The Bully Book: Summary & Characters

Instructor: Audrey Farley

Audrey is a doctoral student in English at University of Maryland.

This lesson offers a plot summary and analysis of main characters in Eric Kahn Gale's 2011 novel The Bully Book. The novel is about a sixth grader who learns to stand up for himself against bullying.

Overview of the Novel

The Bully Book is both a mystery and a coming-of-age story. It was written by Eric Kahn Gale in 2011. The book is part of Little White Lie series, created by Starkid Productions.

Plot Summary

The Bully Book is a how-to manual for kids that want to become a bully. The chapters alternate between a mysterious manuscript of this manual and the journal entries of a kid named Eric Haskins, who is the target of bullying in his school. Eric is called 'Grunt' because he has been designated the outcast of his school.

When school begins, everyone is harassing Eric. He is determined to identify the person responsible for all the negative talk floating around school. He is a very perceptive child, and he soon discovers The Bully Book, an instruction manual for bullies. Wanting to know who authored this text, Eric begins to investigate.

Before he ascertains the identity of the author, he learns a lot of important lessons about himself and his friends. For instance, he learns how to control his emotions. He also learns that it is okay to have flaws because no one is perfect. Eric further realizes that, despite his flaws, he is not deserving of the mistreatment his is receiving. He begins to reject his designation as 'the Grunt', and begins to appreciate his strengths and talents.

Main Characters

Eric Haskins is the main protagonist. He is nicknamed 'the Grunt' since he is the outcast of his school. Eric is the bullies' favorite target. But as he begins to investigate the author of a manuscript on bullying, he learns to accept himself.

Donovan is Eric's best friend when the novel begins. But, Eric eventually loses this friend because Donavan joins the other bullies and begins to taunt Eric.

Melody is another one of Eric's friends. She and Eric have a rather complicated relationship. She is also a target of bullies, since she is very short, but she can be very assertive towards Eric, bossing him around. While Melody is domineering, Eric appreciates her because he knows that she really does care about him.

Colin is a classmate of Eric's. Both of these characters are called 'gay' by their classmates. Eric defends himself and Colin by claiming that there is nothing wrong with being gay. Eric reasons, 'Calling someone gay, like it's a bad thing, is like calling someone a dentist--it doesn't make any freaking sense!'

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