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The revealers / Doug Wilhelm.

By: Wilhelm, Doug.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookPublisher: New York : Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2003Edition: First edition.Description: 207 pages ; 22 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0374362556.Subject(s): Bullying -- Juvenile fiction | Friendship -- Juvenile fiction | Internet -- Juvenile fiction | Schools -- Juvenile fictionDDC classification: [Fic] Online resources: Publisher description Summary: Tired of being bullied and picked on, three seventh-grade outcasts join forces and, using scientific methods and the power of the Internet, begin to create a new atmosphere at Parkland Middle School.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

Throwing light on a dark problem
Parkland Middle School is a place the students call Darkland, because no one in it does much to stop the daily harassment of kids by other kids. Three bullied seventh graders use their smarts to get the better of their tormentors by starting an unofficial e-mail forum at school in which they publicize their experiences. Unexpectedly, lots of other kids come forward to confess their similar troubles, and it becomes clear that the problem at their school is bigger than anyone knew. The school principal wants to clamp down on the operation, which she does when the trio, in their zealousness for revenge, libel a fellow student in what turns out to have been a setup. Now a new plan of attack is needed . . .
This suspenseful story of computer-era underground rebellion offers fresh perspectives on some of the most enduring themes in fiction for young readers. "The Revealers" is a 2004 Bank Street - Best Children's Book of the Year.

Tired of being bullied and picked on, three seventh-grade outcasts join forces and, using scientific methods and the power of the Internet, begin to create a new atmosphere at Parkland Middle School.


