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Bystander by James Preller
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Bystander (edition 2011)

by James Preller

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2731862,617 (3.65)2
Member:13mushrooms
Title:Bystander
Authors:James Preller
Info:Square Fish (2011), Edition: Reprint, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library
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Bystander by James Preller

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Kirkus Review: Bullying is a topic that never lacks for interest, and here Preller concentrates on the kids who try to ignore or accommodate a bully to keep themselves safe. Victim David’s pain is evident from the first moment newcomer Eric sees him, but he tries not to acknowledge the reality before him. His mother is trying for a fresh start in this Long Island community, as his father has succumbed to schizophrenia and left her and their two boys on their own. Griffin, the bullying instigator, has charisma of sorts; he is a leader and yet suffers under his father’s bullying and aggression. For Eric to do the right thing is neither easy nor what he first wants to do, and the way he finds support among his classmates is shown in logical and believable small steps. Eminently discussable as a middle-school read-aloud, the narrative offers minimal subplots to detract from the theme. The role of girls is downplayed, except for classmate Mary, who is essential to the resolution, enhancing appeal across gender lines.
  PolyDrive | Aug 20, 2017 |
Very Interesting Book! It made me think about the times where I was a bystander, and just stood there watching, and not doing anything. I liked how the characters changes over time.
  Spencer_Tang | Jan 5, 2017 |
Interesting book. I liked that the characters were not all good or all evil. It was easier to relate to them because the "good" characters were still flawed. And the bully wasn't completely bad. A good choice for middle school ages. ( )
  Jadedog13 | Feb 3, 2016 |
Decent book. The development of the characters in terms of how a truly gifted bully can make you always fearful -even when he claims he's your bud- is excellent. Good book for middle schoolers to read. ( )
  RalphLagana | Jan 23, 2016 |
Alone in the woods with someone that you thought was your friend. Suddenly these bullies appear out of the trees and they start to fight you, even your friend. This is what happened to Eric in this realistic fiction book, Bystander, by James Preller. He was forced to move from his home in Boston, MA to his mom's hometown, Long Island. Eric starts to make friends with who seems like the popular kids, but realizes that that is the wrong choice. Not only are these kids thieves, but they are also bullies. The popular kids try to tell him that what they are doing is okay. Eric doesn't buy it. Suddenly Eric finds himself in even more trouble with the wrong kind of people to be in trouble with.

I would recommend this book for middle school students. It is a relatively easy read, but the book topic is for older students. The author makes you feel like you are watching the story happen in front of you. When the bullies are bullying some kid I could feel the tension in the air. I think that this book is definitely an exciting book. I would read other books by this author based upon this book. ( )
  chgrbr14 | Sep 20, 2014 |
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The first time Eric Hayes ever saw him, David Hallenback was running, if you could call it that, running in a halting, choppy-stepped, stumpy-legged shamble, slowing down to look back over his shoulder, stumbpling forward, pausing to catch his breath, then lurching forward again. He was running from, not to, and not running, but fleeing. Scared witless.
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Thirteen-year-old Eric discovers there are consequences to not standing by and watching as the bully at his new school hurts people, but although school officials are aware of the problem, Eric may be the one with a solution.

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