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Boy Bites Bug

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4.16  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Will didn’t plan to eat a stinkbug. But when his friend Darryl called new kid Eloy Herrera a racial slur, Will did it as a diversion. Now Will is Bug Boy, and everyone is cracking up inventing insect meals for him, like French flies and maggot-aroni and fleas.

Turns out eating bugs for food is a real thing, called entomophagy. Deciding that means he can use a class project
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Hardcover, 272 pages
Published May 8th 2018 by Harry N. Abrams
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4.16  · 
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 ·  98 ratings  ·  59 reviews


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Suze Lavender
Jul 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Will and Darryl have been friends for a long time, but then Darryl says something nasty to Eloy, the new kid at school, and Will doesn’t like this at all. To show he doesn’t appreciate the remark, Will eats a stinkbug. It's an impulse reaction and Will thinks his popular days are gone after doing something that might be considered stupid. However, when he arrives at school he's being given the name Bug Boy and he’s actually more popular than he used to be. Eloy tells him bugs can taste delicious ...more
Brenda
May 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Petruck has such a knack for balancing the weightiness of her plot themes (In this case a boy making a racist comment) with humorous moments. Will knows what Darryl said is wrong and struggles with how to deal with it. Will's friendship with Simon and Darryl is a part of who he is. Initially, he reacts by eating a bug, but he's also upset by what Darryl said. At the same time, he's also concerned about hurting Darryl's feelings. The story really hits those middle-grade feelings of wanting to fit ...more
Jessica Lawson
Feb 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Rebecca Petruck has done it again. She did it with STEERING TOWARD NORMAL and she's done it with BOY BITES BUG--male friendships, sibling relationships, and authentic voices that ring so true that you'd swear these boys live down the street from you. Yes, there are plenty of bugs in this book, but it's the heart that won me over (though I might have to try some of the handy buggy recipes she put in the back). Love the aspect of the book that speaks to environmental responsibility, and adored the ...more
Laretta
Apr 04, 2018 rated it liked it
"Petruck successfully weaves such important themes as bias, solidarity, and coming to recognize one’s own privilege and prejudice together, delivering them in a plot that is so very middle school (bugs! sports!) that it will hopefully appeal to a broad audience who might not otherwise choose to read about these crucial topics.

An admirable feat that entertains even as it instructs." Kirkus
Ms. Yingling
Apr 03, 2018 rated it really liked it
E ARC from Edelweiss Plus



Will has been friends with Darryl and Simon in his small Minnesota town for as long as he can remember. When there is a stink bug invasion in the library and their teacher steps out for a moment, Darryl makes racist comments about Eloy, who has recently moved to town. Will is so surprised and disturbed by his friend's comments that he tries to deflect attention from them... by eating a stink bug. Needless to say, this is not a great idea, and Will gets in a lot of troubl
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Sharon Pegram
May 20, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Will Nolan's bug-eating adventure strikes a great balance between being a funny school story and exploring more serious challenges that friendships can encounter, both old and new ones. It's timely without getting the least bit preachy and enormously entertaining to read.
Christine Fitzgerald
Hysterical middle grade book about a boy who eats a stinkbug😲 How can you not read this?
Kim
Feb 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
My 10yo son and I received an ARC in exchange for an honest review. I'll include both my thoughts and my son's.

10yo: "I enjoyed this book because of the sense of humor and many of the characters. I know I've felt very uncomfortable in school when slurs have been used, and I think this book teaches you how to stand up to that. It also teaches you to not make assumptions about people from different cultures. I like the jokes especially that Simon made. I would recommend this book to 5th or 6th gra
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Rajiv
Jun 25, 2019 rated it really liked it
Many thanks to Netgalley in providing me an e-ARC of the book.

