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Don't Call Me Ishmael! (Ishmael Leseur #1)

3.65  ·  Rating Details ·  1,310 Ratings  ·  175 Reviews
There's no easy way to put this, so I'll say it straight out. It's time I faced up to the truth. I'm fourteen years old and I have Ishmael Leseur's Syndrome. There is no cure. And there is no instant cure to not fitting in. But that won't stop Ishmael and his intrepid band of misfits from taking on bullies, bugs, babes, the Beatles, debating, and the great white whale in t ...more
Hardcover, 277 pages
Published by Scholastic (first published 2006)
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Edacheeky (Eda D) Yes me too!!! i loved it! It was so authentic, real and beautiful and i loved how it was funny and light-hearted at the same time. Yes he does get to…moreYes me too!!! i loved it! It was so authentic, real and beautiful and i loved how it was funny and light-hearted at the same time. Yes he does get to hang out with Kelly and yes there IS a sequel called "Ishmael and the return of the Dugongs" and a third book: "Ishmael and the hoops of Steel". I have read them all and they are all wonderful books! the goodreads links for them are here:

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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3.5 stars.

“One of the Beatles had just fallen out of my pants.
I was pretty sure it was Ringo.”

A conversation.A heated debate.

Jo -So, I really enjoyed this book. It was full of colourful characters, hilarious dialogue and ridiculous (and fun!) situations, this book will definitely appeal to middle-grade readers. However I couldn’t help but think that there were some jokes that went on a bit longer than they should of. I imagine my face was similar to the face I pull when my granddad, my colou
Feb 24, 2011 Mark rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: humor, young-adult
"Don't Call Me" Ishmael follows Ishmael Leseur, a quick witted 9th grader as he enters a new school and deals with the burden that being named Ishmael brings. Overall, the book is enjoyable and funny but struggles to present a truly memorable or interesting high school tale. Spoilers included, be forewarned.

Ishmael, himself, is a well done character with a wonderful voice which carries the book from beginning to end. You empathize with him, root for him, and wish things turn out well because he'
Feb 17, 2009 Sarah rated it it was amazing
I enjoyed this immensely from start to finish. The plot was by no means unconventional but the writing was so fantastic that I hardly noticed. The narrator's 'voice' was so vivid and he told his story with such a dramatic, humorous, theatrical flourish that you felt like his troubles with the school bully and insecurities about girls and public speaking were bigger news than WWII.
I immediately guessed that the writer was a high school teacher, and sure enough, a quick check of the 'about the aut
Henry Moss
Mar 20, 2012 Henry Moss rated it liked it
Shelves: books-for-school
'Don't Call Me ISHMAEL' is a good book and I enjoyed reading through it. The book was good because at the end of most chapters it had a little comment that made you want to keep reading. These included things like 'But I was wrong' which always made me want t read one more page. The book has some humourous points that made me chuckle in a happy manner. The characters are believeable and you actually start to generate feelings for them which is always a good thing for any reader. Overall I enjoye ...more
Shane Harcombe
Apr 17, 2015 Shane Harcombe rated it liked it
A pleasant read, with many of the familiar themes of early high school life. I really enjoyed the character of James Scobie and think many people could learn a lot from the way he conducts himself. A very sweet book that I think any late primary to early high school child would enjoy. I will seek out the sequel.
Jun 02, 2011 Benna rated it liked it
A very funny book although probably more for younger readers
Dec 26, 2010 Viktoria rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, children
Ismael hasst seinen Namen und wird anscheinend aufgrund seines Namens immer wieder von einem Jungen seiner Klasse gehänselt. Ismael hat die beste Technik herausbekommen, dem aus dem Weg zu gehen, nämlich indem er sich so unsichtbar wie nur möglich macht. Das geht aber nicht mehr, als ein neuer Mitschüler in die Klasse kommt, der Ismael auch noch in seinem Debattierclub haben will...
Ein witziges Buch, dass Mut machen möchte, gegen Mobbing vorzugehen und für Zivilcourage einzutreten. Klingt jetzt
James Purkis Purkis
Dec 22, 2012 James Purkis Purkis rated it liked it
I am reluctant to criticize YAF because it is not aimed at my reading level. The character of Ishmael is engaging in his own self defeatist attitudes and his cast of school yard enemies and weird friends surpass being simply caricatures. The plot is not over predictable and the action never gets bogged down for too long in any one scene. This lends the book an easy going feel that made it a pleasure to keep reading. My main criticism would be the message about bullying and the melodramatic natur ...more
Kathy Lane
I love laughing aloud and being taken by surprise. The emotions and character reactions felt authentic. I plan to read top contenders again. Alexie's book is great, but not appealing to local teens so far where Ishmael is captivating all -young and no longer young. (KDL)
i thought that this book was a good book and very enjoyable to read, it was a book that could be great to read for all ages but especially for teenages or people that have started at a new school. The book focuses alot on bullying and how to cope with bullying. i really enjoyed reading this book and i would like to read the next one.
Sarah Waters
Apr 26, 2014 Sarah Waters rated it really liked it
The start of this book didn't grab me but after seeing its rating and reading reviews I persisted and I'm glad i did! Really enjoyed getting to know the main character and the introduction of James Scobie was a highlight for me. Would have loved to have had his character throughout the book. This book would promote a lot of discussion, especially in regards to bullying. Great mature read!
May 12, 2011 Abi rated it really liked it
good so far
Charmaine Clancy
Oct 14, 2011 Charmaine Clancy rated it it was amazing
Mu'iz Bakar
This book is just okay.
May 17, 2011 Siobhan rated it liked it
so far it great!
Mar 09, 2017 Ezabelle rated it it was amazing
the best book i have read in ages. it is a great story and does sure make me laugh. i recommend reading this book if you want to laugh.
Dec 13, 2016 Indya rated it liked it
Had to read this for school years ago. Honestly can't remember anything about it.
Jun 13, 2016 Julie rated it liked it
"Don't Call Me Ishmael is a young adult novel by Australian author Michael Gerard Bauer. It is about Ishmael Leseur, a 14-year-old boy, and his experiences in Year Nine of school. It won the 2008 award for children's literature at Writers' Week, Australia's oldest writers' festival.[1] It was short-listed for the Children's Book Council of Australia's Book of the Year award in the older reader category in 2007.[2]

