, Boy Writers: Reclaiming Their Voices, and Pyrotechnics on the Page: Playful Craft That Sparks Writing. Ralph has worked with teachers a ...more
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