- A book so important, it should be required reading for all students in middle school - Russell could not believe how much his life changed when he started Parkland Middle School or Darkland (which is what everyone else called it). Not only does Russell feel deserted by all of his friends, he also has to deal with being stalked by the scariest, meanest bully in the entire school. Would you put up with being beat up and tormented every day? Well, Russell decides he’s not going to, either! He teams up with two other seventh graders who are also being harassed by bullies. Soon they devise a plan to begin an “underground” publication distributed to the student body on the school’s network server. The letter, called The Revealer, details other students’ experiences and how they have been teased and mistreated by bullies at Parkland Middle. When the letter is sent to the student body and they begin reading about how terrible students feel when other people tease them and the way it destroys lives, suddenly being a bully becomes very uncool and not acceptable. Russell, Catalina, and are actually able to make a difference…that is, until they falsely accuse a student of cheating in their newsletter.
When their principal finds out about their letter and the student’s father threatens to sue for slander, she restricts the entire school body’s Internet access. Just when Russell, Elliot, and Catalina find acceptance, they again are the outcasts - the ones responsible for everyone losing their Internet privileges. At first, Russell feels beaten. He then makes the decision to not go down without fighting. He has a plan - though it’s risky, he knows he must be brave and be willing to reveal even more secrets than before. Can Russell win back everything he has lost?
The Revealers is a thought-provoking book that will engage readers until the end. Even if you have never been bullied, we all can identify with some aspect of these three seventh graders’ lives. This book should be read by every teacher and student. It will make teachers think twice about dismissing “harmless” teasing and will cause students to think about the way they have treated their fellow classmates.