James Preller

Have you ever experienced bullying? Well, to find out what happens to Eric and David, read Bystander


In the story of Bystander, Eric Hayes is the new kid on Long Island and he doesn't know anybody. Eric moved there with his Mom and little brother, Rudy. They moved because his father had an illness and stopped taking his medication so he went crazy, that is why they moved. One day Eric decided to go play basketball. As Eric is playing basketball on the court a boy was fleeing across the field, with what appeared to be ketchup smeared all over his clothes. Not to long after a boy and his biker gang which contained three boys and one girl, were riding across the field and asked Eric if he saw a kid come by here. Eric thought if he should tell them but decided not to. Eric soon learns that the boy who was the leader of the biker gangs group was named Griffin, known as the school bully and that was who Eric became friends with. Eric soon found out that David Hallenback was the one who ran across the field that day. He was always being picked on by Griffin. Griffin was not a great guy, he stole things from the teachers such as a box of gum and from Eric, but Griffin was in terms, pretty. After school Eric walks dogs so as he was walking he came across Mary's house and they decided to walk together and go to the dog park.This was the beginning of a strong friendship. During school days Eric would hang out with Griffin and watch David repeatedly get beat up. Eric became a bystander which is to stand by and watch somebody get beat up. As the year went on Eric kept hanging out with Griffin until one day Griffin came to Eric's house and took something from Eric that was givin to him by his father. Eric made a plan with Mary to go and get his stuff back. Eric snuck into Griffin's house and went to Griffin room to where his stolen stuff was. As he was coming down the stairs, Eric heard a toilet flush and a door open.

Quotes by Joseph

“Terrorism in jeans. It comes with a laugh and a loose-leaf binder.” (Page 85)-In this scene Eric starts to realize that Griffin and the other guys are bullying David Hallenback. He notices that Drew P. goes up to David and acts like he is going to hit him and David gets scared and the rest of the guys laugh at him. Eric starts to become a Bystander when he just walks away pretending not to notice the bullying.

This quote is powerful to me because it is a very good way to describe a bully, bullies put fear into others and there where the terrorism part comes from. The jeans the laugh and the loose-leaf binder describe a average student this quote is very powerful because it’s implying the students that are bullies are also considered “terrorists”

“In the end we remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends

(Page 116)- In this scene, some of the kids were joking around about Mr. Floyd’s (the Guidance Counselor) presentation about bullying. So Mr. Scofield the science teacher gets up and gets all worked up writing stuff like WE DO WHAT WE’RE TOLD on the chalkboard. He starts making references to the Nazis and Hitler using that to make a connection to Bystanders and Bullies.

This is a meaningful quote because it's true, when someone is bullied after a while they don't remember exactly what they said or what went down. However if the victim's friends where there witnessing the bullying and they don’t stand up for you and be Upstanders.

“Griffin had removed the mask; the wolf stepped out from beneath sheep's clothing and revealed himself, gnashing his teeth, showing his claws.” (Page 119)-In this scene Eric discovers that Griffin stole twenty seven dollars in his little brother Rudy’s birthday money and Ercis CD from his father. Eric is contemplating if Griffin purposefully came over just to steal from him. The quote says that Griffin or anyone can act nice on the outside but on the inside they may be very mean. Like a wolf at first they appear cute and nice but you realize they are scary killers when they bare their teeth.


I chose this video because I think it really relates to the book. It starts with people who are getting bullied, so in the book it would be David and Eric. Then, it tells about someone who was the bully, Griffen. Then the bully realized that bullying was not good so he stopped, the people who got bullied also agreed for him to stop. Then they go and talk about bullying, this relates to the book because they talk about the bullying and being a bystander. Griffen is the bullying while Eric is being the bystander.

About the author

James Preller won the sunshine state young reader's award for grades 6-8.

James has also had a hit book called Six Innings. James is 55 years old and was born in Long Island. His favorite food is peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. His first book he wrote was called Maxx Trax written in 1986. He originally never thought of being an author, he’d always dreamed of playing professional baseball. James’s most favorite series that kids love is called Jigsaw Jones. James lives in Delmar, NY with his wife and kids. James went to school at State University Of New York at Oneonta.

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