LUKE'S BULLY by Elizabeth Winthrop


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Arthur has more than one reason for being a bully: his mother leaves him with three older brothers who tease him while she's at work; his unattractive plumpness is exacerbated by the cupcakes he extorts from classmate Luke; and he's an excruciatingly slow reader. Luke's feisty friend Jane would like to defend him, but Luke knows he's got to solve his own problems--without tattling. Still, Arthur's frequent punches are painful, and Luke's mother doesn't help when--after Arthur follows Luke home--she invites him to scrape the chocolate-frosting bowl and to join them every week. Winthrop describes these events from Luke's point of view, capturing the kids' speech and concerns with realistic humor. The story's denouement is ingenious: since Arthur has been having trouble memorizing his lines for the third-grade's Thanksgiving play, Luke suggests cue cards for everyone--and then realizes that Arthur's problem is that he can't see: he's near-sighted. A well-crafted, entertaining story, nicely extended by the lively b&w illustrations.

Pub Date: July 1st, 1990
Page count: 60pp
Publisher: Viking