Excerpt provided by Syndetics

The Revealers RICHIE When I was in seventh grade I did not understand the things that came out of my mouth. Of course I'm a year older now, and a lot happened last year--and that's what this story is about--but sometimes I think back and I just cringe. I wanted people to say, "Hey, Russell! Sit with us!" But I'd open my mouth and what would come out would be loud and clanky and wrong. And they would give me that quick, flat, puzzled stare that is the stock weapon of the cool seventh grader and seems to ask, "What species are you, exactly?" And I would go away thinking I was hopeless. I just wished that once I could say the right thing--but next chance I had with somebody important my words would pop out clanky and loud and I would want to run my head into a wall. I'd wonder, What happened to me? Basically, when seventh grade started I found out I was out. It was like everyone else took a secret summer course in how to act, what to say, and what groups to be in, and I never found out about it. Maybe they didn't tell me on purpose. Maybe they thought it'd be fun to see how out of it I could get. See how you could start to think? But the truth is,nobody thought about me much at all back then. I wasn't the type anybody paid attention to--not before all this started happening. So I would go home from school by myself. I was riding my bike the particular day when this thing occurred that pretty much captures what I'm talking about: my having had this talent, just then in my life, for saying an incredibly wrong thing to exactly the person I should never, ever have said it to. I was taking my time, that afternoon. I had nowhere special to go. My mom doesn't get home till about five-thirty, later if she has to go to the store. And I liked to dawdle along. I mean, after a whole day of being herded--having to go here, sit there, and rush with the crowds to the next class before the bell rings and you're late again--why not take your own time when you can? That's what I did, as soon as I could get away from school. Our school is called Parkland Middle School, and it's on the corner of School and Union streets. You can look up Union and see the downtown stores. But school lets out on School Street, around the corner, where everyone crowds out the big side doors and the buses pull up, and the parents' cars wait behind the buses in a long line. If you're going downtown after school, or if you need to go through town to get home like I do, most people head up Union. But I usually left the crowds (where nobody was waiting for me anyway) and went up a shady side lane called Chamber Street. I'd tell myself I liked going my own way. I mean, everybody else in seventh grade had to go everywhere with their friends--they'd walk in their little cliques through the halls, they'd eat together in the cafeteria, and they'd head home (or wherever they went) together after school.But why attach yourself to the same people every day, with everybody gabbling like a bunch of baby ducks? I didn't mind going by myself, really. Not that much. Chamber Street leads to the police department. It's a faded brick building, and behind it is the old town parking lot, and across that is the back of Convenience Farms. Convenience Farms isn't a farm, of course--it's a squat white store with a red plastic roof. It's easily the ugliest building in our downtown, and it has all kinds of good junky food inside. I coasted my bike in from the parking lot and leaned it against the side of the building, and went in to get my root beer. That's what I always got after school back then, a root beer. My mom gave me $1.10 each morning so I could get one. "There's for your treat," she'd say. (I don't have a dad. He died when I was too young to know. I wouldn't mind having a dad, but I don't.) I always got a twenty-ounce A&W, in the plastic bottle with the white cap. (I've tried them all. It's the root beeri-east!) When I came out of the store with my bottle this eighth grader, Richie Tucker, was leaning against the side of the building, and my bike was lying sprawled on the pavement. Richie Tucker. Whoa. Now he was someone you stayed away from. If you were going somewhere and Richie Tucker was hanging around and he tried to catch your eye, you just didn't look at him. Even I knew that. But here--I suddenly realized--here was one person who didn't have to be in a group with anybody. Probably nobody was cool enough, or strange or scary enough, to hang around with Richie Tucker anyway. So I looked at him. He had on this black army jacket, with his hands shoved in the big side pockets. I was thinkingmaybe I could get a jacket like that, I was wondering where you could buy one, when Richie turned his head and looked at me. "Is that thing yours?" he asked softly, motioning his head toward the sprawled bike. "Well, yeah." "It was in my way." "Huh?" "That piece of crap you left there." Richie said this softly and earnestly, nodding at me like we were two very concerned citizens. "It was in my way." He put his hands on his hips. "What are you going to do about it? Hmm?" So I bent over, picked up my bike, and--okay, this was a mistake--shook my finger at it. "Bad bike," I said. "Bad bike! Don't ever do that again?" See what I mean? Was that stupid? Richie jerked forward like he was coming at me; I hopped on the bike and started pedaling. I nearly dropped the root beer as I rode, a little too fast, up Union Street to get home. But then for the next couple of days I kept thinking about that black jacket. I wanted to get one. I looked in the Yellow Pages and found an army-navy store, about half an hour away. I could ask my mom to take me, maybe on Saturday. I could tell her I needed it. Meanwhile, I guess Richie was watching how I went home. Two days after the incident at Convenience Farms, I was walking home after school. Just this side of the police station there's a narrow, bumpy little driveway. It connects to the parking lot behind the police building, but it isn't the main way into the lot, and hardly anyone uses it. It's shadowed by a line of trees on one side and a windowless brick wall of thepolice building on the other. I was halfway up the driveway when Richie stepped out from the trees. He moved to block my way, and smiled. A prickling crackled in the back of my neck. I saw his fist pull back and I wanted to say No, please! I didn't mean to, but I just watched his fist drive into my stomach. I couldn't breathe! I made this panicky hreek! hreek! sound, trying to get air. I crumpled up and my heart was pounding and I was shaking all over. Richie grabbed my chin and yanked my face up. "Nobody mocks me," he said. "You understand? Nobody!" I went, "Hreek." Richie stood up and crossed his arms. "I guess you are nobody," he said. "I guess that's you, huh?" One tear tipped and fell down my face. Richie's eyes lit up, and he leaned in really close. "Aw--you got to cry, little boy? Are you a little crying nobody?" I turned my face away. He grabbed it and yanked it back. "Let me tell you how it is, little boy. This is not over, okay? This is never over. Every time you turn around--every time you think the coast is clear--you better be watching for me. Okay, little boy? Because you're mine now. You are mine. And every time you think you're not ..." He jerked his fist back; I grabbed my stomach. Just like that. He stood up. "Yeah," he said, and smiled. "Just like that." And then he was gone. THE REVEALERS. Copyright © 2003 by Doug Wilhelm. Excerpted from The Revealers by Doug Wilhelm All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Publishers Weekly Review

