How to Eat Fried Worms
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How to Eat Fried Worms

3.69 of 5 stars 3.69  ·  rating details  ·  28,877 ratings  ·  628 reviews
Two boys set out to prove that worms can make a delicious meal.
Paperback, 96 pages
Published July 20th 1995 by Orchard Books (first published 1973)
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“You’re a bastard!”

That’s what one school-aged child says to another somewhere in this book. I read it in the third grade and I remember very clearly talking to Kevin Petrasek about it, Kevin telling me it was a swear word and me not believing him (I had never heard this word before in my life). So of course I asked Miss Lisak and she decided we should discuss it further in detention.

So anyway, my kid picked up this book at the library today. On my recommendation. I understand they changed later...more
Katie McGaha
Thomas Rockwell’s How to Eat Fried Worms is about a group of young boys who have made a bet. The book is about Bill and his two friends Alan and Joe. Billy is a normal kid with no money who wants a new motorbike and to earn the money for it his two friends bet $50 that he can’t eat 15 worms in 15 days. So on the day one of the bet Alan and Joe bring Billy a worm which has been boiled in mustard, horseradish and ketchup. Billy struggles to eat the first worm but manages to get it all down and sur...more
Originally posted here as part of the 30 Day Book Challenge.

Wow, who knew this question would be so difficult? I remember lots of books I read when I was a kid, but I think this was the first chapter book I read on my own.

The First Novel I Remember Reading

I had no idea they'd made a movie of this book! I am kind of afraid to watch it.

Man, 6 year old sj LOVED this book. To this day, every time I see a mini-bike, I think of this chanty song:

Trout, Salmon, flounder, perch,
I'll ride my minibike in
Shaun Kellogg
Ingredients: 50 whole dollar bills, 15 ripe earthworms, 4 young boys, 1 disgusting dare

Combine all ingredients into a small book, carefully mix with witty dialogue, stir in unforgettable characters, add a dash of nausea, a pinch of mischief and generously sprinkle with humorous chapters. Let stand for fifteen days, remove from bookshelf and enjoy in large helpings.

How to Eat Fried Worms is a recipe for fun, laughter and possibly an upset stomach. However, it is sure to please even the pickiest o...more
This is a great book. It all starts with a bet over whether Billy can eat fifteen worms in fifteen days--one worm a day. It turns into a mini Lord of the Flies with his opponents (Alan and Joe) doing whatever they can to win. Lots of twists and turns here!
Also lots to chew on--would you cheat to win a bet? How far would you go to win a bet? Should the parents get involved or stay out of it? What would YOU do for fifty dollars? (Since this was written in 1973, I imagine it would be more like $15...more
Yuck! I read this as a child. Kids are really intrigued by the concept. Maybe good for discussions about to take or not-to-take a dare, what we value, etc.
Yumi Learner
I read this book as my 8th book this year to improve my reading skills in English. The story was really gross, but the idea was very interesting. While I was reading, I sometimes imagined that I was eating some fried worms. That made me feel sick.

A couple of days ago, when I Skyped with my friend from Texas, he advised me that to make reading books in English every single day my hobbits, I mark a circle on a calender after reading. While adding the circles, it makes a chain. The chain encourage...more
My six-year old LOVED this boys do seem fascinated by icky things. Despite the fact that I've had to make various worm inspired dishes because of this book, (not with real worms, mind you) I think that this book has some valuable lessons, as well as an interesting peek at the social dynamic of boys.

Precis: When four friends, Billy, Tom, Alan, and Joe meet one day to discuss why Tom failed to join the others in a trespassing incident, they learn that he was kept indoors for not eating...more
Overall Rating: What little boy could find fault with a book about winning a bet by eating worms? How to Eat Fried Worms is full of all kinds of hilarious (and super gross!) antics with boys being boys! Billy thinks he can eat those 15 worms in 15 days and win $50! Will he be able to do it? The boys become very imaginative in so many ways! They team up—two on two—one side coming up with magnificent ways to prepare the worms so they’re more edible: boiled or fried and topped with ketchup, mustard...more
How to Eat Fried Worms by Thomas Rockwell is a very humorous story about a group of young boys and a dare. Billy dares that he can eat fifteen worms in fifteen days, and if he does, Alan will pay him $50 out of his savings account that he has earned. Billy is enticed by this offer because with $50, he could buy a minibike. Once the bet was on, Alan and Tom would pick the worms and Billy could eat them any way he wanted; this included anything and everything from ketchup and mustard, to rolled in...more
This is a true American classic, a great children's book from the 1970's. I first read it when I was a fourth grader back in 1976. The premise is a bet to eat 15 worms in 15 days. I was initially repulsed at the idea of eating worms but inspired by the idea of winning the fifty dollar bet to buy a mini-bike. In fact, later that summer I did yard work to earn the money for my first "mini-bike" a 1974 Honda CT 70.
Eating worms was just too gross.
This book has a history of being placed on the banned...more

"How to Eat Friend Worms" by Thomas Rockwell is a gross book to read, in my opinion. However, putting myself in the mind of a younger reader, I could see why kids find this book so enjoyable to read and humorous. This book is about a boy who is dared to eat 15 worms in 15 days. . . for 50 dollars! Billy, the boy who is dared by Alan, decides to pursue this bet and eat all 15 worms. Throughout the book, there comes some struggles, but indeed Billy does eat all 15 worms in 15...more
one time, when i was in elementary school, i saw a kid eat a fried worm.

we had just read the book, in some little class they had us gathered in, and once it was done they sent us outside so we could jaunt around and form groups that would ridicule one another, with squealed taunts and frequent displays of running away.

there was a paved area, just outside the doors that sheltered the wooden cubbies that held our coats and boots. it had been a wet night. some unlucky annelid had squirmed its way o...more
Billy makes a bet that he can eat fifteen worms in fifteen days - there is fifty pounds at stake!
This is a hilarious story written in such an original way as to make your stomach churn and laugh as each chapter takes you closer to his target. It will both revolt and delight you and I can imagine children making gagging noises as you read it to them!

