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Reviewed by Ann Linus for Readers' Favorite
On his first day in middle school in a new city, Silas is sent to the adjoining elementary school. Everyone, students, teachers, and even the principal, thinks he’s a wannabe big kid, but Silas is only guilty of having growth hormone deficiency. Middle school doesn’t get any easier for Silas, as he automatically becomes the preferred subject of the class bully, Chad. Having a group of misfit friends eventually makes school more bearable and even intermittently fun, but Chad and his taunting bunch of popular kids don’t let up on the bullying. In addition, Silas is having difficulty dealing with his grandfather’s failing health. The most unexpected thing happens when the student council election is announced. Silas’ friends encourage him to run for 6th-grade class president, and his opponent is, you guessed right, Chad! Franklin Middle School has never experienced the type of politicking that follows in Small Fry by Stephenie Wilson Peterson.
Small Fry by Stephenie Wilson Peterson is a remarkable children’s story. It is an impressive blend of a great plot, impactful lessons, and excellent narration. The narrative unfolds partly in a series of emails between Silas and his grandfather and partly from Silas’ perspective. I was particularly impressed with the epistolary part of this narrative as it is skillfully wielded to create suspense. Pardon the cliché, but it was hard to put this book down. Silas’ experience rebranded several lessons in my memory, one of which is to respect people just as they are. More so, I was happy to learn a few things about growth hormone deficiency, which I had never imagined until now. Stephenie’s son inspired Silas’ character, and I felt the love and effort that went into this narrative. I recommend Small Fry.