DEXTER THE TOUGH by Margaret Peterson Haddix

DEXTER THE TOUGH

Age Range: 7 - 10

KIRKUS REVIEW

Dexter’s first assignment at his new school is to write an essay, and he describes beating up another boy before class. After some investigation, his alarmed teacher has him explore the situation further, which leads, ultimately, to Dexter befriending Robin, the victim. With understanding from his teacher and help from Robin, Dexter comes to grips with his own guilt and hostility, as well as the real reasons he threw the punch: feeling helpless and angry about his father’s cancer, missing his parents who have temporarily moved to obtain medical treatment, adjusting to life with his grandma and struggling to keep his emotions under control. In the end, Dexter discovers that his behavior was unfair but forgivable, and he is able to open up to his family and his new friend. While a trifle pedantic, the story unfolds realistically and provides an example of how violence and bullying may be prevented through patience and sensitivity. Dexter, a sympathetic and believable character, may help others come to grips with their own demons. (Fiction. 7-10)

Pub Date: Jan. 23rd, 2007
ISBN: 1-4169-1159-6
Page count: 144pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 15th, 2006




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