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Journal of a Schoolyard Bully: Notes on Noogies, Wet Willies, and Wedgies    by Farley Katz order for
Journal of a Schoolyard Bully
by Farley Katz
Order:  USA  Can
Griffin, 2011 (2011)
Hardcover, e-Book
* *   Reviewed by Hilary Williamson

Cartoonist Farley Katz's Journal of a Schoolyard Bully: Notes on Noogies, Wet Willies, and Wedgies is the illustrated journal of a bully (who sees it as his calling) 'being forced to write this as part of an exercise to find out "why I behave the way I do."'

Though it's very funny, it's also very sad (when one considers the victims) as when our bully (middle schooler Niko Kayler) notes that 'Eugene had it coming to him when he decided it was OK to look me in the eye - he didn't need to - I knew what he was thinking.' He relays his 'bullying philosophy' to readers, explaining how to pick 'a mean-spirited nickname'; levels of intimidation; his greatest bullying hits; proxy bullying methods; the importance of practice on younger siblings; and how cyberbullying is sinking low for real bullies.

When he runs out of targets, Niko even goes after neighborhood adults. He finds a new role model in the football coach, and shares a Bullying Hall of Fame (from Genghis Khan to Garfield). He launches a major olfactory attack with paper airplanes, compares notes with a prison inmate, cuddles his pet skunk ... and enters the science fair, where chaos soon reigns. Expelled, Niko is sent to an Academy for Misguided Youths, where bullying is taken to another level.

Though it's mostly funny, there are some valuable underlying lessons in Journal of a Schoolyard Bully - for bullies, victims and observers of all ages.

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