Albert Pendergast's Peculiar Parcel
by K. G. Summers
AuthorHouse UK

"Albert lifted the parcel carefully. He checked its weight. He looked under it. He shook it. It seemed safe."

Albert Pendergast is the worst kind of school bully. Perpetually in a foul mood, Albert steals from his classmates, injures and ridicules them, and even creates problems for the whole neighborhood. After witnessing enough of the problems that Albert causes, a classmate comes up with an idea to strike back at the bully in a way that Albert would never see coming. Collaborating with many of Albert's peers and victims, his classroom puts together a package for Albert. Inside the package is the aftermath of Albert's aimless aggression: chopped-off braids, marbles won dishonestly, and more. The last item in the package, a letter from his father, is the last resort that these kids have to make an emotional impact on Albert to change his bullying ways.

With bright and vibrant full-page illustrations and the right dosage of silliness, this book tackles serious subjects like broken families and bullying in a way that is both entertaining and informative for children. Each of the classmates that are involved in Albert's story have unique characteristics that give them more life than simply as faceless victims of bullying. The final message of compassion is one that is not only idealistic and worth teaching but one that can definitely work to counteract the behavior of a child like Albert, who lashes out because of a want for attention and love. Children who are dealing with a bully or those starting school who may encounter their own Albert Pendergast can approach the situation calmly and with confidence after being exposed to a story like this one, and so it is perfect reading for the start of the school year.

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