B.U.G. (Big Ugly Guy)

Jane Yolen & Adam Stemple
  • Review
By – May 28, 2014

Anoth­er entry in the golem-themed kids’ lit­er­a­ture canon, B.U.G. address­es the always time­ly and supreme­ly impor­tant issue of bul­ly­ing in schools. Sam­my Green­burg has been bul­lied by a gang of thugs for years, and short­ly before his bar mitz­vah, he learns about the golem, a leg­endary giant cre­at­ed to save a com­mu­ni­ty of Jews in the six­teenth cen­tu­ry, about whom many folk tales have been writ­ten and much lore has been told. Sam­my decides to cre­ate his own golem to pro­tect him­self and a friend from the gang and the lessons he learns from the events which ensue are more pow­er­ful than he could pos­si­bly have imagined.

This is a sto­ry about friend­ship, growth, pride and con­fi­dence and it is packed with action and humor. It is also filled with music as Sam­my and his friends write songs for their Klezmer fusion band and the won­der­ful lyrics are all includ­ed. Sam­my styles him­self Word-Man” and loves to use sophis­ti­cat­ed vocab­u­lary words, expos­ing the read­ers in a fun and sub­tle fash­ion to a rich word palette.

This is a fun book with a sol­id mes­sage light­ly told and is rec­om­mend­ed for ages 9 – 12.

Michal Hoschan­der Malen is the edi­tor of Jew­ish Book Coun­cil’s young adult and chil­dren’s book reviews. She has lec­tured on a vari­ety of top­ics relat­ing to chil­dren and books and her great­est joy is read­ing to her grand­chil­dren on both sides of the ocean. Michal lives in Great Neck, NY and Efrat, Israel.

Discussion Questions