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The Resource Scrawl : a novel, Mark Shulman

Scrawl : a novel, Mark Shulman

Label
Scrawl : a novel
Title
Scrawl
Title remainder
a novel
Statement of responsibility
Mark Shulman
Creator
Subject
Genre
Language
eng
Summary
When eighth-grade school bully Tod and his friends get caught committing a crime on school property, his penalty--staying after school and writing in a journal under the eye of the school guidance counsellor--reveals aspects of himself that he prefers to keep hidden
Award
  • YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adult Readers, 2011
  • YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults, 2011
Review
  • Grades 7-10 After class-bully Tod and his “droogs” get caught vandalizing school property, his punishment is to spend every day in after-school detention writing in a notebook. “About anything?” he asks Mrs. W., his jailer. “Okay. Fine. You asked for it. I’ll write about this desk. I hate this desk.” The classic smarter-than-his-teachers underachiever with a rotten home life, Tod has a real way with words (the way he crashes, then dominates the spelling bee is priceless), and he soon warms to his enforced writing therapy. Some readers might wish he’d stayed a little more bottled up though—his wordy tendencies sometimes drag the narrative—but Shulman establishes a nice voice for him, as Tod rips jokes so dry they can float away and shows some real heart dealing with his less-than-desirable lot in life. Much to his droogs’ horror, he gets involved making costumes for the school play, and his increasingly confrontational clashes with them spell both trouble and growth. An unusual sort of bully redemption story, with patient, not reluctant, readers squarely in its sights. -- Chipman, Ian (Reviewed 09-01-2010) (Booklist, vol 107, number 1)
  • Gr 7 Up — "I know what you think. You think I'm fixable, don't you? You want to fix the bad guy." Readers slowly learn what makes Tod, a self-confessed bully, tick by reading the notebook he writes in (not, he insists, a journal) during after-school detention. He is supervised by Mrs. Woodrow, the guidance counselor, for a school break-in with his buddies (droogs), who increasingly resent that he's gotten this cushy punishment while they are consigned to clean the school grounds. Tod is no dummy. He reads, does his homework, and gets good grades. But he's poor. His mom, a seamstress, does alterations for a dry cleaners (Tod helps), and he tries to stay away from her husband, whom he describes as "unpredictable." Lacking money for basic necessities like food and clothes, he extorts it from "losers" at school and otherwise tries to keep a fairly low profile. The plot is thin, as Tod gets roped into providing the costumes for a school play written and produced by "that spooky goth girl Luz Montoya." Still, he is a funny, quirky, interesting character. There are loose ends, but in the end it's not so much what happened, as the fun of getting there, finding out whether Tod is right or not when he writes, "I'm a loser, okay? I was born a loser and I'll live a loser and I'll die a loser. And nothing you do here is going to ever change that."—Joel Shoemaker, formerly at South East Junior High School, Iowa City, IA --Joel Shoemaker (Reviewed November 1, 2010) (School Library Journal, vol 56, issue 11, p127)
  • Shulman (Mom and Dad Are Palindromes) makes his YA debut with the story of Tod, a school bully forced to spend detention writing in a journal. Tod's latest crime was breaking into school with his buddies to steal a video camera, but he has a long history of beating up kids for their lunch money and destroying property. He's also a superb student, hiding his good grades behind his rough demeanor. As he writes, details of his home life emerge. Tod's house is barely habitable, and he is forced to help his mother in her job as a seamstress to make ends meet. His bullying is often less about wanting to hurt other kids than genuinely needing money, although he doesn't show much remorse. There's little that hasn't been done before--the overly smart bully with a troubled home life is a standard trope--but Shulman throws in some nice twists and gives Tod a strong, solid voice. Even the inevitable ray of hope doesn't fully distract from the bleakness of Tod's life. Ages 12–up. (Sept.) --Staff (Reviewed September 13, 2010) (Publishers Weekly, vol 257, issue 36, p)
  • Tod Munn is in trouble for breaking into school and vandalizing school property. Previously, he's taken kids' lunch money, broken eyeglasses, intimidated weaker kids. He's the stereotypical school bully. Or is he? His friends have been sentenced by the disciplinary committee to endless hours of cleanup duty, but Tod, for some reason, is sent to daily detention with Mrs. Woodrow, the guidance counselor and former English teacher, where his punishment is to write several pages per day in a composition notebook. And despite his handwriting, his scrawl, his prose is quite good, raising the question, early on, of how a thug like Tod could be such a literate writer, let alone have read Moby-Dick, Oliver Twist and A Clockwork Orange. But this novel-as-journal isn't just the author's conceit; Tod's writing skill, his clear prose and natural voice, makes sense as readers get to know him through his journal, in which he describes himself and his world and proves that maybe he's more than a "ghetto juvenile delinquent," which is just what Mrs. Woodrow had suspected. A memorable debut. (Fiction. 12 & up) (Kirkus Reviews, July 15, 2010)
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/bookUI
369065
Cataloging source
DLC
http://library.link/vocab/creatorDate
1962-
http://library.link/vocab/creatorName
Shulman, Mark
Dewey number
[Fic]
Index
no index present
Intended audience
650
Intended audience source
Lexile
LC call number
PZ7.S559445
LC item number
Sc 2010
Literary form
fiction
http://library.link/vocab/ext/novelist/minGradeLevel
  • 7
  • 12
http://library.link/vocab/resourcePreferred
True
http://library.link/vocab/subjectName
  • Self-perception
  • Poverty
  • Bullies
  • Schools
  • Diaries
  • Self-perception
  • Poverty
  • Bullying
  • Schools
  • Diaries
Target audience
juvenile
Label
Scrawl : a novel, Mark Shulman
Instantiates
Publication
Note
"A Neal Porter Book."
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
234 p.
Isbn
9781596434172
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2010010521
System control number
(OCoLC)612958309
Label
Scrawl : a novel, Mark Shulman
Publication
Note
"A Neal Porter Book."
Dimensions
22 cm.
Edition
1st ed.
Extent
234 p.
Isbn
9781596434172
Isbn Type
(alk. paper)
Lccn
2010010521
System control number
(OCoLC)612958309

Library Locations

    • Central LibraryBorrow it
      85 Literary Lane, Newnan, GA, 30265, US
      33.38561 -84.669793

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