Bystander by James Preller

BystanderChanging schools in 7th grade isn’t usually easy. When Eric’s parents get divorced, he and his mom move to a new town where Eric is faced with what seems to be the daunting task of not only starting a new school, but finding friends as well. Imagine his surprise when Griffin, who seems to be both cool and popular, befriends him.

It isn’t long before Eric discovers something about his new friend and the kids in his group. Griffin is a bully. He not only bullies his friends into action, but he is also cunning in his ability to abuse others. Eric watches as Griffin does things that he knows are wrong; such as stealing, lying, blackmailing and threatening both physical and verbal abuse. He also comes to realize that Griffin , himself, is a victim of an abusive father.

Being a bystander to bullying is just as bad as doing the bullying. Eric eventually feels he has to stand up and help the boy who has been Griffin’s victim. A strange twist occurs though, and the boy and Griffin team up and Eric suddenly finds himself the victim. He befriends another outcast from Griffin’s group, and together they work through what is the right thing to do and Eric finds the courage to confront Griffin.

Posted by: Wendy

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