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3.87  ·  Rating Details  ·  2,088 Ratings  ·  337 Reviews
Tod Munn is a bully. He's tough, but times are even tougher. The wimps have stopped coughing up their lunch money. The administration is cracking down. Then to make things worse, Tod and his friends get busted doing something bad. Something really bad.

Lucky Tod must spend his daily detention in a hot, empty room with Mrs. Woodrow, a no-nonsense guidance counselor. He doesn
Hardcover, 232 pages
Published September 14th 2010 by Roaring Brook Press
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Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingHoles by Louis SacharEnder's Game by Orson Scott CardThe Hunger Games by Suzanne CollinsThe Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan
Best Books for Teen Boys
38th out of 1,098 books — 1,385 voters
The Magic of Finkleton by K.C. HiltonScrawl by Mark ShulmanHarry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. RowlingThe Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. LewisElla Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine
Best Middle School/Young Adult Novels
2nd out of 153 books — 143 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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I loved everything about this book. It had a unique perspective, an unusual protagonist, an interesting format and it was not the same 'message' that kids get beat over the head with in so many YA books.

I would love to have a book club read this and hear how students react to the characters and the situations. I'd especially be interested to see how boys react to it. I am sure to order this book for any library I work in in the future.

I listened to this on audio book and there were a few moment
Dec 08, 2011 Catie rated it liked it
Well, if you’re looking to get deep into the mind of a bully, this ain’t it. (Go check out Courtney Summers instead.) That’s because Tod Munn isn’t really a bully. Or if he is, he’s a rather benevolent one. He’s also on the honor roll, has perfect attendance, and is a pretty talented seamstress (seamster?). He’s well-read, a fantastic speller, and doesn’t use drugs or drink or even swear.

And okay, yes, this book is written as a series of journal entries from Tod to his guidance counselor so mayb
Feb 04, 2011 Carolina rated it it was amazing
Here's the thing about this book: I sort of didn't want to like it. It's about--and written in the voice of--a bully. And I can't abide a bully. So, I didn't want to sympathize with one. I certainly didn't want to like one. But you know, through the course of reading SCRAWL, I did both of those things. Something else happened too: I began to understand Tod.

But Tod isn't your average ham-fisted, blockheaded bully either. He's intelligent, clever, and ridiculously funny. His drip-dry humor was ju
Oct 12, 2011 Brooke rated it it was amazing
I think that this book is an excellent perceived veiw of a school from a teen bully. He may be a bully, but all that he has said about his grades give me the impression that he means to be tough on the outside but he secretly even says that he studys hard to meet his goals to get good grades. He crumples his papers before he turns them in, plays stupid or coy in class( Tod Munn is in all reading honors classes)while still being top person in class. His teachers do everything they can underhanded ...more
Dec 30, 2010 Sarah rated it it was amazing
One word: AMAZING. The first thing I noticed was the voice in the book. The book is composed of Tod's "Detention Journal" entries - he has to write in this journal during detention for getting in trouble. It is evident that this author knows a thing or two about character development; the voice is so strong, you feel like you've known Tod for all your life. I wasn't planning on read this 200-something page book in one sitting becuase of only an hour of time to do it in, but it ended up that way. ...more
Apr 24, 2013 Nickie rated it it was amazing
Scrawl's protagonist is not a nice guy. In fact, high schooler Tod Munn is a barely tolerable guy. In between stealing lunch money, vandalizing school property, and irritating teachers, Tod finally pushes his luck and gets into major trouble.

Instead of being expelled, Tod is sentenced to a few months of detention supervised by his guidance counselor. Mrs. Woodrow requires Tod to write in a journal, and what she discovers about Tod and his friends surprises everyone...