His Year Nine teacher, Miss Tarango, tells the whole class about the name Ishmael c
Benedikt Schumacher
Feb 05, 2017 Benedikt Schumacher rated it it was amazing
Don’t Call Me Ishmael is a young adult fiction book written by Michael Gerard Bauer in 2006. In 2008 the book won the award for children's literature at Writers' Week. The author was born in Brisbane, Australia and has written many other books such as the running man.

The book is about a ninth grader called Ishmael Leseur who think he has a terrible life and a syndrome he made up called the “Ishmael Leseur Syndrome”. He believe this makes him extremely socially awkward. When he comes to school hi
Feb 22, 2017 Sue rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Don't Call Me Ishmael by Michael Gerard Bauer (2007)
Stacy Nyikos
Jan 07, 2015 Stacy Nyikos rated it it was amazing
Don't Call Me Ishmael

Michael Gerard Bauer


If the cold, dreary, dark days of January have blanketed you, this is just the right read. Don't Call Me Ishmael is Bud, not Buddy hilarious and set in Australia, where, currently, it is summer! So pull up a chair and toast your toes on the warmth and humor of this story.

Basic plot: Ishmael Leseur, a Year Nine student (that's down under for ninth grader), suffers from ILS, Ishmael Leseur Syndrome, which is Ishmael's name for his particular brand of
Ismael ist nicht allein wegen seines Namens zum Gespött seiner Klassenkameraden geworden. Typen wie Barry Bagsley brauchen einfach jemanden, auf dem sie herum trampeln können. Als James Scobie neu in die Klasse kommt, stockt Ismael - und Michael Bauers Lesern - der Atem. James ist außergewöhnlich klein, adrett, er hat mehr als merkwürdige Angewohnheiten und macht so ziemlich alles falsch, das ein Schüler falsch machen kann, der nicht zur Zielscheibe eines überzeugten Mobbers werden will. Doch de ...more
Kay Smith
Sep 30, 2014 Kay Smith rated it it was amazing
I just borrowed this book from my school library. I recently finished it today. It is my favorite book in the world now!!! This book has inspired me so much. i would like to say that Michael Gerard Bauer is an amazing writer!! I love the characters so much and it feels like i had a strong connection to this book. I LOVED this book so much. It is an awesome book. Ishmael is a very awesome character. I love the way that he tells the story of his school year and how he felt about it. But i would li ...more
Jul 15, 2012 Leselibelle rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ismael hasst seinen Namen. Besonders deswegen, weil er für die tyrannische Clique ständige Steilvorlagen bietet. Er ist es gewohnt so gut es geht abzutauchen, um ja keinem der bösen Jungs aufzufallen. Doch das gelingt leider nur bedingt. Als ein neuer Schüler in die Klasse kommt, ändert sich die Situation jedoch maßgeblich, denn dieser neue Schüler kann mit der bloßen Kraft seiner Worte, die vorlauten Jungs zum Schweigen bringen. Ist der Debattierclub, der vom neuen Schüler mitbegründet w
Sophie Jean
Apr 10, 2016 Sophie Jean rated it liked it
Don't Call Me Ishmael! was an easy and distracting read. The story centers around a ninth grader named Ishmael, who was bullied by Barry Bagsley all of eighth grade. Things aren't looking up for poor Ishmael, especially when a new boy shows up whose behavior practically screams kick me. However James Scobie turns out to be the best thing that could have ever happened. He stands up to Barry, forces Ishmael to socialize, and starts his very own debate team, which Ishmael becomes a part of. But Sco ...more
Kirsty Leishman
May 25, 2016 Kirsty Leishman rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult, tutoring