I enjoyed reading “Boy Bites Bug” for many reasons. Firstly, I really liked Will as the main protagonist. He makes impulsive decisions, but he learns from his mistakes, like when he accidentally says something offensive to Eloy. He learns to be brave by standing up for his friends and doing the right thing. In short, the author has portrayed Will as a realistic kid growing up. Eloy and his family were also good as support characters.
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Christina
Jun 27, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This story has a very interesting way of teaching kids to be thoughtful about how they view others, as well as thinking about how to deal with a friend who begins crossing lines. In this case, the main character Will must tackle (wresting pun intended?) the fact that one of his best friends, Darryl, is behaving like a prejudiced person and doesn’t seem willing to change. Will has to decide what’s really important to him and what he won’t tolerate. At the beginning, he decides to cut tension betw ...more
Kadie Hayward Mullins
Apr 29, 2018 rated it really liked it
@kidlitexchange #partner – I can only think of a handful of middle grade and young adult novels positively portraying male-to-male friendships. Finding one that does so while also delicately addressing the complicated nature of identity (the ones we’re born into and the ones we create) was a wonderful treat. @rebecca_petruck brilliantly captured the awkward dynamic of growing up and sometimes out of life-long friendships, learning how to take ownership of our mistakes, and making the best of unp ...more
Christy
Apr 15, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: juvenile
This is a lively, engaging middle grade novel. Rebecca Petruck weaves together themes of boys' friendships, family relationships, and prejudice, together my personal favorite: entomophagy, the practice of eating insects. Seventh-grader Will is faced with a personal crisis when his lifelong friend Darryl uses a racial slur against a new boy in the class, Eloy. He struggles to deal with his feelings about Darryl and his own inadvertent insensitivity to Eloy and his cultural background. The story w ...more
Juliana Brandt
Rebecca Petruck has written a phenomenally hilarious book in BOY BITES BUG! In it, one of Will's very best friends uses a racial slur against another student--this steam rolls into a desperate moment in which Will eats a stinkbug, setting into motion a class project of eating bugs and the creation of new, wonderful friendships.

Petruck covers a weighty subject with care, and more importantly, with appropriate humor. She delves into Will's head, seemingly to understand exactly how a boy Will's age
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Elna
Feb 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
The synopsis makes it sound hokey, and it is, a little, but entomophagy is close to my heart so I had to give it a try.

And I was pleasantly surprised! Rebecca Petruck aptly realized that, while there are many "friendship" books for girls, there was a dearth of books on the same subject for boys. And while I don't believe in "boy" and "girl" books, it's true that kids prefer to read about people similar to them, and female friendships are different from male ones.

Will's dedication to Darryl, eve
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Justine Ridder
This book actually made me want to gag at multiple points during it. Did you know that eating bugs for food is a real thing? It's called entomophagy. Will decides to eat a live stink bug to distract the class from the fact that one of his best friends, Darryl, just called one of their new classmates, Eloy, a racial slur. Will becomes "Bug Boy" after this. He becomes almost a celebrity in the school. Will decides to take this up a few notches by trying to feed his class crickets after a class pro ...more
Catey
Jun 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Smart, sweet book about 7th-grader Will Nolan learning to navigate a new friendship that impacts several areas of his life that have been constant, even taken for granted. Petruck deals with heavy issues like racism, cultural ignorance and bullying with a light hand that never feels preachy or scolding. The stakes feel high even though the core of the story is pretty "quiet," about old and new friendships and Will's struggle between being funny and making jokes out of things he cares about. I lo ...more
Caitlyn
#partner Thank you @kidlitexchange for a review copy of this book. All opinions are my own. This is a realistic story about a white boy in rural Minnesota who is not sure what to do when one of his best friends makes a racist comment to a new student. Will learns many lessons about cultural appropriation and what it means to be an ally. He makes many mistakes and digs himself into deep holes, finally coming to terms with how he was a “bonehead,” and overcomes his own preconceived notions about w ...more
Karin Lefranc
Apr 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I read BOY BITES BUG with my 10-year-old son, and we both loved it. The boys voices are spot and packed with lots of delicious boy humor. The story begins with a racial slur and to deflect from what's happening, the main character Will ends up eating a stinkbug. But we get more than a good story here, we also learn that eating bugs is actually a thing called entomophagy, and it's good for the planet and good for you! You'll have no trouble devouring this tasty story, and when you're done, you mi ...more
Krissy Neddo
Jul 14, 2018 rated it really liked it
Will purchase this one for my library. The bug pranks kept the story going and am glad to have a book about wrestling that isn't just all about the sport. There is a good blend of sports, friendship drama, and family. Just a little slow in parts as the author goes on a bit too much with descriptions of how Will acted incorrectly and his angst over it. Felt a bit like a lecture in those parts to me. Kids may not pick up on it.
Debbie Tanner
Will is a middle schooler in a small town in Minnesota. He lives with his supportive and protective family (mom, dad, big sister) and has good friends. There's a new boy in town and when one of his oldest friends uses a racial slur against the new boy, Will takes offense and tries to stand up for the new boy. He ends up eating a stink bug and gaining some notoriety around that event and tries to make friends with the new boy. What's great about this story is how Eloy, the new boy, constantly cal ...more
Jennifer
I think is book is an excellent example of how to tackle a couple of potentially heavy subjects in a light, honest, engaging way. It was nice to see a character realize he can use a wrong way to try to do the right thing, and it was nice to see him not try to use good intentions as an excuse to be a bonehead.
Mary Anne Matys
May 21, 2018 rated it really liked it
What a fun book about Minnesota 7th graders. The line that stuck with me is from a Mom. “It doesn’t matter what people think.”
Making assumptions about people just because they are different is something everyone can relate to.
Jensen
Feb 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is a really fun, engaging book with a cool gross-factor, but not too gross for squeamish readers. There are also really thoughtful relationships and character growth. Friendships and racial issues are explored. I read this aloud to my kids and we all enjoyed it a lot!
Hoover Public Library Kids and Teens
What's the best way to diffuse a tense situation? Eat a stink bug? Seriously?!?!
Theresa
May 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Will eats a stinkbug and Petruck describes it in all it's graphic detail. Not on purpose, more of a diversionary tactic. Let's start at the beginning. Will, Simon, and Darryl have been friends since early elementary. Darryl makes a racist comment about Eloy, a new kid who is Hispanic. It's awkward. There's a stinkbug. It's all Will can think of to divert attention from Darryl and Eloy. It's gross.

