“I’m the new kid. I am tuf. This morning I beat up a kid.”
It’s only the first day of school for Dexter, but he’s already mad at the principal, and the secretary, and the janitor, and the kids who laugh at him. When his teacher tells the class to write a story, Dexter writes about how tough he is–and how he’s already gotten into a fight. Is any of Dexter’s story true? Why was the other boy crying before Dexter hit him? And why would the other boy still want to be Dexter’s friend?
Even Dexter doesn’t know the answers to some of those questions. But as he deals with family problems, a persistent teacher, and a boy who’s strangely interested in floor wax, he discovers many surprises hidden in his own tale.
“Haddix does an excellent job of capturing the voice of a fourth-grade boy. Dexter is a multifaceted character who thinks about his actions and emotions like a smart, confused kid, never like an adult.”
—School Library Journal