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Gardner, Graham. Inventing Elliot. Penguin/Speak, 2003 [0-14-240344-x]
Elliot was always picked on at his old HS.  Finally early in his freshman
year he was severally beaten and his family moves to a new town.  It is time
for a new Elliot.  He works hard at not being noticed (if he was not noticed
he would not be picked on.)  Unfortunately, his trying not to be noticed
calls attention to him from the "Guardians" at the new school.  This is a
group who for many years has bullied the school.  It selected punishments,
punishers, and those to be punished.. all with the faculty not noticing (or
caring.)  Elliot becomes involved with the Guardians in a way he would have
never believed.  Meanwhile his father has had a breakdown and just spends
all day watching TV.  His mom is trying to hold the family together and
Elliot becomes involved with a girl for the first time. This 181 page book
is a harsh story of bullying and how it goes on unnoticed or unwantingly
noticed at many schools. It  displays how bullying and "the group" mentality
go hand in hand.  This is a powerful book which should be on all junior high
and High School shelves.  Because of the violence I would not give it to a
student below 7th grade.

Frederick Muller
Newton, NJ
My book reviews are compiled at
My book review blog is at

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