This is a wonderful book that depicts wrestling, food, eating bugs, and racism in realistic ways. Th
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Oceantide74
May 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Well written and a fun read. I really liked the character of Will. I have to admit since my home has too many stink bug visitors, the picture of them on the pages made my skin crawl! Bad bug!!
Rebecca Allen
Mar 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reviewed-books
There was a lot I loved about Boy Bites Bug--that it started with a legal warning about the recipes included. Kids, don’t try making chocolate-covered ants or wax worm cookies without consulting your parents! And there were so many laugh-out-loud moments!

But the book is not just about laughs. There is real heart in the struggles Will has with how to be loyal to old friends and new ones, and as he wrestles with how his mistakes have hurt those around him. The story has a quick pace and characters
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Louise Galveston
May 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I had great expectations for BOY BITES BUG and was not disappointed. I’m a big fan of Rebecca’s after reading her fabulous debut, STEERING TOWARD NORMAL, and the subject of bug eating sounded like a story after my own middle-grade heart.

In Will Nolan, Rebecca creates a “boneheaded” but very relatable main character. When one of his best friends makes a couple of racist remarks to new kid, Eloy, Will impulsively eats a stinkbug as a diversion, earning the reputation around town of Bug Boy. Will w
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Brenda Kahn
Coincidentally, this is the second book in a row in which the mc confronts white privilege, racism and microaggressions and I am so happy for it. This one is wrapped in humor and wrestling. Definitely a fun addition to the collection come fall. I can't wait to booktalk it.
Chad Lucas
Jul 31, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Boy Bites Bug is a great story of what it means to be a friend and ally. It's one thing for Will to challenge his friend's overt racism, but he also gradually figures out that his own "good intentions" can still be selfish and hurtful to his new friend Eloy. Yet this isn't a heavy, preachy book - it's genuinely funny, laced with all sorts of boy humour (bugs, pranks and manly headlocks abound) and filled with big-hearted, authentic characters.
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Rebecca Petruck is the author of BOY BITES BUG (May 2018) and STEERING TOWARD NORMAL (2014), both with ABRAMS/Amulet. BUG received a starred review from ABA Booklist, who said it’s "...funny, perceptive, and topical in more ways than one." SLJ called it "a sure bet for reluctant readers." Kirkus Reviews said it "...successfully weaves together such important themes as bias, solidarity, and coming ...more
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