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Children's Lit

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Submitted By cinnbun
Words 1190
Pages 5
Chantell Bernhardt
Children’s Literature
April 15 2013
Dr. Ketrick

There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom

Summary Plot
The book that I was assigned to read was “There’s a boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Louis Sachar. The book was about a boy named Bradley Chalkers. Bradley is a lonely and troubled fifth grade student with a lot of behavior problems. No one at his school likes him but the schools counselor Carla, and a new boy in his class named Jeff Fishkin. The two boys become friends, but don’t get along that well. Bradley almost always tells lies and bullies his entire class. Jeff on the other hand is the complete opposite. Bradley also performs very badly in his studies. He does not complete homework and lies to his mother constantly telling her that he gets A+’s on all of his papers, when in reality he gets F-‘s all the time. As a result to his actions, he gets held back a year. In the book he does not appear to have a happy house life either. His father bullies him and sister teases him. With the exception of his mother, Bradley’s family is largely unsupportive and does little to attempt to consider matters from Bradley’s perspective. This all changes once Carla Davis counsels his school. Carla changes Bradley’s life, but has to leave the school due to the school board and parents. When this happens Bradley becomes very upset and threatens to revert back to his bad behavior. In the end Bradley starts to come to terms with Carla’s departure. He writes her a goodbye letter sends his most prized possession with it, a small china rabbit named Ronnie. Finally, Bradley goes to Colleen’s party as a gift. The book takes the reader on a journey through the eyes of a troubled boy and shows that in the end everyone deserves a second chance. All he need was someone to truly believe in him.
Sub Plot The sub plot of the book involves Jeff and a girl named Colleen who seems to have crushes on one another. Bradley on the other hand thinks that girls are gross and hates Colleen’s best friend Lori. At the beginning of the book, Bradley becomes irritated with Jeff for speaking to Colleen. Later in the book, Bradley proves his friendship to Jeff by saying “hi” to him. Towards the end of the book, as Carla the schools counselor betters Bradley students in his class start to like him and he is invited to things know. Theme
Throughout the story I found a lot of themes such as: friendship, bullying, link between self-esteem behavior & learning, and inside vs. outside feelings. The friendship theme was shown when Jeff was the new kid and Bradley wanted to be his friend. Bullying played a major role in this book and was also one of the themes. Not only was Bradley bulling other children, five boys that went to the school were bullies also. The link between self-esteem behavior and learning was a theme that was presented through Bradley. Bradley self-esteem was very low and I think he really didn’t believe in himself at all, witch caused him to act out. This theme reminds me of my little cousin that has ADD. When he is not given attention, his self-esteem gets really low and he acts out in school like Bradley sometimes. The last theme was inside vs. outside feelings. This theme was displayed when Jeff told Carla that none of the children wanted to sit with Bradley and Carla response was “ he may be smiling on the outside, but do you think he’s smiling on the inside”. Basically everyone deserves a second chance.
Genre
The genre of this book would have to be Realistic Fiction. By definition realistic fiction is fiction that is realistic or lifelike. Fiction that is life like is fiction that seems real and believable; as though it could have really happened. The reason that the book’s genre is realistic fiction is because most of the issues in the book children go through everyday as if it were real life. The characters in this book can relate to children in fifth through seventh grade. Like some of the characters, they too seek guidance in their life due to their lack of experiences. Developing a sense of ones self is very important. Some parts of this book suggest that.
Characters
There are three main characters. Bradley Chalkers, Jeff Fishkin and Carla Davis. Bradley Chalkers, is a young boy around the age of ten or eleven. Bradley sits in the back of the classroom, last seat, and last row. Everyone including himself likes it that way. Bradley would be considered a round and or coming of age character. He gives readers insight into human nature. He would be considered a coming of age character because he goes through an experience that is transformative. Jeff Fishkin is a new student from Washington DC, who becomes Bradley’s friend. In the beginning Jeff tries to reason with Bradley, but fails, like everyone else. Bradley wont spit on Jeff in exchange for a dollar. Jeff would be considered a flat character. He has no insight and we only know little about him. Carla Davis, Red Hill Middle School’s new guidance counselor. She is appointed , and cannot wait to meet Bradley. Carla wants to help Bradley and begins to try to open him up and reveal his kind interior, which he has been trying to hide. She is not as popular with many parents of the students and is fired. She is also a flat character.
Stakeholders
Stakeholders for this book would be students and their teachers. Mainly students because they will surely have interest in this book, but then teachers might have concern with them reading it. Throughout the book theirs a lot of bullying and sometimes when children read things they get ideas. They’ll get ideas on all the ways that Bradley and the other boys bully students. Though there’s a lot of bullying in the book it also teaches a moral lesson. The lesson that children will learn is to take responsibility of their mistakes and that everyone always gets a second chance. I think that some of the issue can prevented by monitoring when the child reads the book. This book isn’t overall that bad at all, just some parts I find disturbing. For an example when Bradley is asked to spit on Jeff for a dollar in exchange. If parents of teachers don’t sit and talk to the child about small things like this they in fact might think its okay.

I like this story because it directly relates to issues in the classroom that children can identify with. The plot is interesting and there is a positive but not all together happy ending. This could effectively be used as a text to support the curriculum for example children can be asked about bow Bradley feel at different stages of the book and create a feeling grid. This book is a great read for ages 9-11.

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