14. There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom by Louis Sachar

July 10, 2009 at 9:00 am 3 comments

there's a boy in the girls' bathroomRetell: It is easy to dislike Bradley Chalkers.  He beats up other students, lies about everything, and refuses to do his homework.  Bradley’s life begins to change when he meets Carla, the school counselor who inspires him to be a gold star student.

Topics: school, counseling, disagreeing, lying, making excuses, power, trust, friendship, homework, imaginary friends, partnerships, fights, confidence, putdowns, name-calling, safety, sibling issues, self-esteem, rewards, gold stars, asking for help, just right books, love of reading, affirmations, trust

Units of Study: Character, Literary Essay, Talking and Writing about Texts

Tribes: mutual respect, appreciations/no putdowns, right to pass, personal best

Reading Skills: inference, interpretation, empathy, making connections, synthesis

My Thoughts: My heart still aches after reading this book.  It’s not a depressing book it’s just that I spent the book fearful that Bradley was going to keep digging himself into holes (not literal holes that’s Sachar’s other book).  As you can see from this post’s tags, there are so many ways that one could use this book during interactive read aloud.  The book lends itself very well to examining character relationships.  Many of the secondary characters make significant changes that affect Bradley.  I think many students will be able to make connections to Bradley’s complex relationship with his sister, Claudia.  Sachar encourages his readers to try and understand the bully rather than demonize him/her.  Bradley reminds me of one of my former students.  I think I’m going to buy this book and send it to him.


Entry filed under: Chapter books, Male authors, Uncategorized. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , .

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3 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kim  |  July 15, 2009 at 2:30 pm

    I have taught this book for four years (as my first chapter book in the character unit) because it encompasses nearly every reading unit activity through the character of Bradley Chalkers. Every class has held this story close to their hearts. I used it when teaching literary and test taking essays as well. It works especially well for boys who are having difficulty engaging with literature as they identify with Bradley. One student who is known as a “bully” said he liked the story because it showed him the consequences of bullying as well as reasons why a person might bully another.

  • 2. Katie  |  July 16, 2009 at 11:34 pm

    This book is also really great to use for social issues, through the eyes of Bradley or even Carla. I really liked the book in the beginning, but I sort of felt like the ending was too happy… I had a few unanswered questions. But it is very funny and engaging and the kids really liked it.

  • 3. dgunders  |  July 16, 2009 at 11:59 pm

    Did you have any students who reminded you of Bradley? Did they respond well to the book when you read it aloud?


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