Sunday, October 16, 2016

The Bully of Barkham Street, by Mary Stolz

Nearly everyone’s had a run-in with a bully at some point in their lives, but how many of us have ever stopped to think about why these kids behave this way?  Mary Stolz’ classic book forces the reader to do just that by telling the story of a frustrated boy named Martin Hastings.  Beneath the gruff, thoughtless exterior is a chubby boy who’s actually a little bit lonely himself.  Acting out is a way for him to get attention, and inevitably Martin comes into conflict with his next-door neighbor, Edward Frost.  This book is a once-in-a-lifetime chance to put yourself in someone else’s shoes, albeit someone that you might not necessarily like…at least not at first!

One great thing about “The Bully of Barkham Street” is that it’s actually a companion novel to another book called “A Dog on Barkham Street”.  This book was published a few years earlier, and it tells the same events through Edward Frost’s point of view.   I’d recommend reading both books, but no matter which you read first you’ll be able to see the conflict from both boys’ points of view.  Apparently, boys will be boys no matter the decade.  If you’re looking for some great insight into the way boys think, look no further than the Barkham Street books!

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