THE CAFETERIA CLUB
by R.A. Douthitt
Middle Grade Fiction
Toby and her friends start a club to combat bullying in middle school but when their club grows in popularity and fame, the cafeteria tables are turned. Will Toby become what she despises most...A bully?
School drama, fears and a perfect pinch of humor make this to a well-paced read, which kids can identify with.
Toby is ready. Well, maybe not completely, but middle school begins. She and her friends are no longer a part of the little kids, but they aren't embraced by the older kids yet either. Stuck in between, they weave their way through the first days. But the cafeteria gives them trouble. The eighth graders are blocking the tables, and Toby is going to have to figure out a way to handle the bullying. Hopefully, she doesn't fall into the role herself.
Toby and her friends are a delightful bunch, who face school and their problems in believable ways. Their troubles are easy to relate to and will have readers shaking their heads as they see themselves in some of the very same positions. The school relationships come across naturally and the dialogue is a treat. A few facts about the school made me and my kids wonder, since they didn't reflect the school life or definitions as we know them, but we're sure that this won't be true for all readers.
The lessons are understandable and never preachy. Toby is a bundle of energy and her friends quite creative. It's this spunk and desire to fit in which make this an enjoyable read which never comes across as preachy. Readers ages eight to twelve will surely enjoy diving into these hallways and joining this fun bunch as they tackle troubles many kids face.