THE CALL OF THE BULLY by Scott Starkey


Age Range: 11 - 14
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Will Camp Wy-Mee get the best of Rodney Rathbone, or can he survive bullies in the wild?

Twelve-year-old Rodney survived his first school year in Ohio thanks to luck and bully-avoidance skills (How to Beat the Bully Without Really Trying, 2012). His plans for spending the summer with new friends (and girlfriend) are shattered when his parents decide to send him to camp without asking what he wants. (Were they prompted to send him by nefarious forces?) Even worse, school bully Josh Dumbrowski's headed for camp, too. Once there, Rodney finds Josh is small potatoes when it comes to bullying; Todd Vanderdick (seriously) and his snooty friends are ready to make Rodney's summer unbearable. To top it off, Mrs. Periwinkle, the camp owner, and her staff have it in for Rodney from the get-go. Rodney and his quirky cabin mates make the best of strange situations; but when the future of the camp rests on their shoulders, will they be up to the task? Starkey’s second title featuring unconventional bully-bester Rodney again has a few pop-culture references that will sail over the heads of the target audience. Several characters’ obsessive focus on girls further narrows the age range. Rodney's snarky narration can be funny, but his double standard on two-timing (it's okay for boys, not girls) and his judgmental nature (despite protestations to the contrary) make him less than admirable.

Standard summer-camp–centric fare: Meatballs with bullies. (Fiction. 11-14)

Pub Date: Jan. 1st, 2013
ISBN: 978-1-4424-5674-7
Page count: 272pp
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 15th, 2012


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