Macmillan Childrens Publishing Group


A Novel

Mark Shulman

Square Fish



Trade Paperback

Tod Munn is a bully. He's tough, but times are even tougher. The wimps have stopped coughing up their lunch money. The administration is cracking down. Then to make things worse, Tod and his friends get busted doing something bad. Something really bad.

Lucky Tod must spend his daily detention in a hot, empty room with Mrs. Woodrow, a no-nonsense guidance counselor. He doesn't know why he's there, but she does. Tod's punishment: to scrawl his story in a beat-up notebook. He can be painfully funny and he can be brutally honest. But can Mrs. Woodrow help Tod stop playing the bad guy before he actually turns into one . . . for real?

Read Tod's notebook for yourself.

New Jersey Garden State Teen Book A ML, Missouri Truman Readers Award Master List, Kansas City KC3 Reading Award Master List, Tennessee Intermediate Volunteer State Book Award Master List, American Library Association Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adults, Kentucky Blue Grass Award Master List, Alabama Emphasis on Reading Award Master List, TN Intermed Volunt State Book Award ML, ALA Best Books for Young Adults, ALA Quick Picks for Reluctant Young Adults, Oklahoma Sequoyah Young Adult Book Award Master List, Oklahoma Sequoyah YA Book Award ML, Arizona Grand Canyon Young Readers Maste, American Library Association Best Books for Young Adults, American Library Association Quick Picks for Young Adults, TN YA Volunteer State Book Award ML, New Jersey Garden State Teen Book Award Master List


Wednesday, October 27

Think about a pair of glasses for a second. You see them every day but you really don't think about them, I bet. They're just glass and metal, or glass and plastic. Little pieces of glass stuck on your face that mean...


Praise for Scrawl

Scrawl is the rare novel written from the bully's point of view. . . . It's useful to point out that much can hide under a hardened exterior.” —Los Angeles Times

“There's something special about this book. . . . It's all put together so pleasingly, with punch and wit and smarts, and in such a way that the events and characters stay with you.” — "Shelf Talker" blog

“A memorable debut.” —Kirkus Reviews

“With the potential to occupy the rarified air of titles like S. E. Hinton's The Outsiders and Chris Crutcher's Staying Fat for Sarah Byrnes, Scrawl paints the stereotypical school bully in a different, poignant light.” —VOYA

“Readers seeking an unflinching look at high-school politics from the perspective of the disenfranchised will find in Tod an illuminating guide.” —BCCB

“Tod has a real way with words (the way he crashes, then dominates the spelling bee is priceless). . . . Shulman establishes a nice voice for him, as Tod rips jokes so dry they can float away and shows some real heart dealing with his less-than-desirable lot in life. . . . An unusual sort of bully redemption story.” —Booklist

“In a unique version of a story told in journal format, the writing Tod does in detention becomes this book. . . . Through his own words, the reader grows to love this hard-edged character. . . . Tod's voice is natural and consistent. Shulman captures the viewpoint of a believable eighth grader, while conveying Tod's maturity and sharp sense of humor. Tod's backstory is seamlessly woven into his narrative. This book will engage a wide audience, but it will appeal most strongly to junior high school boys, particularly those who may be bored by schoolwork or have trouble finding books that interest them.” —Children's Literature

“This is a different take on the bully story. It lets the readers inside the mind of a bully and see the reasoning for his actions. The story is true to life, funny, and shows that people who are seen as troublemakers can change. . . . Highly recommended.” —Library Media Connection

In the Press

Shulman (Mom and Dad Are Palindromes) makes his YA debut with the story of Tod, a school bully forced to spend detention writing in a journal. Tod's latest crime was breaking into school with his budd - Publishers Weekly

Reviews from Goodreads

About the author

Mark Shulman

Mark Shulman has been a camp counselor, a radio announcer, a maître d' in a fancy restaurant, a New York City tour guide, and a creative advertising guy. He's written many books about many things—sharks, storms, robots, palindromes, gorillas, dodo birds, Star Wars, Ben Franklin, how to hide stuff, how to voodoo your enemies, and how to make a video from start to finish. He's written picture books for Oscar de la Hoya (the boxer) and Shamu (the whale). Mark is from Rochester and Buffalo, New York, but he has lived in New York City for so very long that he tawks like he's from da Bronx. So do his kids. His wife, Kara, a grade school reading specialist, has perfect diction.

Mark Shulman

Mark Shulman

From the Publisher

Square Fish

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