Kressel Housman's Reviews > My Teacher Fried My Brains

My Teacher Fried My Brains by Bruce Coville
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Apr 27, 09

bookshelves: fiction, fantasy, read-aloud-to-kids, bullying, my-teacher-series
Read in April, 2009

This is the sequel to My Teacher Is an Alien (the second in a series of four), and while it didn't have a climactic alien defeat scene to make my kids jump with excitement, it was a much deeper character study, which meant it stimulated some great conversation amongst us. The protag of this story is not good girl Susan (protag of the previous book) but class bully, Duncan Dougal. The book opens with Duncan at home getting bullied by his own older brother. Most bullies are victims of bullying themselves, and this book illustrated the cycle process clearly to my kids, which takes away some of the fear of bullies just as much as it elicits sympathy. The next few chapters show Duncan in school, illustrating the impulsivity and anger that get him into so much trouble. Then it gets really interesting when Duncan discovers his brain has been fried. He undergoes a real character transformation after that, so that overall, this book becomes a fun story that challenges kids' beliefs about being smart and being dumb, reading vs. television. Some might say the television rant was a bit heavy-handed, but I thought it was brilliant. I can only hope some actual bullies get hold of this book. Duncan is a character they can learn from, and this kind of brain-frying would do the world some good.
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