What I liked about this book
Mar 02, 2011 Kate rated it it was amazing
It's tough to know where to start with this one... the pitch-perfect, sharp-edged smart-kid-bad-kid voice? The creative and believable "detention notebook" format, complete with quick exchanges between the kid doing time and the teacher-warden? Loved all that...but I think it's the heart of this book that really drew me in (author Mark Shulman might hate that I said that...he's one of those tough guys who probably eats books with "heart" for breakfast, but it's true.) The truth is that Tod, the ...more
Jan 14, 2015 Natalie rated it really liked it
An amazing novel that is a page turner you will never forget. In the novel Scrawl written by Mark Shulman it is a book that would be leaving you with so many questions. Tod is a person who you might think as a "thug" or a "troublemaker" but in reality he is a person worth being friends with. He may not be the most innocent person in the past but he is a person you could trust, a real friend. Tod, just figures out who is really there for him. I suggest this novel to readers who love the genre of ...more
Amber Neighbors
Sep 09, 2015 Amber Neighbors rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: grades 4-7
Scrawl is not your typical bullying story. In fact, main character, Todd Munn, is the bully. This book is not focused on the victims. Rather it is an insight into what makes a bully into a bully. Todd's life is not so easy. He has a rough reputation to keep up, because if he doesn't, some other mean kid will rule him and everyone else. He steals lunch money, but not because that's what bullies do in all the cartoons. Todd plays stupid, because that's what everyone expects from a kid who lives in ...more
Jan 06, 2016 Audrey rated it it was amazing
Tod Munn is a bully. He picks on kids and seems tough. But after getting detention he has to write entries about his day in an old notebook. And though it seems strange, you start to sympathize and identify with him. He sleeps in a small freezing room and his mom works hard all day as a seamstress while he couldn't mean less to his stepfather. Todd opens up and you see his hidden bright, caring personality.
This book is a great book that I would recommend to anyone to read. This book is unique,
Mar 26, 2010 Nancy rated it it was amazing
SCRAWL is a fabulous, riveting read. Tod is probably the most interesting bad boy I've ever met in YA fiction, and Mark Shulman is certainly one of the best new voices.
Feb 07, 2011 Carol rated it it was amazing
This book is a stunning achievement. Without realizing it, I had been taken through the mind of a tough "lost boy" who, magically before my eyes, went from bad to misunderstood to understood to appreciated. This is the kind of balancing act I rarely see from any YA author; these writers tend to overplay their hands by presuming their readers can't handle nuance.

And yet, Scrawl is just as important for adults to read as teens. Each of us thinks we know a child and has him or her figured out, and
Apr 05, 2011 Ashley rated it it was ok
I actually feel kind of bad for giving this book 2 stars. Everyone else who's read this book seems to love it. I thought it was mediocre. It was interesting enough that I wanted to finish it, but not so fantastically amazing that I just couldn't put it down.

Things I liked about this book:
I liked the style in which this book is written. It's not formal writing. It's all a "journal" from a high school bully kid, so it's not written like a typical fiction novel. I also thought the narrator - the hi
Brian DiNitto
Apr 05, 2011 Brian DiNitto rated it really liked it
I like how you are taken into this kid's world, and you see why he does some of the things he does. Funny at times, "bad guy" portrayed all wrong emerges as "poor good guy", with character growth. I will get flack for my next statement, but there are these incredibly glowing reviews from mostly women about this book. Does the average woman feel the need to rehab. the bad boy? Does this resonate with their being?
The last book I finished before this one was Pearl Buck's The Good Earth. In my discu
Linda Bell
Jun 07, 2011 Linda Bell rated it it was amazing
I didn't know what to think when I opened up this book. I've seen reviews that it's a great great book and I've seen some which say it lacks a plot, or that it's been done before.

Now I've read Scrawl for myself. I am firmly of the belief that it IS a great, great book.

To the readers who must have spies and explosions and palace intrigue: they're here in this book. They're just realistic.

To the readers who say it's been done before: it's true. A boy makes the hero's journey from slacker loser t
Mar 19, 2012 Brad rated it it was amazing
Here's the executive summary of this post: "Scrawl" reveals the inner life of a junior high school bully, a huge, violent, lower class, shambling boy named Tod Munn who is secretly brilliant but plays being an oaf to conceal his intelligence and retain his hidden-in-plain-sight status in the complex social economy of his school. We have so many books about the inner lives of girls or super-powered boys or just good-looking, well-intentioned kids who wind up in bad situations that it's refreshing ...more
Oct 07, 2010 Martha rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: teens, boys, girls, adults
Recommended to Martha by: Librarian
Scrawl is a wonderful, intelligent, and funny book. I didn't expect anything from Scrawl when I picked it up. But the author had me from the first paragraph, when our "hero" Tod is busting another teenager's glasses, straight through to the ending, which was as enjoyable and surprising as any.

The book is told in journal form. Tod is in big trouble. We don't know why, and he's sure not going to tell us. At first. But like good, patient teacher, his guidance counselor slowly but surely coaxes the
Wendy E.
Jul 20, 2010 Wendy E. rated it really liked it
Shelves: first-reads-arcs, ya
What a great book. We hear from Tod, a bully bound for juvie, who is given one last chance to write an assigned number of pages in detention every day for one month. The premise may be a bit contrived, but the writing is clever, the characters are believable and the plot memorable. I enjoyed lines like "I carry the stick of a lost cause" and "I like reading. It is free travel." I found myself sympathizing with Tod, cringing at his rather accurate portrayal of the school system and nodding along ...more
Rachel Seigel
Jan 12, 2012 Rachel Seigel rated it it was amazing
This was a such a great book! The voice of Tod is so real and raw, and I love the journaling format. It's one of the best bullying stories I've read so far, and is a demonstration of how redemption is possible when someone believes in you. I think the character is around fifteen/sixteen, but as it is a notebook format mostly addressed to a teacher who knows him, there aren't a lot of specifics about his age or appearance. (All we know is that he's a big kid)

