There's a Boy in the Girls' Bathroom

Louis Sachar
Bradley Chalkers IS the oldest kid in the fifth grade. He tells enormous lies. He picks fights with girls. No one likes him—except Carla, the new school counselor. She thinks Bradley is sensitive and generous, and knows that Bradley could change, if only he weren’t afraid to try. But when you feel like the most-hated kid in the whole school, believing in yourself can be the hardest thing in the world. . . .Winner of 19 Children’s Choice Awards


Reviewed: 2016-10-22

Louis Sachar is an author known for his hilarious and true-to-life stories of kids. Most popular for Holes, he’s also written the Sideways Stories from Wayside School series, and less well known the book I read this week. Although definitely not as acclaimed as some of Sachar’s other books, I believe Bradley Chalkers still turns out to be an outstanding character. He teachers reader’s how to work hard, show compassion, and make friends, even when you may not want to. This was one of my favorite books as a kid, and reading it as an adult put the book in a whole new light. Although now I find it a little more insensitive, and I definitely don’t sympathize with Bradley as much as I used to, I would still recommend it for anyone struggling to fit in. I think the book brings humor and silliness to a topic that might not always be so funny.


As much as I do love this book, I don’t think I would recommend it for a lesson in school. If a child is looking for just a good funny book to read, and they like the way Louis Sachar writes, this is their book. Although Sachar’s books always feature life lessons, this is not one of the most explicit for children to understand. I enjoyed it at 11 and 22, but as an educator, the way this book was written would not inspire me to teach it in class. There are some books that are so profound you have to share them with your students. This wasn’t one of them, in my opinion. It’s a great at home, old school comfort, but not something I would put in a lesson. Even so, I still love the book and the message, and can always turn back to it if I need a good laugh. 


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