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My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain

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Librarian's note: Alternate cover edition of ISBN 0989188019. “My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain” is about a thirteen year old boy who discovers that he might be the very thing he fears the most. To say that Alexander's fear of everyday life in middle school is over the top would be a huge understatement. He’s sure that bullies are lurking around every corner. He’s cert Librarian's note: Alternate cover edition of ISBN 0989188019. “My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain” is about a thirteen year old boy who discovers that he might be the very thing he fears the most. To say that Alexander's fear of everyday life in middle school is over the top would be a huge understatement. He’s sure that bullies are lurking around every corner. He’s certain that wedgies, swirlies and pantsings are just waiting to happen. He lives every day as if he’s prey in a sea of predators. Now, he’s convinced that an evil bully plot is unfolding – and he has a pretty good idea who’s responsible. Alexander’s friends think he’s crazy, and the bullies pretend to be innocent, but Alexander isn’t fooled. It’s time to take action and stand up for what’s right - but what if he’s wrong? He has the idea of avoiding trouble down to a science. In fact, he’s even created a smartphone app, BullyTrack, to help other kids avoid bullies, too. He knows just when to pass through the school gate in the morning (7:54 am), how to move through the hallways (fast!) and even how to eat (no condiments!). He can identify bullies anywhere he looks, just from their haircut or how they dress. He can spot “bully swagger” a mile away. When Melvin, a boy in his social studies class, says he wants to talk to him after school, Alexander is convinced that “talk” doesn’t mean talk. He puts BullyTrack in crisis mode, and works even harder to keep off the bully radar - evading Melvin at all costs. Then, inspired by a classroom assignment to face his fears, Alexander changes his mind and declares to everyone that he’s standing up to Melvin and every suspected bully in school. He transforms from being nearly invisible to unavoidable. He believes he’s heading for an inspiring victory. He’s totally wrong.


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Librarian's note: Alternate cover edition of ISBN 0989188019. “My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain” is about a thirteen year old boy who discovers that he might be the very thing he fears the most. To say that Alexander's fear of everyday life in middle school is over the top would be a huge understatement. He’s sure that bullies are lurking around every corner. He’s cert Librarian's note: Alternate cover edition of ISBN 0989188019. “My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain” is about a thirteen year old boy who discovers that he might be the very thing he fears the most. To say that Alexander's fear of everyday life in middle school is over the top would be a huge understatement. He’s sure that bullies are lurking around every corner. He’s certain that wedgies, swirlies and pantsings are just waiting to happen. He lives every day as if he’s prey in a sea of predators. Now, he’s convinced that an evil bully plot is unfolding – and he has a pretty good idea who’s responsible. Alexander’s friends think he’s crazy, and the bullies pretend to be innocent, but Alexander isn’t fooled. It’s time to take action and stand up for what’s right - but what if he’s wrong? He has the idea of avoiding trouble down to a science. In fact, he’s even created a smartphone app, BullyTrack, to help other kids avoid bullies, too. He knows just when to pass through the school gate in the morning (7:54 am), how to move through the hallways (fast!) and even how to eat (no condiments!). He can identify bullies anywhere he looks, just from their haircut or how they dress. He can spot “bully swagger” a mile away. When Melvin, a boy in his social studies class, says he wants to talk to him after school, Alexander is convinced that “talk” doesn’t mean talk. He puts BullyTrack in crisis mode, and works even harder to keep off the bully radar - evading Melvin at all costs. Then, inspired by a classroom assignment to face his fears, Alexander changes his mind and declares to everyone that he’s standing up to Melvin and every suspected bully in school. He transforms from being nearly invisible to unavoidable. He believes he’s heading for an inspiring victory. He’s totally wrong.

50 review for My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain

  1. 4 out of 5

    Ken

    Alexander knows how to protect himself. Perhaps a little too well. Any kid (or any former kid) who was not a member of the right clique, not in with the jocks or the cool kids, or even worse, definitely one of the geeks, knows where Alexander is coming from. He's at the bottom of the middle school food chain, and danger is all around. My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain is Alexander's story. He's proud of the fact that he's never been pantsed at school, and credits his own study of the behavi Alexander knows how to protect himself. Perhaps a little too well. Any kid (or any former kid) who was not a member of the right clique, not in with the jocks or the cool kids, or even worse, definitely one of the geeks, knows where Alexander is coming from. He's at the bottom of the middle school food chain, and danger is all around. My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain is Alexander's story. He's proud of the fact that he's never been pantsed at school, and credits his own study of the behavior of bullies for that accomplishment. He has also created a smartphone app, BullyTrack, so that others can learn from his research and avoid wedgies themselves. His friends, of course, think he's crazy. The action of the book revolves around a couple of small disruptions in his perfectly structured, bully-proofed world. First, one of his teachers seats him next to a suspected bully for science lab, then another potential enemy (at least, he fits the profile in BullyTrack) says he wants to "talk" to Alexander after school. Could it all be an elaborate plot to destroy Alexander, with even the teachers getting in on it? Or, could Alexander be taking it all just a bit too far? First time author, Rich Samuels, beautifully draws us into Alexander's world and fills it with the kind of detail that paints a complete and compelling picture with us in the middle. The story moves fast, and makes for a good and entertaining read. The book is written with middle-school boys in mind as the audience, but even those of us who are well past middle school can enjoy My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain as a light diversion that stirs up the memories.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jen Boone

