BenBee and the Teacher Griefer: The Kids Under the Stairs (Paperback)
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Love that Dog meets Mr. Bixby’s Last Day in this funny, clever novel-in-verse about video-game enthusiast Ben Bellows and his three classmates.
Ben Bellows failed the Language Arts section of the Florida State Test. Now he and three classmates are stuck in a summer school class. But these kids aren’t dumb—they’re divergent thinkers, as Ms. J tells them: They simply approach things in a different way than traditional school demands. Soon, they win over Ms. J with their passion for Sandbox, a Minecraft-type game. The kids make a deal with Ms. J: Every minute they spend reading aloud equals one minute they get to play Sandbox in class. But when the administration finds out about this unorthodox method of teaching, Ben B. and his buds have to band together to save their teacher’s job—and their own academic future.
Told through the perspective of four different students in alternating chapters, this honest, heartfelt novel-in-verse about friendship, school, and video games celebrates different types of intelligence, and encourages even the most reluctant reader to embrace their own “divergent” self.
POPULAR, TRUSTED AUTHOR: K.A. Holt’s books have been nominated for awards in more than 30 states. She is popular on the school speaking circuit and presents keynote speeches throughout the year all over the world, making her a trusted name and a favorite for middle grade readers.
PERFECT FOR RELUCTANT READERS: Fewer words on each page make this book engaging and approachable for all different types of readers. The characters in the book also struggle with reading, but they are not shamed or looked down on for it, so readers with similar issues will feel understood.
CELEBRATES WRITING FOR KIDS: The kids in this story work on their school newspaper, turning their tech skills into something their teachers approve of—and something that allows them to stand up for what they believe in.
MINECRAFT APPEAL: The characters in the book play Sandbox, which readers will instantly recognize as a fictionalized version of Minecraft, an immensely popular game with more than 74 million monthly players. Playing Sandbox is depicted as both cool and educational, which will uplift rather than shame young readers for playing video games and inspire parents, teachers, and librarians to consider nontraditional approaches to traditional school.
VERY VISUAL: This book is written in free verse and includes a variety of other elements—chat logs, bullet-pointed lists, newspaper articles, and illustrations. It welcomes readers who prefer books that are a bit more visual than text based.
- Fans and players of Minecraft and video games in general
- Reluctant readers
- Young readers who love poetry, slams, and free verse
- Teachers, educators, librarians, and parents looking for books for middle school boys and girls
- K.A. Holt fans and readers looking for something funny, lyrical, and different from traditional middle grade novels
About the Author
K.A. Holt is the author of Rhyme Schemer, House Arrest, and Knockout along with several other books for young people. She lives in Austin, Texas, and is active within the vibrant Texas writing community.