It was Louise Sowders' first day back at school since her life had been ruined. Dad called it a rite of passage, but she knew better. It was the beginning of her dork years. So, doing what any level-headed fifth grade girl would do, she kept to herself and kept her mouth closed.
Everything went great until lunch...
Her best friend since forever took one look at her and almost freaked out. And BFFs held back to avoid hurt feelings. Louise knew it was bad, real bad. While wondering which rock to crawl under, Louise was zinged by one of her stinking brother's practical jokes. She had had absolutely enough and was going to take Charlie down.
In her moment of desperation, she did what no kid at Woodburn Elementary School dared to do in public. She said one word... one name... that got heard by one eavesdropping boy. Her life changed in an instant.
A rumor began to spread around school that drew Louise and her stinking brother, Charlie, into a mess that was going to rock the kid world. She was going to fight the meanest bully Woodburn Elementary School had ever seen...the Bull.
And she might not survive.
©2012 Christopher E. Byrd (P)2013 Christopher E. Byrd
"Brothers, Braces, and Bullies" brought back a lot of memories of the turnaround time known as "The Fifth and Sixth Grade." The time when new braces and other new changes make many feel like they're on the edge of dorkdom. Awkwardness, being unsure, trying hard to be cool (and failing), keeping as quiet and as invisible as possible are all themes touched on within these pages.
Modern things like text messaging, clear braces, Facebook and more help put this into the "now," but the story feels timeless. The rumor mill just moves faster nowadays with our online lives.
Some of the adults/teachers are a little "dumb," and I really don't like that. But there is also a golden magical Fortune Teller (aka Cootie Catcher). So, this isn't a story fully based in reality.
The narrator does a very good job. Dialogue pops out and she even sings a bit of "Who Let the Dogs Out."
A fun story. A great narrator. An excellent listen.
I was listening to some other books by this narrator with my headphones on with my daughter and little niece harrassing me about getting to listen too. The other books were filled with murder and sex, so definitely a headphone listen with the 8 and 9 year old around, so I when I saw that the narrator also had this kids title I got it for us to listen to together. I thought we'd listen to a few chapters while cleaning up the kitchen and then save some for later, but when we were done cleaning about 20 minutes later they didn't want to turn it off (I think it was right around the time the Bull was introduced), so we kept going and ended up pretty much listening to it in one sitting, finishing it in the car as we drove my niece home. It was a cute story, very much like something they might watch on one of the kids' tv stations. There's a nice little lesson about friendship and judging people in there, too.
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