Amato, M. (2000). The word eater. New York, NY: Holiday House.
Genre: Humor, Friendship
Reading/Interest Level: Ages 8-12
Similar Titles: Diary of a Wimpy Kid
Plot: Sixth grader Lerner Chanse is having a horrible time at Cleveland Park Middle School in Washington, D.C. She doesn’t fit in very well with the other kids and the MPOOE Club just makes things ten times worse. What is MPOOE? Why, a club where the Most Powerful Ones On Earth rules over the SLUGs, or Sorry Losers Under Ground. The only way to get into MPOOE is to agree to a dare and it has been decreed by the leader of the MPOOEs, Reba, that Lerner will get a dare. At the same time this is going on, in another part of the schoolyard, a worm is born, but he is unlike any other worm. Fip is able to eat words…and not dirt. As Fip skinches and scoots across pages, eating up inky words, the things that the words spell disappear from the world. Eventually, Lerner discovers Fip and his amazing powers… will she use his word eating power to rid the world of disease? Or crime? What a big responsibility for a girl in the sixth grade…
Personal Thoughts: I thought this was a very original book. I liked that the book brought issues of bullying into the story and how Lerner was arguing with herself about the right thing to do versus doing what her classmates wanted her to do. It is nice that peer pressure is introduced and readers can see the ways to deal with making smart decisions.