Highly recommended for middle school
Jul 29, 2014 Allison rated it it was amazing
The main character (Tod Munn) is so sarcastic yet he's very smart, clever, yet there's a gentle soul on the inside. Not going to spoil anything but he can be painfully funny and is brutally honest all-throughout the book. Although this tough guy has it rough, he goes out of his way to help people out. You quickly get the idea that Tod has a lot more going on in his life than anyone would realize- more than the tough bully at school. His mom works constantly, the house is a mess, and his mom's bo ...more
Apr 04, 2014 Kiauna rated it liked it
Mark Shulman’s purpose in writing the book, Scrawl, is to put a story into a different point of view coming from inside of a high school. Scrawl hopes to show that not all “bad” kids are really bad. We are all human and go through struggles in everyday life. The main character, Tod, writes a series of novels to his counselor while he has to face detention for being a bully. Tod is able to break down barriers and tell his story, exposing his soft interior. Scrawl isn’t made to make anyone feel pi ...more
Sheppard Memorial Library
Mar 26, 2014 Sheppard Memorial Library rated it really liked it
Shelves: ya-readers
I really enjoyed this book! It's set up as a journal written by a high school bully for the guidance counselor during detention. The bully himself, Tod Munn, writes with a great sense of humor and irony about his life. You quickly get the sense that Tod has a lot more going on in his life than anyone would realize. And I felt empathy for him as well. It's a great book to introduce the truth that we can never really understand someone else's motivations completely, especially if we don't take the ...more
Sam Afton
Feb 19, 2016 Sam Afton rated it really liked it
Shelves: unowned
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 06, 2014 Olivia rated it it was amazing
Scrawl was a fantastically unique book that opened a new perspective in my life. Being from the perspective of a teenage bully, it opens a startlingly different attitude towards high school life.

Originally, my mind considered bullies to be simple; something dreadful in their life must have pushed them to make another person's life just as horrible. But this book changed that simple view to one of amazing complexity. The antagonist was real and intricate.

Everything about this book was fantastic.

Mar 11, 2014 Lynne rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

Tod Munn, according to the book's blurb, is a bully. He gets busted (we don't find out what for till very the near the end of the book), gets a month of detention, has to write a journal.

When I picked this book up, on the recommendation of a fellow teacher, I thought, "yeah, this is going to be the classic 'bullies are only bullies because they've been bullied' scenario."

But recent statistics and studies show the opposite to be true. More and more often, it is the 'popular' kids, the
A very interesting book. I find it difficult to explain without spoilers, but it is essentially a written conversation between two characters, one a school guidance counsellor, the other - and main narrator - a bright but disillusioned teenager from a barely functioning family who feels that he has little going for him. The book details his life over a month or so in detention, what he'd done to deserve it and what he was capable of if he put his mind to it. There was no real change in his circu ...more
Connor Scott
May 04, 2016 Connor Scott rated it really liked it
I believe that the plot of Scrawl by Mark Shulman is very realistic. The reason that I say this is because I bet there are a lot of counselors out there who want their patients to write down their life in a journal. The reason that this is realistic is because it would be a easy way for the counselor to get to know the patients reasonings for his/her actions. To me, the plot did make sense since it was about a bully, Tod Munn, who is telling his story and what he has to say for himself. I do not ...more
Lila Hudson
Aug 22, 2014 Lila Hudson rated it really liked it
Books, like Scrawl, should always be kept around because they remind us that bullies are people just like us-with deep thoughts and feelings. Scrawl leads the reader through those feelings with the journal entries of a bully named Tod “Pops” Munn. Tod has to write these journal entries for his teacher to read during his detention. He hates it at first, but through his entries the reader starts to learn more about who Tod is. And, how he came to be a bully.
Scrawl is a book I find very impressi
Oct 01, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
This book was good, i enjoyed it. It reminded me a little of Boot Camp and a little of Right Behind You. I loved reading about things that could really be possible in High School. Almost like getting in the bad kids mind, and realizing they arent as bad as they seem.
Sam Harrison
Feb 07, 2014 Sam Harrison rated it really liked it
Scrawl is a book about an angry young man. I can sort of relate to his rebelliousness (but I have no cause). The whole book consisted of journal entries by Tod Munn (sounds Jamacian,huh) like that there was all sorts of weird things like Tod being fat. I had actually pictured him as bone skinny until it said he was fat. Anyway, the journal entries really sounded like Tod wrote them. However, it was lengthy and the whole journal entry plot lost me a little but I still read due to the way the it w ...more
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