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ZOOM! BOOM! BULLY (John Scieszka's Ready to Read, Level 1)

Author: John Scieszka

Illustrator: David Shannon, Loren Long, David Gordon

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Publisher: Simon Spotlight,

Material: paperback

Summary: All the trucks in Trucktown are bringing things to the party (4 barrels, 3 crates, 2 tires, poured cement to make 1 cake). Every trip, Big Rig knocks the items over and blares his horn. He is such a bully! No one likes it. Finally, they yell "STOP!" and tell him that everything was a birthday present for HIM. He listens, then takes everything home and crashes into it. ZOOM! BOOM! This easy reader tackles wraps the concept of bullying in an action-packed story.

Type of Reading: playtime reading, read aloud book, learning to read

Recommended Age: read together: 4 to 7; read yourself: 5 to 8

Interest Level: 4 to 6

Reading Level: 1

Age of Child: Read with boys ages 2 and 4.

Young Reader Reaction: My boys enjoyed the book. My 4-year-old is *starting* to read, so the repetition of the words meant that he was able to recognize and read them.

Adult Reader Reaction: I liked the book because the words were just right for a new reader. It was short enough that it stops before the child gets frustrated. As the mom of boys, it is definitely geared toward them (I like that) and the action is VERY exciting. However, it is a bit rough of a story (Big Rig is a BULLY, he never apologizes for being a bully.

Pros: This easy reader is just the right length for new readers ... especially ones who don't really want to (or can't) sit still to read. It has exciting action plus the word repetition ne readers need. . Repeated words for new readers.

Cons: There is no recourse for Big Rig's bullying. At the end he gets a birthday cake, despite his actions! So, although the reading is great for kids, the story is less than ideal, in the things I want to expose my kids to. THAT BEING SAID, I think this book would be a great resource for kids who are reluctant readers or for kids who have short attention spans. The illustrations and pace of the story capture and retain the child's attention. "

Borrow or Buy: Borrow. This is the kind of book that would be great for kids who are reluctant readers or who have short attention spans. I would not buy it for my children, but I would buy it for other children I know whose personalities require the high-energy excitement to keep them focused.

If You Liked This Book, Try: DEMOLITION   THINGS THAT MOVE (Usborne First Words)   BENNY AND PENNY IN THE TOY BREAKER (Toon Books)

Educational Themes: This is a story to help new readers. It can also be used as a discussion starter for friendship and bullying; learning to count; and with younger audiences, a way to explore different types of trucks, what they do ... and their environment (road signs, etc).

Notes: This publisher sent a copy of this book as part of the 2008 Children's and Young Adult Bloggers Literary Award (Cybils) process. This review is not intended to represent the opinions of the Cybils. The book will be donated to a reader in need.

Literary Categories: Fiction - friendship, trucks, counting, easy reader series

Date(s) Reviewed: March 2012

Other Reviews: See Critics' Reviews and reader feedback at; and feedback at


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