Parents' Guide to


By Matt Berman, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 12+

Boy loses dad in 9/11, then faces school bullies.

Bullyville Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this book.

Community Reviews

There aren't any parent reviews yet. Be the first to review this title.

Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say Not yet rated
Kids say (2 ):

Unlike many stories structured like this, the three strands don't really come together at the end; instead, they resonate with one another throughout, with death as the thread that binds them. It's quite a feat of authorial sleight of hand, but this is an author in firm control of her material, so much so that she doesn't feel the need to exaggerate the bullying -- it's blessedly minor and run-of-the-mill, which, of course, makes it all the more recognizable to the reader. And its emotional impact is just as strong as, if not stronger than, something more garish. This is an author who has the confidence to use 9/11 as a plot device, and to have an ending that, after several plot twists, is still surprising yet doesn't wrap things up neatly. It's unexpected and messy and emotionally complicated. You know -- like life.

Book Details

  • Author: Francine Prose
  • Genre: School
  • Book type: Fiction
  • Publisher: HarperTeen
  • Publication date: September 1, 2007
  • Number of pages: 260
  • Last updated: July 13, 2015

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

See how we rate