The promise of the modern age is that information equals power, and in Wilhelm's (Raising the Shades) entertaining and thoughtful tale, that notion is put to the test. Three seventh-graders-a mousy boy with the unfortunate last name Gekewicz, a half-Filipina girl named Catalina and the always tongue-tied Russell-have had their fill of being bullied, and Catalina posts a letter on the school network to squelch rumors being circulated about her by the popular girls. The letter strikes a chord with the downtrodden of Parkland (nicknamed Darkland) middle school; before long, students are sending their own reports to the three underground publishers, who issue electronic editions of "The Darkland Revealer." It seems to work: raised awareness causes a drop in bullying. Wilhelm develops the story in surprising ways, and if not all the action seems fully credible, most of the dynamics here reflect secure knowledge of middle-graders and their behavior. He raises compelling arguments, including a fascinating discussion of whether or not wartime Jews would have been better able to face their persecutors if the Internet had been available to them. The book's deepest point comes early on, though, and it is breathtaking: "If one adult did this to another, he'd be in jail. Why should it be different for kids?" asks Russell's mother after a particularly brutal incident. "I don't know," comes the chilling reply, " 'Cause we're kids?" Ages 10-up. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

School Library Journal Review

Gr 5-7-Russell Trainer, a seventh grader at Parkland Middle School, is being bullied. After a particularly bad episode, he reaches out for help to another boy who is the target of daily bullying at school. The two new friends notice that there's also a girl being harassed, and the three join forces to create a place online for bullied kids to publish their stories via the school's Internet service. The Bully Lab becomes a way for them to give voice to their feelings without the fear of being ridiculed. But when one of the bullies plays a prank on the trio, the principal calls an end to the email forum for fear of being sued. Russell and his friends prevail in the end, with a satisfying closure to the story. While the plot is predictable, Doug Wilhelm's honest story (Square Fish, 2011) will resound with kids who have experienced similar situations. Jon Toppo's narration lacks consistency, making it difficult to follow the characters when more than one person is speaking in a scene. Listeners will find it a challenge to connect to and stay with the audio version.-Lyn Gebhard, Sparta Public Library, NJ (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Booklist Review

Gr. 4-6. Wilhelm takes a fresh path down some well-trodden territory in this book about bullying. Seventh-grader Russell, who is being physically terrorized, reaches out to a geek named Elliot and to Catalina, who has incurred the wrath of seventh-grade queen Bethany and her minions. The kids first become friends and then devise a way to use the school's pilot project e-mail system to tell their stories--and the stories of other kids who are subject to regular bullying. Readers will identify with many of the elements Russell talks about in his earnest first-person narrative: the impotent anger; ineffectual parents; obtuse teachers who smile at the wrong kids. The plot structure is readily apparent, so it's no surprise when the kids' publication causes trouble or when the heavily foreshadowed science fair redeems the trio. Readers won't mind, though; books like this make them feel less alone. --Ilene Cooper Copyright 2003 Booklist

Horn Book Review

Tired of being bullied, three new friends use their middle school's electronic network to tell their stories, sparking others to share their experiences with harassment. Compiling the tales into an e-newsletter, the students feel a palpable shift in their school's tolerance for bullying, until the paper is accused of libel. Issues of bullying and alienation are handled frankly in this multilayered tale. From HORN BOOK Spring 2004, (c) Copyright 2010. The Horn Book, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Kirkus Book Review

A thought-provoking experiment about bullying and how to handle it. Seventh-grader Russell suddenly and inexplicably becomes the target of another boy's fists, so Russell asks Elliot--not a friend, but the school's general punching bag--for advice. Elliot distracts himself in a world of dinosaurs, but soon the boys become friends with Catalina (another tormented seventh-grader) and the three create an online forum called Revealer, where students tell their own stories of bullying and being bullied. Seeds of understanding sprout around the school as more and more stories come out. A late, well-crafted triumph of the aggressors almost crushes hope, but once again, going public proves invaluable. It's unclear why certain mean characters seem less bad by the end, and the parental passivity is sometimes hard to believe; however, Wilhelm poses intriguing questions about the role computer networks can play in rebellions, kids' lives, and possibly grander politics as well. (Fiction. 10-13) Copyright ©Kirkus Reviews, used with permission.