by K.A. Holt
This charming novel in verse is a great read aloud book; it will resonate with any reader who knows a bully and let's face it: everyone knows at least one bully.
Kevin Jamison is being bullied at home by his older brother. Kevin takes his anxiety and anger out on other kids at school. Everyone thinks Kevin is rich; both his mom and dad are doctors but there's five kids in all: Patrick, Paul, Philip, Petey and Kevin, the youngest and the only "K" name. He feels like a non-person in his family.
Kevin spends a lot of time in Principal Hartwick's office for various pranks and bullying incidents. Kevin thinks in rhymes, poems and rhyme schemes. To get back at the principal Kevin becomes "The Poetry Bandit." He rips pages from old books (from the library, oh, horror!) and circles words on the page to make a poem. He leaves his poetry/art hung up all over the school. The principal is not amused but can't pin it on Kevin (pun intended). Each time Kevin visits the principal's office, he composes an ode to the principal's ugly tie of the day. Each ode is hilarious.
The librarian sees potential in Kevin. She tells him about an open mic night and promises to take him if his parents will agree.
Petey is in a rock band but their band has no name and no song. Kevin keeps coming up with names for the band which he shares in his notebook. Later, Petey realizes Kevin's notebook has some good material for songs for his band.
As Kevin learns to embrace his poetry, he becomes empowered. Once his brother gives him a chance, Kevin shines.
Readers will love Kevin and his poetry antics.
Highly recommended for grade 5-up. Great for anti-bullying programs and class discussions.
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