What if nothing was the worst thing you could do?
For 13-year old Tim Stockdale, it’s all about keeping his head down and fitting in with the friends he’s managed to make at his new school. His older brother, Eli, is the opposite. He’s trying to set up a Gay-Straight Alliance at his high school, where he’s a junior. Even though the school board is against it, Eli’s not afraid of what the fallout might be.
So when Tim’s new friends start to bully a kid they think is gay, Tim’s torn – he doesn’t want to do anything to risk being cast out of the crew. But when Eli is hurt in a protest, Tim’s own failure to do anything starts to get under his skin. Will he find his way at his new middle school, and figure out what’s really worth standing up for?
Ms. Irwin has brought us a story about a young teen trying to find his way in a new school–walking that fine line between being part of the crowd or standing up for what he knows is right.
Tim’s family has moved to another part of town–putting Tim in a different school. His older brother, Eli, is able to remain at the high school, where he is trying to set up a Gay-Straight Alliance.
The kids at the new school aren’t very friendly and Tim finds himself reaching out to the only people who are nice to him–a self-professed “anger guy” and his buddies. Unfortunately, they not only have anger issues, they are bullies. While Tim doesn’t join in the bullying; he just stands there and does nothing. He feels badly about it, but doesn’t want to be alone.
And therein lies the essence of what this book is about … for kids, when does doing nothing become just as bad as the bullying itself? Tim has some tough choices to make and Judy Irwin captures those choices and this age group very well. I could identify with Tim being in a new place and trying to fit in. Especially as a kid, this is so hard.
It was quick, easy read– I read it in one night–and it was interesting to see not only the relationships with the kids at the middle school, but also the interactions between Eli and Tim as well as between the boys and their parents. Ms. Irwin has a good handle on this age group and it certainly makes her books more real and readable.
There are more books in this series–I’m looking forward to reading the others.