Sunday, December 28, 2008

Bullies, Part Two: The Savage

The Savage
by David Almond
illustrated by
Candlewick, October 2008
review copy provided by the publisher

I had just finished the Shredderman series when I picked up The Savage. Here's a completely different take on bullies and how to deal with them.

I won't tell you lots about the story in The Savage. Sorry. It's one you have to read for yourself. And see for yourself. It is a graphic novel hybrid (an "illustrated novel") with bold, disturbing, beautiful pen and ink drawings.

I will tell you that The Savage is about a boy named Blue Baker, probably late elementary or middle school aged, who is getting over the death of his father. To do this, he writes a story about a savage boy who lives in a cave under the ruins of a chapel in the woods.

And The Savage is a story about how Blue deals with a bully. The bully in this book is a much harder, scarier bully than Alvin "Bubba" Bixby in Shredderman. Hopper walks around "smoking and sneering and spitting and swearing." In the course of the story, he turns downright vicious toward Blue. But Hopper is quieter in the end of the book, "not quite so stupid, not quite so horrible." And you'll have to read the book to find out how that happens.

1 comment:

  1. hm this sounds like a book that could really speak to a host of issues kids face. i have a girl who lost her father in one of my classes this year. we're writing short stories right now and her protagonist also lost her father. it's sad but i know that it's a good thing that she's dealing with the issue through writing about it.

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