Scrawl by Mark Shulman
Genre: Contemporary, High School, Journal-type
Publishing Info: Published on September 14th 2010
by Roaring Brook Press
Highschooler Tod Munn is a bully and he’s stuck in detention… writing in a notebook. WHY? Good question, I don’t really know. About what? Anything. At school he’s doing pretty alright (besides the bullying aspect, of course) but home is a bit of a different story. He bullies for sure but he’s also humourous. So, what is he going to write about now? We’ll see.
” When I looked up and asked you, ‘What do you want me to write about’ you said, ‘About anything.’
About anything? Okay. Fine with me. You asked for it. I’ll write about this desk.
I hate this desk. It’s nothing but a slab of plastic connected to my chair by a flimsy metal rod… You know, if you put a lefty desk and a righty desk next to each other the right way, the desks really seem like they’re saying ‘I don’t care.’ They look about as bored and uninterested as the rest of us.”
“Here is my last good reason to stay in detention until even the stubby little yellow afterschool buses have taken the rich kids home from practice. It’s cold outside, and our house has broken windows.
I don’t know where I want to be today. Not here, but not anywhere else either.”
~ Todd, pg 3-4 and pg 9
What was hey or nay about this book?
Tod Munn’s narrating voice is just interesting to read about. I liked that even while his image is associated with a menacing scowl, he narrates his story quite comically at times and showed reluctance in writing at first which I liked. He’s creative and shows that everyone has multiple sides to them and their own reasons behind their actions.
Something I would like to mention is that I wasn’t able to imagine the story in my own reality. I felt as if some parts just didn’t fully convince me that he was a bully. I imagined that he would be insulting people at every turn with the severity of his punishment but it is his journal so maybe he just doesn’t mention it?
I did like how the author incorporated the dates and worked with them – I felt like I was going through the month with him and sneaking around reading his private stuff. Which made it all the more interesting. The only minor thing with the dates was that at the end, it got a bit confusing with the switching around but it didn’t really bother me.
As aforementioned, I liked the voice of the book. How he was communicating through the book to his guidance counsellor and how she responds to his comments.
Scrawl by Mark Shulman: An interesting spin on the perspective of a bully.
Thank you all for reading this kind of mini book review, I really appreciate it! Wish you another fantastic September week and especially if you’re in school, good luck! 🙂