The Odd Squad: Bully Bait

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 “The Odd Squad; Bully Bait” is a laugh out loud graphic novel by Michael Fry about a boy’s defeat over a middle school bully.

 “The Odd Squad; Bully Bait” is a laugh out loud graphic novel by Michael Fry about a boy’s defeat over a middle school bully. This illustrated story is a great pool side read for the summer.

 

In the beginning, Nick, an unusually small middle school kid, is introduced as a shy, bullied boy. His bully, Roy, stuffs him in lockers and pushes him around, but Nick is too scared to tell anyone. He won't tell his mom, grandma, or the school teachers.

 

However, Nick has an alter ego he calls Max. He uses his grandma’s phone to text Roy and Roy does not know who it really is. Max is strong, brave kid who makes fun of Roy. Max also uses the alter ego to text Nick’s crush, Becky. She is his "alternate universe" girlfriend.

 

Eventually, Nick is forced to join Safety Patrol as a way to “fit in” at school. He is joined by an extremely tall girl named Molly and a husky boy named Karl. Throughout the story, the three of them try to figure out why Roy is so mean and they create a whole plan to find his only weakness.

 

Nick must also get attention from Becky, who only knows him as a short kid in safety patrol. He uses his alter ego, Max, to figure out Roy and to meet the love of his life. In the end, Molly, Karl, and Nick/Max find all of the answers to their queries about Roy and even a little bit more.

 

The book is a must read for boys and girls ages 8-12. You will feel like you have met these kids. Although it is a very easy, it is a fun book to read. I think that everyone can relate to the characters and storyline, and the drawings are quite humorous. Kids who enjoyed the Diary of a Wimpy Kid will definitely enjoy this book. Be sure to check out the whole Odd Squad series because he is planning on many more!

 

After reading “The Odd Squad”, I got to talk with Michael Fry, the author and illustrator of the book. Michael says that he hoped “The Odd Squad” was a relatable book for kids who often feel outcast, small, or different. As a kid, he had to go to many different schools and he had lots of having trouble fitting in.

 

He was first inspired to start writing and drawing in college. He said, “I wasn't sure of what I wanted to do with my life and being a cartoonist seemed like a good way to postpone the decision.” Growing up, he was inspired by cartoonists such as Charles Schultz, the creator of the comic strip “Peanuts.” He later also enjoyed Garry Trudeau’s strip, "Doonesbury". His advice to kids interested in cartooning is to never stop drawing and writing, and to practice whenever possible. Additionally, he states “The most important part is to listen to your audience. They're always right. Even when they're wrong. ”

 

He ended our interview with these words of wisdom: “If you're like me and you like the pants-optional life, then being a cartoonist/writer/artist may be for you. Just remember that a pants-optional life is best lived indoors”. That really made me laugh but I think is pretty wise advice.