Saturday 28 January 2023

Jake Drake, Bully Buster - Andrew Clements - Jake Drake Book 2

Jake Drake, Bully Buster
Jake Drake Book 2
Andrew Clements
ISBN 9781416939337
eISBN 9781442462311
ASIN B007108P0E

When I started reading this I thought it was book one in the Jake Drake quadrilogy. I was mistaken. But that being said it is an excellent volume. Before I was even a third done the book, I recommended it to my son. My son is in grade 9, and yes, the volume is below his reading level. But he has been dealing with some serious bullying for a number of years now. Most of it instigated by the same ring leader, a boy that would give Link Baxter, Super Bully, more than a run for his money. My son started it the day after I did and loved the story. And even though the other Jake Drake books do not deal with bullying, we plan on reading them together in short order.

Six years ago, I discovered the works of Andrew Clements. I was instantly hooked and have now read almost 25 books from his masterful pen. Many consider him the ‘master of school stories’, and I would agree. I have a dual form of dyslexia and did not learn to read until after grade 7. So I never read ‘school stories’ when I was young. That combined with having my own school aged children has instilled a great appreciation for the genre and specifically for the works of Andrew Clements. Clements passed away in 2019 his last novel was The Friendship War, which is another excellent volume. He writes amazing stories for children, but they are also stories that any of us can learn from. Back then I set the goal of reading all of his works, but as my own children have outgrown these books and they had slid by the wayside. I have now returned to them yet again. I have read 1 a week over the last several weeks and plan to do so for a while yet.

I had no idea what this book was about when I picked it up. I grabbed it based on the author alone. I just thought it was the first in a series and based on the covers thought it was for a younger audience than many of his books I have read. It was a great read and one I wish we had read with my son years ago. It is an excellent read. The description of this book is:

“Meet Jake Drake.

He's not the toughest kid in fourth grade or the fastest kid or the funniest. But he's got ideas -- big ideas, and boy, does he have stories to tell about what really goes on in school. Like bullies, for instance. Jake wants to know "if everybody who works at school is so smart, how come they can't get rid of the bullies?...Because every year, it's the same thing. Bullies."

So it's up to Jake Drake to take matters into his own hands when Link Baxter, SuperBully, moves into the neighborhood. Link's reign of terror must be stopped...if only Jake can figure out how.”

I was not a bully magnet like Jake, but I can recall the kids who were from early grade school all the way to the end of secondary school. Some of them were hounded for years, and though many school boards have a zero tolerance policy that has not been our experience. In fact we got an email from a grade school principal this week that included:

“-we (school name redacted) will no longer be dealing with any of these issues moving forward unless they involve 'real' safety, bullying, or threats
-just because you feel bad or are crying does not mean that what you are dealing with is a 'real' problem that needs to be addressed”

But the book does bring home ways that Jake deflected the bullying, and how he learned to be a bully buster. Will they work in all cases, no! But there are some good tools mentioned in the books, and especially havening someone to talk to about it.

The chapters in this volume are:

From Bad to Worse
What Abby Said
Playing It Cool
Learning My Lesson
Dangerous Duo
Surprises and Questions
Busted Link

This is another wonderful offering from the masterful pen of Andrew Clements. This is a great early chapter book. An excellent book for young readers, and for those of us who just love a great story!

Books by Andrew Clements:
Bird Adalbert
Noah and the Ark and the Animals
Santa's Secret Helper
Temple Cat
Mother Earth's Counting Book
Billy and the Bad Teacher
Who Owns the Cow
Bright Christmas: An Angel Remembers
(Adapter)Philipp's Birthday Book
Riff's BeBop Book
Real Monsters Go for the Mold
Things That Go EEK on Halloween
Real Monsters Stage Fright
Music Time, Any Time
Double Trouble in Walla Walla
Gromble's Haunted Halloween
Hey Dad, Could I Borrow Your Hammer
The Landry News
Look Who's in the Thanksgiving Play
The Mouse Family
The Janitor's Boy
Circus Family Dog
The Christmas Kitten
The School Story
Things Not Seen 
The Jacket 
A Week in the Woods
Slippers at Home
Naptime for Slippers
The Report Card
The Last Holiday Concert
Slippers at School
Slippers Loves to Run
A Million Is a Lot of Dots
Lunch Money
Things Hoped For
Room One: A Mystery or Two
No Talking
Things That Are
Lost and Found
Extra Credit
About Average
The Map Trap
The Friendship War
The Losers Club

Pets to the Rescue Series
Ringo Saves the Day!
Brave Norman
Tara and Tiree, Fearless Friends
Delores and the Big Fire

Jake Drake Series
Jake Drake Know-It-All
Jake Drake, Bully Buster
Jake Drake, Teacher's Pet
Jake Drake, Class Clown

Benjamin Pratt and the Keepers of the School Series
We the Children
Fear Itself
The Whites of Their Eyes
In Harm's Way
We Hold These Truths

Reading Program Books
Karen's Island
Three Wishes for Buster
Bill Picket: An American Original, Texas Style
Hurricane Andrew
Ham and Eggs for Jack
Life in the Desert
Desert Treasure
Inventors: Making Things Better, Steck-Vaughn
Milo's Great Invention

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