By Nora Raleigh Baskin

New York:  Simon & Shuster, 2013.runt

Grades 5-7

What is it really like going to Middle School? For many students it is exciting, fun, an opportunity to meet new friends, and of course to learn a lot of new things!  But what many students won’t talk about is how tough and challenging the social relationships are!  Runt is that story!  Meet Miss Robinson’s sixth grade class—at least most of them anyways.  The story begins being told from Elizabeth, whose single mom, boards animals inside their home to make ends meet.  Elizabeth has a good heart but most kids can’t get past the “animal smell” and Elizabeth’s need to boost her self-esteem at any given moment in class—which often turns out offending others.  So Elizabeth is often on the end of being bullied.  But she is not alone in her struggles of insecurity and awkwardness.  Listen closely as each chapter gives voice to different class members as they tell their story of how they became either a bully, bystander or victim.  Nora Baskin has a unique twist in this book as she often compares middle school students to the likes of the dogs and cats Elizabeth’s mom takes in! 

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