- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 505 KB
- Print Length: 142 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing (6 Jun. 2013)
- Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00D91LYIY
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
Amazon Bestsellers Rank:
#1,843,559 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
- #7380 in Kindle Store > Books > Children's eBooks > Literature & Fiction > Science Fiction, Fantasy & Scary Stories > Fantasy & Magic > Sword & Sorcery
- #15591 in Books > Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > Sword & Sorcery
- #35911 in Books > Young Adult > Science Fiction & Fantasy > Fantasy > General
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Karmack Kindle Edition
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
One of the things I appreciate is the way bullying is described and discussed. Chapter 1 dives into the story with the three bullies chasing after a "squealer" (i.e., someone who "told" on Sully). When Sully finally catches up to him, he pins him to the ground, but leaves him unharmed, "just knowing he scared the living daylights out of the kid was enough for Sully." There are many different types of bullying described in the story including intimidation, playing pranks, insults, and physical acts of violence. Karmack also explains what bullying is and why it is wrong. Karmack makes it very clear, for example, that a trick or prank still hurts even if you don't intend to cause harm. What is more important to consider are the consequences of your actions, regardless of your intentions. Agreed!
One thing that is particularly interesting is Sully's explanation for his bullying. He describes how everybody looks up to him and that he has a reputation to uphold as "the Big Cheese". He has come to believe that this is done through bullying, but both Karmack and his teacher point out that he, in fact, can become a respected leader by using different methods. I love this reframing of "bullying" as "leadership" and I have heard this argument before. So, essentially when there is a child at school who engages in bullying behaviour, this child can be encouraged to build on those same personality traits and lead by good example instead.
The author has clearly spent a great deal of time thinking through what the transformation of a bully into a positive role model would look like. It is clear from the start that Sully is perceived as a "leader", but he rules through fear. But, as he learns about his fate and the fate of his friends if he continues to hurt the people around him, he attempts to control Karmack (literally tying him up!). He then begins to show concern for and try to protect his friends Breeze and Gonzo when he learns that one more negative act will topple their skyscrapers (i.e., their bad deeds will catch up with them and cause a very negative consequence). By the end of the book, he selflessly takes the blame for something he didn't do so that all of his friends can go on a field trip. Is this realistic? Maybe, maybe not, but it's hopeful - and I like THAT!
When the character of Karmack is introduced, we learn that he is a "karmic balancer" for the three boys. Karmack is a very interesting character as he is portrayed as very "child-like" in his appearance (i.e., his short stature) and his speech (i.e., he speaks like a toddler). I think this allowed the author to simplify the messages in the book about "karma". So, essentially, if any of the boys do something bad, Karmack does something similar back to them. I loved how the character of Karmack was framed as a very compassionate being - he was truly concerned about his charges and often felt sad and worried that he would not be able to balance them before their skyscraper falls over. By the way, he couldn't...
A word about karma... I have always taught my children about the concept of karma using the actual word. I imagine that there may be some parents (or some people in general) that do not believe in karma. I have a bit of a bias, because I agree wholeheartedly with much of what is said about karma in the book. I also thought it was genius to include an Indian school girl who could add to the discussion of karma. I do want to encourage people to not overlook the book if they don't believe in karma because I think the discussions of how our actions hurt other people are valid regardless of what you believe in and this is the main lesson that Sully learns in the book.
My Bottom Line:
Karmack is a well-written, middle grade book tackling the difficult topic of bullying from the perspective of the bully. The character development is absolutely brilliant as the reader witnesses the transformation of Sully from an aggressive, angry bully to a positive role model and respected leader among his peers. While the concept of karma is not for everyone, I found myself agreeing with the main message of how our actions have consequences, intended or otherwise. I would recommend this book to middle grade classrooms as a great book to generate discussion around bullying. Ages 7+
* I was given this book free-of-charge by the author in exchange for my honest opinion. All opinions expressed are my own.
That is until Karmack is forced to do his job. Karmack balances the world, he does what the universe tells him to, and when he gets the message that Sully and his gang need to be balanced before their Karma comes crashing down on them in a pile of destruction, he goes about the task full force.
In attempt to save Sully and his friends, Karmack is spotted by Sully who quickly captures him and asks him to stop. Sully tries every trick in the book to get Karmack to stop picking on him and his friends, not liking the taste of his own medicine.
Karmack is an adorable tale that anyone who has ever been bullied will enjoy and wish the little guy had been around to teach their bullies a lesson. This is a good, quick read with a good message and let's hope Karmack is out there somewhere showing the worlds bullies they're not so tough.
This book was a delight from the start. While the casting of the main hero as the leader of a group of 5th grade bullies might have been questionable, it is quickly forgiven as the story moves along. Even though Sully isn't the type of person you'd typically root for in a book, he progressively transforms into a different sort of "big cheese" in the eyes of his peers.
The character of Karmack was brilliant and, after adapting to reading his style of speaking, I was drawn to the little guy. I loved the idea that Sully could see him because he was "speedy-eyed" and that Karmack would turn into a little tree when being forced to reveal himself to others.
With the main trio of characters being bullies, it is hard to completely care about the characters. When things are boomeranged back onto them, I couldn't help but to cheer. I wanted to see them get what they deserved, which is the one major complaint I could lodge about this book.
Overall this is a story that Middle-Graders of all interests and ages would enjoy because it has memorable characters and pertains to a universal subject that they all either witness or deal with in their own experiences. It holds some great lessons without coming across as preachy, and I think it is safe to say that kids will walk away thinking they might be "speedy eyed" and catch sight of Karmack someday. I wholeheartedly recommend this book to anyone.
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