This book would be brilliant to read to a class, leaving them wanting more at the end of each chapter! Good to discuss descriptive writing and how t...more
I hated the movie but I loved reading the book so much as a child that I read it twice and listened to the CD track from the library. I read it when I was very young but I remember it made me have a craving to try fried worms. Not that I ever got to satisfy that craving...

The reason why I hate the movie so much is that it's extremely different from the book. I can't remember exactly how many worms Billy had to eat but I'm pretty sure it was originally more than 10. And the bet was over $50.00 th...more
Julie Decker
Billy is an impressionable and good-willed kid whose tendency to accept any dare has gotten him into trouble many times throughout his life. And Alan knows it. So when Alan bets Billy that he can't eat fifteen WORMS in fifteen days, what do you think happens? Of course!

Children sometimes have complicated relationships, and one we see a lot is a strange balance between best friends and bitter rivals. Kids compete even as they support each other, and that vibe was loud and clear here with Alan and...more
This book is a gross concept especially for girls in this age group but I feel like younger tween and teen boys would love it. Boys at a younger age have a hard time focusing on books in general but I feel this book would keep their attention throughout reading it. Daring is a huge thing in middle and elementary school as well so children can closely relate to it. His dare is to eat fried worms so Billy comes up with creative ways to eat them by making different dishes. This would make for a gro...more
Susan many books and so little time
My students and I read this is good...but at times it is difficult to read...some words are hard to figure out... My class and I are going to watch the movie...I heard its good... There are some great and funny passages in this book...I do recommend it...but I also,recommend doing a good job helping the students understand some words being used...make it great adventures in vocabulary!!! Hugs to all!!!
Stephanie Winchester
How to Eat Fried Worms is a book written by Thomas Rockwell in 1973. In this book, a young boy named Billy is dared to eat 15 worms in 15 days for 50 dollars. Billy is excited about the offer because he wants to buy a mini-bike which costs 50 dollars. However, when Billy has to eat his first worm, he’s not sure why he agreed to the bet because the idea repulses him. The book follows Billy’s journey of having to eat these 15 worms in which he does in a variety of different ways. Billy eventually...more
How to Eat Fried Worms, by Thomas Rockwell, is about a group of young boys who bet $50 on whether or not one of them can eat fifteen worms in 15 days. This book is good for young readers just starting to test the waters of reading chapter books because it's short and easy to read, however the characters are easy to mix up because very little description is given on them. It teaches kids that money is a bigger concept than they are really able to grasp at that age, that it can cause major worryin...more
This book was alright. It had a good story about bullying and sticking by your friends, from what I remember. But the eating the worms was gross. So, its good for kids who like to read about gross things. :)
Melissa Massello
I picked up a used copy of this book at Goodwill a few years back and re-read it. Definitely not as good as it was when I was in single digits. :)

Can't wait to hand it off to the nephews.
Jillian McAdams
I read this book to my 3rd graders. They loved it. It was short and action packed with gross-out worm-eating goodness!
I loved this book as a kid, and I have to admit that it kind of made me want to eat fried worms, but of course I never did.
He had to eat 15 worms for 15 days. And after that, he started getting hooked on those juicy worms!
Kristilyn (Reading In Winter)
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa the Librarian
I read this to the second graders. I think it was more enjoyable to them because they remember our awesome Principal actually eating fried worms last spring when the kids met their reading contest goal. That was quite a memorable event.

It was also a good experience for many of the kids to realize just how much Hollywood can change a story. I have liked this book since I was a child, but did not care for the movie at all.

The book does not have the theme of bullying and in my opinon it was a mista...more
This book falls under the contemporary fiction genre. It is a cute story about four young boys who make a bet. Alan bets Billy fifty bucks that Billy will not be able to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. Billy accepts the bet and plans to use the money to buy a minibike. Billy comes up with various ways to make the worms edible. Sometimes he fries them, and sometimes he boils them. He uses ketchup, mustard, horseradish sauce, Worchestershire sauce, piccalilli, lemon, cheese, etc. He also eats w...more
Melanie Richmond
This was my transitional book.

One thing that I really liked about this book, is that students of both genders would enjoy it. The boys would be able to relate to it personally (because boys are always daring each other things like that) and the girls would either also be able to relate to it, or be somewhat grossed out by it that they wouldn't be able to put it down. This book is funny, and students would be able to relate to it, but it would also provide an opportunity to discuss some things th...more
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Thomas Rockwell (son of the American artist, Norman Rockwell) is the author of a number of books for young readers. He was the recipient of the Mark Twain Award, the California Young Reader Medal, and the Sequoyah Award for How to Eat Fried Worms, which was made into a TV movie in 1985 and was filmed as a theatrical release in 2006. He lives in Poughkeepsie, New York.

More about Thomas Rockwell...
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