(Netgalley copy received in exchange for an honest review)
I didn't start off liking this book. I thought it was too profane, and I wasn't sure if I was going to stay with it, but this promised to ultimately be a tale of hope, so I kept reading, got pulled in, and all I can say now is that I never cease to be amazed by the incredibly dysfunctional families children can somehow survive in. How the author isn't in total shell shock after an upbringing like this one just escapes me. It's not to say that his parents didn't love him. I think they did. But they just seemed to be so damaged themselves that even their best efforts left a lot to be desired, and the alcohol-fueled rages certainly didn't help provide for a stable home (which is a major understatement).
Somehow, despite all the dysfunction and damage, Emelyn Heaps developed a sense of humor that may have been the glue that kept him together when everything and everyone around him fell apart. He can find the humor in the most insane situations, and he seems to have resigned himself to surviving and moving forward no matter what fresh hell life throws his way. I admire the man. I don't know how he did it.
This is an emotionally engaging book that had my feelings all over the place. Sadness, anger, disbelief, and pain are within its pages, but so are laughter, happiness, joy, strength and hope. This was one roller coaster of a ride I'm glad I took.
I love the way Maynard Moose pronounces his words. In fact, I think he's a “distremely” adorable “amunal,” and I love that he uses kid-speak as well as "Grown-up Words" like soporific and synergistic to tell his tale! From the "Glossary and Hoofnotes" in the front, to the sad little portrait of Bully at the end, this is a funny, intelligent, and thoroughly delightful tale.
I don't usually laugh out loud when I read, but I actually did with this one. Bully Goat Grim really is a children’s book that grown folks will appreciate, too. The illustrations are awesome, but the book has even more to offer, and while the moral is a lesson on bullying, it's so humorously presented that it never talks down to its target audience.
•Age Range: 7 - 11 years
•Grade Level: 2 - 6
•Lexile Measure: 920L
I'm thankful to the publisher for a review copy.