Buddies, Bullies, and Baseball is a middle grade inspirational book that was sent to me by the publisher. Fifth-grader Jack is having trouble at school dealing with bullies Steve and Cliff. They steal his lunch, flatten his bike, ruin his work and steal items precious to him. Jack has pretty much given up hope until a new kid shows up to school- Hans, from Germany. They soon become great friends, and while working on a project together, Hans gives him the strength to stand up for himself.
The cover is cool and I enjoy the symbolism of the yellow. This short, cute read is perfect for leisure reading! Its concept is one that (mostly) everyone can relate to. While being a relatively common topic of overcoming bullying, this book still managed to include some unique elements, like its inclusivity of other cultures and languages. I enjoyed Jack's character development. He went from being scared and pessimistic to being confident and willing to stand up for himself.
I enjoyed how Steve's character was portrayed by the end and the important messages he gave with the origins of his mean behavior stemming from his difficulty at home. Sometimes we forget that school is not all that a person is. I could totally see myself in Lizabeth's character. Hans was a unique character to say the least. I liked how this book tackled stereotypes and common assumptions, showing that despite his not knowing English, he still is intelligent and has many talents.
I highly recommend this book!
Title: Buddies, Bullies, and Baseball
Author: Phyllis J. Perry
Publisher: TCK Publishing
Rating: 5 Stars