DON’T BUG ME! by Pam Zollman


Age Range: 9 - 11
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Bugs and boys sound twin themes in this unvarnished debut. Amidst pranks, horselaughs, and who-likes-whom conversations, Megan scours her Houston neighborhood for the 25 different insects she needs for a sixth-grade biology assignment. Infuriatingly, after her bug-loving little brother Alexander sends her back to square one by reverently burying the specimens she’s managed to gather, obnoxious classmate Charlie dubs her “Beggin’ Megan” and subjects her to a series of buggy puns and practical jokes. Though Megan makes a few wrong turns, such as sneaking into the lunchroom kitchen after hours (only to discover that it’s not infested, despite the usual rumors about school food), in general she sticks to the straight and narrow, mending fences with Alexander, and even using the newfound insight that Charlie is mortally afraid of insects constructively—helping him with the assignment rather than torpedoing his standing with the other lads by blabbing. A friendship is born. Zollman has a tendency to spell out lessons and characters’ feelings rather than let readers pick them up from context, but Megan, despite her temper, is more of a peacemaker than a soldier in the gender wars, and bugs are always a surefire grossout motif in preteen fiction. (Fiction. 9-11)

Pub Date: June 15th, 2001
ISBN: 0-8234-1584-8
Page count: 134pp
Publisher: Holiday House
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: June 1st, 2001