B.U.G. (BIG UGLY GUY) by Jane Yolen

B.U.G. (BIG UGLY GUY)

by , illustrated by
Age Range: 8 - 13

KIRKUS REVIEW

Some books are impossible to describe.

Saying that B.U.G. is a teenage version of the golem legend would make it sound like Twilight-era supernatural fiction. And saying that the golem plays drums in a fusion band would make it sound like the Archies. In a way, this is a story about bullies. Sammy Greenburg and his friend Skink get beaten up several times before the end of the novel, so it starts to make sense for Sammy to build a golem who will protect him. At times, the story feels less like a fantasy than an old-fashioned problem novel, about fights and crushes and sitting alone at the lunch table—and as a coming-of-age story, it’s very involving. Once in a while, the book also turns into a musical about a teen band. This is unfortunate. Sample lyrics: “But power when it’s not in check / Can leave your life an awful wreck, / Turns success right into drek.” The genre finally doesn’t matter. It’s a story about a boy in trouble. It’s funny and scary and thrilling and—like most versions of the golem story—deeply sad. The Jewish legend works surprisingly well as a story about bullying.

But there may be moments when readers scratch their heads and say: The golem is playing the drums? (Yiddish glossary) (Fantasy. 8-13)

Pub Date: March 21st, 2013
ISBN: 978-0-525-42238-9
Page count: 328pp
Publisher: Dutton
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 15th, 2013




MORE BY JANE YOLEN

ChildrenHOW DO DINOSAURS SAY I'M MAD? by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen
ChildrenTHE HOSTAGE PRINCE by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen

MORE BY ADAM STEMPLE

ChildrenTHE HOSTAGE PRINCE by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen
ChildrenPAY THE PIPER by Jane Yolen
by Jane Yolen
ChildrenTHE LAP-TIME SONG AND PLAY BOOK by Margot Tomes
by Jane Yolen

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

ChildrenHOW TO MAKE A GOLEM AND TERRIFY PEOPLE by Alette J. Willis
by Alette J. Willis
ChildrenTHE GOLEM by Barbara Rogasky
by Barbara Rogasky