    My 11 year old son read it, finished it, liked it. He hasn't liked any books I've picked for him so far so this is huge to me. Asked for the second book :) My 11 year old son read it, finished it, liked it. He hasn't liked any books I've picked for him so far so this is huge to me. Asked for the second book :)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Antinny World

    Warning! The review MAY contain spoilers. Review: Rich Samuel's debut book, "My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain" is about a 13 year old boy named Alexander. Rich Samuel's characters are amazing, in the fact that they are so well detailed you feel as though you're best friends with the characters. The book is amazingly written, it gives just enough detail for your imagination to work well and actually see what the characters would be seeing. This book is a must read for anyone who likes to r Warning! The review MAY contain spoilers. Review: Rich Samuel's debut book, "My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain" is about a 13 year old boy named Alexander. Rich Samuel's characters are amazing, in the fact that they are so well detailed you feel as though you're best friends with the characters. The book is amazingly written, it gives just enough detail for your imagination to work well and actually see what the characters would be seeing. This book is a must read for anyone who likes to read, teenagers, and anyone who is raising teenagers. Trust me, you will love this book. Alexander, the protagonist, believes that he is the smallest fish in the Sea of Predators, which is middle school. Alexander created an app, named BullyTrack, which he used to stay safe from all of the bullies in middle school. Alexander has set times to go to school and when to leave school and he also has certain ways of staying safe from "pantsing" "Swirlies" and any other bully things that could happen in middle school. Though Alexander's friends, Anthony, Vladimir, and Darrell think Alexander is completely nuts Alexander believe that his app, BullyTrack, can save him, or anyone for that matter, from life and death. He has good reason to believe that. During science class, the teacher magically decides to switch everything up and have the kids to change seats. Alexander gets a boy named Paul. Which on Bullytrack Paul was up there on potential bullies. This is when Alexander's life begins its own swirly through a sea of predators that Alexander has to survive. Will he survive? Will he end up becoming a bully himself? Will he get homeschool? Whatever happens to Alexander, you will have to read to find out. -Anthony

  4. 4 out of 5

    Veronica ⭐️

    The story is about a thirteen year old boy named Alexander who is so worried about being bullied that he has designed an app called BullyTrack which tells you how to avoid potential bullying situations. He lives his whole life by this app which can be quite annoying to his friends. I give this 4 stars as a childrens read, the upper age would be 13 years. Any older readers would probably see Alexander as pretty lame. There is a lot here that kids would find pretty funny and things they could relat The story is about a thirteen year old boy named Alexander who is so worried about being bullied that he has designed an app called BullyTrack which tells you how to avoid potential bullying situations. He lives his whole life by this app which can be quite annoying to his friends. I give this 4 stars as a childrens read, the upper age would be 13 years. Any older readers would probably see Alexander as pretty lame. There is a lot here that kids would find pretty funny and things they could relate to also. The part where the video of Alexander went viral on utube is very fitting, this would have put him up a few notches on the cool radar. Utube famous is famous even if you're making an idiot of yourself. Now as a parent reader the book was a bit different.I saw his worry about bullying as paranoia. if this was true to life the boy should have been in counselling or seen a phycologist. This problem was affecting his whole life. He was thirteen and his parents were never home, he was left to bring himself up alone with no-one to talk to about his problems. I would like to thank Goodreads and Rich Samuels for my copy of My Life at the Bottom of the Food Chain in exchange for an honest review

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kay Bolton

    I was very kindly sent a free paperback copy of this via the Good Reads First Reads Scheme. I won't lie to you this wasn't the longest book, with a plot full of twists and turns. However, it made for an interesting read with the plot focusing on not what could happen if you are bullied, but how your mind can work on your worst fears to make you believe it could be way worse than you anticipated. With a clear message that just that you assume somebody is out to get you, you should at least give th I was very kindly sent a free paperback copy of this via the Good Reads First Reads Scheme. I won't lie to you this wasn't the longest book, with a plot full of twists and turns. However, it made for an interesting read with the plot focusing on not what could happen if you are bullied, but how your mind can work on your worst fears to make you believe it could be way worse than you anticipated. With a clear message that just that you assume somebody is out to get you, you should at least give them a fair hearing before you go into "flight" mode. I am always a sucker for a nerdy-quirky protagonist, so on the whole I found this to be an enjoyable read. Well written, with about two typos/grammatical errors - given there were so few I didn't bother to make a note of them. I liked the way Rich writes, and would be more than happy to read other things by him. 4 Stars from me, I am sure you will enjoy it too. You can see my full post on this book on my Blog - Post Number #398 in November 2013.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Charleen

