Saturday, November 15, 2014

Kid Konnection: Rhyme Schemer

Every Saturday, I host a feature called Kid Konnection -- a regular weekend feature about anything related to children's books. This week, I'm going to share with you a terrific book that just happens to be written in verse.

Summary: Kevin has a bad attitude. He's the one who laughs when you trip and fall. In fact, he may have been the one who tripped you in the first place. He has a real knack for rubbing people the wrong way—and he's even figured out a secret way to do it with poems. But what happens when the tables are turned and he is the one getting picked on? Rhyme Schemer is a touching and hilarious middle-grade novel in verse about one seventh grader's journey from bully-er to bully-ee, as he learns about friendship, family, and the influence that words can have on people's lives. -- Chronicle Kids

I probably should have written my review for RHYME SCHEMER by K.A. Holt last month -- October is National Bully Prevention Month. However, I figure it's better late than never!

RHYME SCHEMER is a special book and really unlike anything I've ever read. The entire story is written in first person verse by a twelve year old boy named Kevin. Kevin isn't exactly a nice kid. In fact, he's a bit of a bully. He relentlessly picks on Robin, the class runt; and nothing is sacred when it comes to making fun of his teacher. Kevin even uses his creative talents by writing mean-spirited poems about others.

Kevin's life at home is vastly different from the one he portrays at school. His parents are preoccupied with his four brothers and their demanding jobs, and his brothers do their fair share of picking on Kevin. As a result, Kevin feels alone and uses his journal to write poems describing his insecurities.

Things change for Kevin when Robin gets his hands on the journal, and for once, Kevin is actually the one getting bullied at school. Both boys have to come to terms with their behavior, and Kevin begins to realize important life lessons about family, friends, and his poetry.

I found RHYME SCHEMER to be a wonderfully entertaining book with some very important messages. While I've read a few stories about bullying in the past, I can't remember ever reading one written in the words (or poetry) of the bully. It was very interesting to see Kevin's response to being bullied, and I appreciated how much he learned about his past behavior.

In addition, I really enjoyed that the book was written in verse. The poetry was very easy to read and I think even reluctant readers will like the pace of the story. It was a quick read that was also funny (and very wrong!) Kevin could be pretty cruel with his words, and I liked that this book demonstrated how damaging words can be. RHYME SCHEMER clearly showed that bullying doesn't have to be a physical action!

RHYME SCHEMER is a unique book. It both entertains and gives middle grade readers some food for thought. Definitely recommended.

Thanks to the publisher for providing a review copy of this book.

If you'd like to participate in Kid Konnection and share a post about anything related to children's books (picture, middle grade, or young adult) from the past week, please leave a comment as well as a link below with your name/blog name and the title of the book! Feel free to grab the little button too!

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I love novels in verse and this one sounds so unique. I've got to give it a try.

The Julian Chapter by R. J. Palacio is a novella written from the perspective of a bully and is well worth reading too.