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THE REVEALERS by Doug Wilhelm

THE REVEALERS

By Doug Wilhelm

Age Range: 10 - 13

Pub Date: Oct. 7th, 2003
ISBN: 0-374-36255-6
Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

A thought-provoking experiment about bullying and how to handle it. Seventh-grader Russell suddenly and inexplicably becomes the target of another boy’s fists, so Russell asks Elliot—not a friend, but the school’s general punching bag—for advice. Elliot distracts himself in a world of dinosaurs, but soon the boys become friends with Catalina (another tormented seventh-grader) and the three create an online forum called Revealer, where students tell their own stories of bullying and being bullied. Seeds of understanding sprout around the school as more and more stories come out. A late, well-crafted triumph of the aggressors almost crushes hope, but once again, going public proves invaluable. It’s unclear why certain mean characters seem less bad by the end, and the parental passivity is sometimes hard to believe; however, Wilhelm poses intriguing questions about the role computer networks can play in rebellions, kids’ lives, and possibly grander politics as well. (Fiction. 10-13)