MAX QUIGLEY by James Roy


Technically Not a Bully
by & illustrated by
Age Range: 9 - 13
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Sixth grader Max’s casual torment of those around him (schoolmates, cafeteria ladies, anyone weaker) amuses him in a confident, self-centered way and is rarely challenged. Max’s relentless stirring of the pot and his genuinely aggrieved response when disapproval ensues are fairly funny, as are his cartoon depictions of his point of view. Technically, Max claims, he is not a bully, as bullies steal lunches and punch and hurt other people. The exceptions will give adults pause, but serve to underscore Max’s problem of easy disregard for those around him. When he and his brother replace facial scrub with peanut butter, one of his mother’s beauty-care clients nearly dies—and Max is aghast but defensive. Finally his shy classmate “Nerdstrom’s” mother devises, with Max’s mother, a plan to have each boy spend time with and share his strengths with the other, and Max is dumbfounded. Roy gives the subsequent rapprochement and genuine growth in Max’s humanity a light touch and some realistic stumbling blocks, in a not unsympathetic look at bullying from the other side. (Fiction. 9-13)

Pub Date: March 16th, 2009
ISBN: 978-0-547-15263-9
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2009