I read this because it's the first book in a series, the second of which, Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs, one of the students I'm tutoring is reading for school. I'm a bit of a completist; I couldn't bring myself to start the second book without reading the first. I'll probably read the third too.

Anyway, despite all my moaning about how Australian schools only seem to teach Shakespeare and American novels and plays from the mid-twentieth century, here is an exception. Another student, rea
Jill Smith
Aug 07, 2012 Jill Smith rated it it was amazing
At first thought the topic of Bullying in schools is not an easy one to broach. However, Michael writes so cleverly this subject is easy to relate to. Michael writes in the voice of a fourteen year old, with a brainy big sister and parents that kid around all the time. Ishmael believes he has an incurable disease ‘Ishmael Leseur’s Syndrome!’

From the very first sentence the reader is drawn to this insecure boy with many foibles and a loving family, willing Ishmael to like himself and to stand up
Jill Smith
Mar 15, 2014 Jill Smith rated it it was amazing
At first thought the topic of Bullying in schools is not an easy one to broach. However, Michael writes so cleverly this subject is easy to relate to. Michael writes in the voice of a fourteen year old, with a brainy big sister and parents that kid around all the time. Ishmael believes he has an incurable disease ‘Ishmael Leseur’s Syndrome!’

From the very first sentence the reader is drawn to this insecure boy with many foibles and a loving family, willing Ishmael to like himself and to stand up
I laughed. I groaned. I cheered.

Thanks to an in-joke between his parents, Ishmael wound up named after the famous narrator. And if you think it's easy to get through high school being named after a book that has the word "dick" in the title, you've obviously never met teenagers.

Ishmael is your average, slightly shy guy, and his greatest wish is to be left alone. But the universe obviously has other plans. From an outrageous English teacher to a debate team full of oddballs, this year is going to
Mar 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Review by Laurence Penna

Hounded by the school bully and struck dumb in the presence of girls, the year doesn’t start well for Ishmael when he is asked to take misfit James Sobie under his wing. However, life takes some unexpected turns for Ishmael and his friends as they embark on the most embarrassingly awful… and the best year of their lives.

I wasn’t too sure what to expect just from reading the blurb on the back, but immediately got hooked on this wonderful book. I was expecting something s
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Girls Zone Book Club: What do you think about this book for M/D book club? 2 5 Sep 01, 2011 07:35PM  
MY real name is ishmael james 1 25 Jan 12, 2009 04:33AM  
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Michael Gerard Bauer was born in Brisbane. After surviving school, he attended the University of Queensland where he enjoyed the social life while making brief and half hearted appearances in a variety of courses.

These included Commercial / Law and Social Work where he quickly discovered he was neither lawyer nor social worker material. Finally, like everyone else who didn't have a clue what they
More about Michael Gerard Bauer...

Other Books in the Series

Ishmael Leseur (3 books)
  • Ishmael and the Return of the Dugongs
  • Ishmael and the Hoops of Steel

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