Bystander by James Preller

4.5 Stars - Must read for middle school students

     Eric hated being the new kid in middle school.  To his surprise, though, he is asked to join a popular group the first week of his 7th grade year.  Griffin seemed to be the leader of the group - he was goodlooking, charming, popular, and all the parents and community members seemed to love him.  It wasn't long, though, before Eric saw Griffin's dark side.

Griffin loved to bully others - hurt them, scare them, steal their most treasured possessions.  Being in Griffin's circle came at a cost.  You were expected to participate in Griffin's "fun activities" or look the other way.

When Eric sees how Griffin tortures David, a 7th grader labeled an outcast, he finally decides to take a stand.  Eric tells Griffin he's antics are stupid and mean.  Eric will no longer be a bystander and watch Griffin run all over everyone.

Griffin has a lot of buried anger.  He doesn't like being confronted by anyone.  Now Eric has decided he want be a bystander anymore, Griffin decides to make him his next target....

*Recommended Read Aloud