As you read the reviews on Bookshop Talk, you'll notice that every review is positive. No, we're not a bunch of literary
pushovers who love everything we pick up; we just see no point in telling you about a book if we didn't like it.

September 4, 2012


Bradley Chalkers IS the oldest kid in the fifth grade. He tells enormous lies. He picks fights with girls. No one likes him—except Carla, the new school counselor. She thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous, and knows that Bradley could change, if only he weren’t afraid to try. But when you feel like the most-hated kid in the whole school, believing in yourself can be the hardest thing in the world. . . . Winner of 19 Children’s Choice Awards (Goodreads)

Reviewed by Sarah Hofhine

There’s A Boy In the Girls’ Bathroom is a charming and thought-provoking book.  Bradley Chalkers, the protagonist, is avoided and disliked by teachers and classmates.  He hates others first before they can hate him.  He doesn’t really even know how to handle it when the school counselor and the new kid are nice to him.  Yet he’s still a very likeable character; I sympathized with him so deeply, wanted him to succeed and thrive so much.
In one of the best chapters in the book Bradley and Carla, the counselor, are talking about monsters, and how she doesn’t believe they exist.  It’s a touching and lovely scene that had a profound effect on me. 
A wonderful thing about the book is that although there are obvious themes about expectations and self-esteem and education and friendship they are perfectly natural, a seamless part of the story, not contrived or preachy.  It’s also a very amusing and funny book, and a nice quick read.
Although it would be particularly salient to a middle grade student, I highly recommend this book for all ages. 

Market: Middle Grades
Language: None
Sensuality: None
Violence: None
Mature Themes: None


Meredith said...

I haven't read this in years, but I remember loving it when I was in elementary school. Louis Sachar is so funny.

Rosebriars said...

I was given this book recently by a friend who was a teacher and was thinning out her bookshelves. So my first reading was as an adult, and it came at a really perfect time in my life. I really want my 7-year-old daughter to read this, I think it might make elementary school a bit easier for her.