|About the Book|
After an explosion in a high school chemistry lab, a bully finds himself in the body of the boy hes taunted unmercifully. The bully becomes the bullied as his former friends model the threatening behavior he taught them. Mark, 14, is the schoolMoreAfter an explosion in a high school chemistry lab, a bully finds himself in the body of the boy hes taunted unmercifully. The bully becomes the bullied as his former friends model the threatening behavior he taught them. Mark, 14, is the school bully who taunts anyone who, for whatever reason, cannot or will not fight back-until the day Elliott enrolls at Marks high school. Then all Marks bullying efforts focus on his new victim. Nicknaming him Smelliott, Mark follows close behind Elliott, mocking him and setting up humiliating roadblocks at every turn. Mark and his friends find what pushes Elliotts buttons, and they push them often. When Elliott is assigned as Marks chemistry lab partner, the bullying escalates. But all that changes the afternoon the mysterious Mr. Pierce announces that hes their substitute for the day. Mr. Pierce turns the boys lives upside down, and they soon learn that the only way they can solve their identity crisis is to combine their resources. Bullying is an important topic, and parents and educators are constantly looking for creative ways to teach children (1) not to be a victim, (2) not to be a bully, and (3) not to be a bystander. This book uses a lively narrative to teach ways to avoid all three roles. In recent years, autism has also become an important topic, and because children on the autism spectrum often lack social skills and incorrectly interpret subtle ridicule, they make prime targets for bullies. This book makes a high-functioning child on the autism spectrum the hero, and the reader sees much of the adventure through his eyes. The book gives readers insight into why children bully, why some children are unable or unwilling to defend themselves, and the powerful role of the bystander. All of the examples of bullying are based on actual experiences, which the authors heard during interviews with children, parents, and a psychologist who works with children on the spectrum. Although CHANGING GENES is about two fourteen-year-old high school freshmen, the book is written for ages 9-12.