Autobiography of a bully. Autobiography of an intelligent, articulate, overweight, and poverty-stricken bully.
Tod Munn has excuses for his behavior. He has, if not a “heart of gold”, at least, redeeming qualities. The voice in this first person novel, which mostly consists of the notebook that Tod must “scrawl” during detention, is the real attraction for the story. It’s a classic story of a bully tamed by self-examination and the love of a good woman. Well, love may be a strong word, but friendship anyway.
“Call me Tod.
Okay, no, I’m just kidding. That’s the first line from Moby Dick, all right? I always wanted to start a book like that. This is my first book, and I’m writing it for one reason only. Not for history and not for scientific research and definitely not to let out my inner demons. I’m doing it so I don’t have to pick up trash in the school courtyard like certain deviant so-called friends of mine who also got caught.
I am being reformed.”
Melissa at Here in the Bonny Glen suggested I read this YA novel; a long time ago she did, she did, and it was on the Cybils shortlist for YA fiction in 2011. I just got around to it in March while I was on blog break, and it was definitely a good read. I’m think it might be good to compare Tod Munn and Scrawl to Gary Schmidt’s Doug Swieteck in Okay for Now. I think liked the Gary Schmidt book better, but I didn’t read them at the same time. Both books were great reads and would appeal to boys in particular. In fact, now that I think about it, maybe I’ll buy copies of both and leave them around the house for Karate Kid to find. He needs to be reading something, and I find it difficult to capture his interest. One of these books might do the trick.