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REVIEW: Journal of a Schoolyard Bully by Farley Katz


In the tradition of the mega successful DIARY OF A WIMPY KID and DORK DIARIES comes Niko Taylor, a school bully who must keep a journal to right all the wrongs he has done, but Niko, being a habitual trouble-maker, has other ideas. 
Niko Kaylor, the terror of his middle school, doles out wedgies and collects money he doesn’t need. When he is forced to begin keeping a journal of his activities to curb his bullying ways, he secretly turns his diary into a how-to guide for bullies.  Now, against the wishes of his peers, Niko plans to conquer his middle school and teach everyone a lesson in bullying, including his teachers.  

About the Author

At 26, Farley Katz is the youngest staff cartoonist for The New Yorker, where he's published over fifty cartoons. Last year he wrote and edited the New Yorker's comedy blog, The Cartoon Lounge. He's written jokes and drawn cartoons for Mad Magazine, Saturday Night Live, and The Harvard Lampoon, where he was an editor in college. After graduating, he moved to Los Angeles where he developed a comedy pilot for Endemol, and wrote and directed for Budweiser’s Bud T.V. His work has appeared on and in Narrative magazine. He lives in New York City where he writes and draws the webcomic Kids Are Dumb (   


  • Reading level: Young Adult
  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: St. Martin's Griffin (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312681585
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312681586

Farley Katz has written and illustrated a wonderful book about bullying from the bully's point of view.  This one should provoke a lot of discussions for children, their parents and teachers.  I didn't know that you could actually feel sorry for a bully, but Niko Kaylor with all his bravado and intelligence is actually a confused and angry boy.  Niko is forced to write a journal by his mother, his therapist and the school.  He illustrates it with all the hatred and anger he can muster and writes what he thinks the "unholy trinity" wants to read.  He still continues to bully and ignore the threats placed on him by the school.   Until he takes it all too far one day.  He is sent to a reform school and becomes the victim instead of victor.

I think most adults will know Katz's work from Mad Magazine and a lot of the humor present there is carried over.  There are situations in the story that would never be allowed to occur at any school in the United States but are illustrated to the extreme to make his point.  Bullies have issues of their own and should be dealt with accordingly and quickly.  I really enjoyed this one and if you enjoyed Diary of a Wimpy Kid, you will like this opposing point of view. 

I am giving away my ARC here

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for the recommendation and looks very different.


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