Michael Young's Reviews > Bystander

Bystander by James Preller
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's review
Oct 01, 11

bookshelves: ya-lit-2011-12
Read on October 01, 2011

Genre: Realistic Fiction

Rating: ****
Bystander tackles the difficult world of middle school bullying in an efficient and suspenseful way. The characters are believable and the plot events pull the reader into Bellport Central Middle School.

Summary:
When Eric moves to Long Island with his mother and younger brother, the fresh start his mother was hoping for is put on hold when he meets Griffin. Becoming friends with Griffin may seem like a good idea, but Eric is forced to deal with the reality of what that might involve. Eric's choices leave him facing challenges he didn't see coming.

Main Characters:

Eric:a middle school student who moved to Long Island, he likes basketball and is not happy about the absence of his father.

Griffin:a middle school student with an unhappy home life. He is charismatic and 'liked' by several people.

Cody and the Gang:the group of boys who seem to follow around Griffin.

Mary:a part of 'the gang' who faces her own reality in the world of bullying.

Eric's Family: Mom - trying to start over; Dad - mental issues, left the family; Brother - younger than Eric, friendly.

Key Issues:
Bullying, Relationships, Choices, School, Challenge

Other Interesting Information:
Bystander is a great book to use with students when discussing choices and bullying-related issues. The book includes topics involving the various types of bullying, bullies, bystanders and victims.
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