Tamara's Reviews > There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom

There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom by Louis Sachar
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Dec 30, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: childrens
Read in December, 2009

This is a perfect read-aloud book, one I'd seen in classrooms for ages but never actually read until my coteacher suggested it. And she was right. There's so much to have deeper conversations around with our class.

Bradley, the 'bad kid', is everyone's idea of a nightmare, but the book slowly lets you in to see exactly how low his self-esteem is. I loved seeing Bradley alone in his room, using his model animals to allow himself to actually feel what he's feeling instead of just yelling and raging and growling at everything around him to scare people off. In life it's hard to let people in and actually be yourself, especially when you hate yourself as much as Bradley does. He gets through it and realizes he can be a friend and a good person, but I love that it's slow and hard - it goes terribly over and over again. That's how it really is in life. You can't just fix stuff immediately.

I also loved that Jeff - who at first I thought would be the main character who "gets to know the real Bradley" and understands him - was actually the secondary character. He was a friend to Bradley, but he didn't just stick by him or discover him. He got angry at him, he ditched him for the "cool kids"; it was a lot more like real life. I also felt his frustration - after trying to Bradley's frustration, I would've given up too. You can only do so much to be someone's friend, after all. Sometimes they have to do things on their own!

I also really like that Louis Sachar used the idea of a "monster" to symbolize Bradley. We all kind of feel like monsters sometimes. I know I can feel scary and terrible and like no one would want to be around. We all have things we hate about ourselves, even though mine aren't tentacles or having four fingers. But it reminds me of the movie "Monsters, Inc." - the monsters are scary to some people, but darn, aren't they also awesome and kind of adorable? So Bradley - and the rest of us - can be those things, too. Probably. Eventually.
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message 1: by meeners (new)

meeners i love this book like whoah. for some reason it makes me cry for bradley, every time.


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