Bystander

Will you make a new friend or a new enemy?

Theme- Emma K

The theme of the book Bystander is, the way people seem to be on the outside isn’t always who they are on the inside. In the book many people that Eric meet appear to be kind and innocent on the outside but that is not always the case. On the other hand some of them seem mean on the outside but are truly kind on the inside. This also includes Eric himself.


David shouts, “Now you know what it’s like! Now you know!” (page 142).

This quote proves the theme because at the beginning of the novel David seemed helpless and seemed to have no voice in him. Also, from the beginning to middle of the novel David was the one being bullied by Griffin. Then at the end of the novel all of a sudden David totally turns and becomes a bully and starts kicking Eric. By David beating up Eric it shows how he really isn’t who he seemed to be on the outside.


“ Yeah, but at least a guy will punch you in the face, you know what I mean? They do it and then it’s over. But with girls, we slice you up piece by piece. It’s like death by a thousand cuts.” (page 103)

This quote proves the theme because at the beginning of the book Mary seemed to be a bystander to Griffin’s bullying, but then she stood up for a girl being cyberbullied. Even though this caused Mary to lose some of her friends she did the right thing to help someone. Also, she ended up becoming friends with Eric which also, in the beginning of the book seemed unlikely.


“I have to do this. He stole something from my brother, and something from me. I want it back.” (page 204)

This proves the theme because Eric was always following Griffin’s rules. Also, he was never outgoing or daring until he broke into Griffin’s house. Even though breaking into Griffin's house was not a good idea it still proved that Eric wouldn’t let Griffin have control over him anymore.

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About the Author-Lilyen Schultz

James Preller is an amazing author who didn’t plan to be one. James was born was born in Nassau County, NY on February 1st, 1961. He is the youngest of seven children, with two older sisters and four older brothers. He currently lives in Delmar, NY with his wife Lisa and three kids Nicholas, Gavin and Maggie. He has two cats and a goldendoodle named Daisy and including his multiply unnamed rats. James never intended to be a writer, at first he wanted to play baseball for the New York Mets. When he got older he started to realize his baseball career wasn’t going to work out so he was a waiter for about a year. Preller got hired by Scholastic to be a copywriter in New York. Preller then started meeting authors and they started to inspire him to become an author. He started to write books again, such as when he was young boy. Now, Preller has over 80 books from children's books, series, and novels. Some of his popular books are Along Came the Spider, Ghost Cat, and Jigsaw Jones Mysteries. In conclusion, James Preller is an outstanding author, who never planned to be.

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Book Cover Analysis-Jake B

In the cover of Bystander it tells a lot about the story. The boy standing in the middle of the cover, is most likely Eric, the main character of this book. It shows him standing there in the middle of the field, all alone, this most likely represents the fact that Eric is alone in most of the book. Another thing is why is he standing there, it shows him standing up to the bullies, which is the main problem in the book. The basketball is there because within the book, Eric plays basketball, in a lot of scenes you see him playing basketball, it is also where we start the book, him playing basketball. The author most likely chose this cover because it shows the boy standing up against the bullying.


The title is very easily related to the book. In the book Eric makes friends with the wrong people, he later finds out that these people are bullies, witnessing first hand, Griffen Connelly bullying a kid named David Hallenback, the bullies main target. Throughout the first part of the book Eric is the bystander, later then is the one who stands up against the bullies. He shows that the bystander is no better than the bully himself. So the whole story is revolved around Eric being a bystander.

Cast Of Characters- Alex F

Book Review- Gabe P

I would give the book Bystander by James Preller, a four star review because it has a very deep story. Also because I can relate to the main character, Eric very well. As well as the fact that the story has a subject many kids know very well, bullying. I did not give the book five stars because at some points is confusing for me and other people. But not that often it makes up for it in depth and meaning in the story itself.


“Preller’s characters are well developed with authentic voices and action that moves quickly to keep readers engaged. This must-read book is a great discussion starter.”-School Library Journal, Starred Review.


“Expertly written and rich on multiple levels, “Bystander” weaves a realistic tale of the bully, the bullies targets and the physical and emotional pain that the victims suffer. It explores what might happen when someone decides to no longer be a bystander and to do something about the bully’s behavior.” —Kendal Rautzhan, Nationally Syndicated Columnist.


“Plenty of kids will see themselves in these pages, making for painful, if important, reading.”— Publishers Weekly.

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