    *Disclaimer: I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. * Question: Did anyone else think of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide while reading this? Now let me really start this off by saying that I did love the idea of this book and I loved the lesson within it. I liked how Alexander is a very intelligent kid. I mean, he created an app to keep himself bully-free, that's crazy. And we've all been afraid of other people bringing us down. Rather you've been bullied or have fear *Disclaimer: I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads. * Question: Did anyone else think of Ned's Declassified School Survival Guide while reading this? Now let me really start this off by saying that I did love the idea of this book and I loved the lesson within it. I liked how Alexander is a very intelligent kid. I mean, he created an app to keep himself bully-free, that's crazy. And we've all been afraid of other people bringing us down. Rather you've been bullied or have feared being bullied, we've all in a way been through what Alexander has. Problems: Maybe it's just me, but I felt like after a while, Alexander's over thinking thing just got annoying. He was basically bullying himself with the thoughts of someone else doing it. But when he began to realize that he needed to just lighten up and everything would be okay, I really enjoyed him. He really did overcome his fear. Bottom line: This book is short and sweet and though it may have drove me a little crazy at points, I do have a soft spot for it and I am glad I read it.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Kim

    This an enjoyable, if not exactly realistic, portrayal of middle school life for one boy and his friends. It's perhaps a bit utopian, but it could potentially show kids how to be a good friend to someone who isn't exactly easy to be friends with. I will definitely offer it to my middle school students this year. I received an ARC from First Reads. This an enjoyable, if not exactly realistic, portrayal of middle school life for one boy and his friends. It's perhaps a bit utopian, but it could potentially show kids how to be a good friend to someone who isn't exactly easy to be friends with. I will definitely offer it to my middle school students this year. I received an ARC from First Reads.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Julia Berner

    Bullies suck. I really enjoyed all of the tips on how to avoid them. I think that this book offers a nice look into how bullying can effect the victim. Alexander didn't want to be any sort of unique. He wouldn't even have condiments on his sandwiches. It's really sad to think about how bullies can take away so much of a person's potential like that. Bullies suck. I really enjoyed all of the tips on how to avoid them. I think that this book offers a nice look into how bullying can effect the victim. Alexander didn't want to be any sort of unique. He wouldn't even have condiments on his sandwiches. It's really sad to think about how bullies can take away so much of a person's potential like that.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Heys Wolfenden

    This is a good, very well-written book with some interesting characters - Alexander in particular is very likeable. I particularly liked all the stuff about the Bullytrack app - very now - as well as the author's subtle use of irony at the end. This is a good, very well-written book with some interesting characters - Alexander in particular is very likeable. I particularly liked all the stuff about the Bullytrack app - very now - as well as the author's subtle use of irony at the end.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Teresa Thorne

    Good little book for early teens. Story tells how your perception of yourself is very different to how others see you.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Zac Ward

    An excellent story by an excellent writer. I highly recommend this book for kids. It uses humor to address bullying. Please read the sequel "Own the Scrawny" as it follows nicely with the first book. An excellent story by an excellent writer. I highly recommend this book for kids. It uses humor to address bullying. Please read the sequel "Own the Scrawny" as it follows nicely with the first book.

  12. 4 out of 5

    gj indieBRAG

    We are proud to announce that MY LIFE AT THE BOTTOM OF THE FOOD CHAIN by Rich Samuels is a B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!

  13. 5 out of 5

    Merethe

  14. 4 out of 5

    John

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lynette

  16. 4 out of 5

    Andrew Tarr

  17. 4 out of 5

    Suzy

  18. 4 out of 5

    Margaret scotland

  19. 4 out of 5

    Emiley Allen Bowes

  20. 4 out of 5

    Carol Ann

  21. 5 out of 5

    Betty

  22. 4 out of 5

    Sonia

  23. 4 out of 5

    Taylor

  24. 4 out of 5

    Tracey

  25. 5 out of 5

    Cindy Gates

  26. 5 out of 5

    Tina

  27. 4 out of 5

    Richard Tyler

  28. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

  29. 4 out of 5

    Barbara Zitsch

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kimberly Costello

  31. 4 out of 5

    Kim Coomey

  32. 5 out of 5

    Ellen Stafford

  33. 4 out of 5

    Ella

  34. 4 out of 5

    Janelea

  35. 5 out of 5

    Darcee Kraus

  36. 5 out of 5

    Darlene Howard

  37. 5 out of 5

    Karen

  38. 4 out of 5

    Coriander Warren

  39. 4 out of 5

    Barry

  40. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Ann

  41. 5 out of 5

    Kelly

  42. 4 out of 5

    Kathy

  43. 4 out of 5

    Melissa Herston

  44. 5 out of 5

    Aya

  45. 4 out of 5

    Sarah

  46. 4 out of 5

    Noreen Zayna Barlas

  47. 4 out of 5

    Karen Supinger

  48. 4 out of 5

    Diane

  49. 4 out of 5

    Brian

  50. 5 out of 5

    Pamela Martin

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