BOOK TOUR REVIEW: We’re Done by Judy Irwin
by Judy Irwin
Middle Grade Fiction
What if it turns out that YOU’RE the bully – and you didn’t know it?
Up until now, life has been good for 13-year-old Luke. He’s good at sports, attractive, and he’s a big wheel at Heyworth Academy, his private school. He likes to tease, and poke fun at the other kids, but that’s just because he likes having fun. But things start to fall apart, six weeks into eighth grade, when Luke commits an act of ‘goofing around’ that ends up costing him his best friend and his beloved private school.
After he’s expelled, Luke transfers to his local school, Carlyle. Now, he’s on the outside looking in. His looks, and background (not to mention his Heyworth hoodie), make him stand out, and the tough guys zero in on him right away.
The upside-down world that Luke finds himself in at Carlyle gives him a whole new way of looking at things. Can he recover from losing his school, and his best friend, and find new friends and a way to fit in at Carlyle?
MY THOUGHTS: 4 OUT OF 5 FLEURS DE LIS
Luke is a 13 year old who attends a prestigious private school. He’s a great athlete, loved by the girls, and hangs out with his best friend Jon. The problem is, he’s kind of a jerk. He says mean things to other kids all the time, but one day he goes too far and gets kicked out of school.
Luke then transfers to a public school, and he quickly learns that while he may think the things he says are funny, other people rarely do. He must learn to think before he speaks, and think about how his words hurt others.
Right from the very beginning of this book I didn’t like Luke very much. He was very cocky and rude. I knew he would have a lot to learn if he wanted to change himself. He was outraged at the fact that he had to change schools, but that’s exactly what he needed. By making him a fish out of water, he was forced to confront others and really take a look at what he was doing.
The only problem I had was that I felt that Luke’s family could have done better by him. I believe the author was trying to make it so that Luke’s problems were a result of him acting out because of the absence of parental guidance in his life. But after him getting kicked out of school, he isn’t even punished!! Ultimately Luke worked out his problems on his own, so I guess that worked out OK.
I think this makes a great read for middle graders who need to take a look at how they treat others.
An Excerpt from We’re Done
Luke looked at his mother. “So it’s not — ” He turned to look at Mr. Kennedy. “OK, now I get it.” He pushed his hair behind his ears. “I was just trying to be funny,” he said. “How can that be wrong? I mean, I’m sorry that Jill was upset. If you want, I’ll apologize — ”
“Luke, please let me continue,” said Mr. Kennedy. “As you know, we introduced a new anti-bullying policy two years ago. We decided that, because we wanted Heyworth to be a safe, nurturing place for all students, that we’d have a zero-tolerance approach when it came to bullying.”
“I know,” said Luke. “You’d have to be a moron NOT to know about it. We hear about it all the time — zero tolerance, three strikes and you’re out, yada yada, yada. I know all that. But having fun isn’t the same thing as bullying — at least, not the last time I looked. I mean, we’re kids. We’re going to goof around. So I’m not sure what you’re saying.”
“Luke, this is what I’m saying,” said Mr. Kennedy. “This is your third strike. I’m very sorry to do this, but I am asking you to leave Heyworth.”
Luke’s mom raised her handkerchief to her mouth, and she let out a muffled sob. “Luke, you see this is serious,” she said.
“This is nuts,” said Luke. “I’m not going to leave Heyworth. This is my school. Mr. Kennedy, you can’t do this. I’m on the swim team. I’m captain of the soccer team. And you know my parents are really involved in this school. Mom, don’t you agree? This is not possible.”
About the Author
Judy Irwin writes books about kids dealing with everyday stuff, like parents and divorce, friendships and bullies, and figuring out how to handle different situations and circumstances. So far, she’s written two books: We’re Done, and What Did You Say? We’re Done is about 13-year-old Luke and how he figures out what went wrong when he’s kicked out of school for a bullying incident. In What Did You Say?, 12-year-old Tash tries to figure out what life will be like following her parents’ divorce. In this book, which takes place at a trailer park up north, Tash first meets Luke, Jon and Polly.
Judy lives in Toronto, Canada, with a dog, a cat, and two hamsters, plus her husband and two children, ages 10 and 13. She studied English Literature at the University of Toronto. She always wanted to be a writer. She wrote her first book in fourth grade – it was about a boy called Japan, who lived in Japan. In addition to writing books, Judy is a freelance business writer.
Judy will be awarding a $50 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.
Posted on October 26, 2012, in book tour, books, challenge, Ebook challenge, Goodreads challenge, reading, review. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.
Thank you for hosting today.
I think this reviewer had a good point. The parents were probably one of the reasons for his bad behavior. Not totally, of course, but they really didn’t help him much. This would also affect the way his sister thought.
Their should always be zero tolerance when it comes to bullying. It can be quite traumatic to those bullied.
Many thanks for your review!
(the above is from Judy Irwin)
What a great premise to turn it around and have the POV of the bully that figures it all out! Thanks Carin
mawmom at gmail dot com
LOVE the concept of this, having the story told through the bully’s POV. It’s rarely done.
ccfioriole at gmail dot com
I have enjoyed following this tour. I think the message of bullying and its dehumanizing effect needs to be taught about to YAs. It is easy to say stop bullying, but the effect on the bully itself is bad for humanity.
Thanks for the review!
Bullying is terrible, I have hated it since I was a kid.
Thank you for the review!