Tag Archives: The Odd Squad: Bully Bait

Attention Teachers: Free Odd Squad Books for your Class!

To promote my new Odd Squad web site,…


…we’re giving away 1600 FREE Odd Squad Books.  Just tell us why you have the “oddest” class and you can win 40 copies of the The Odd Squad: Bully Bait for your class! 

Click on the image above for your chance to win!



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Neil Gaiman Read My Book in the ER!

Two weeks ago I screwed up the courage to ask one of my favorite writers and inexplicable Twitter followers, Neil Gaiman (best-selling author of American Gods, Coraline and Newbery Award winner for The Graveyard Book) to read my new book, The Odd Squad: Bully Bait.  I sent him a private message. After some back and forth he agreed offering no promises.

On Thursday evening he posted this on his blog:

In other news, my second wedding anniversary last night was fun, except for the food poisoning, which meant that Amanda and I threw up in gutters a lot, and I spent this morning in the ER watching her get a saline drip. We went out for such a fancy anniversary dinner, and it was the most expensive food we’ve ever thrown up. Next year I think we’ll just go somewhere we like.

(I read Michael Fry’s The Odd Squad in the ER, because that was what I had with me. Perfect ER reading while the person down the hall is screaming and the homeless man in the wheelchair has begun to grunt, loudly and incoherently, and your wife is sleeping on a drip beneath the beautiful black Kambriel greatcoat, which seems to have found its person. Funny and sweet with a steely centre.)
My agent and I decided to sit on the news until we could confirm with Neil’s agent that he did indeed intend to describe my book as “funny and sweet with a steely centre” and not his wife. Although I’m sure Amanda Palmer is much funnier, sweeter and steely-er than my book, we were just assured that he was indeed referring to The Odd Squad. Whew!
Anyway, I’m gobsmacked and honored and just all-around ecstatic.  I don’t know how much difference it’ll make in sales, but Mr. Gaiman’s praise makes a HUGE difference to me.
Thank you sir.

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Kirkus Review of My New Book, “The Odd Squad: Bully Bait”


Kirkus Reviews (notoriously harsh) has just posted their review for my new middle grade illustrated novel, The Odd Squad: Bully Bait.  It’s pretty darn positive. I can only post a portion (EXACTLY 35% they said) since pre-publication reviews are only available by subscription. The entire review will be available to the public two weeks before publication (1/26/13) here.

Here’s the EXACTLY 35% I can share:

In an illustrated novel, the first in a proposed series, cartoonist Fry (Over the Hedge) humorously mines the world of middle school as seen through the eyes of bullied Nick to answer the question: Can three oddballs team together to take down the school bully?

To counter their social isolation, Nick’s guidance counselor forces Nick and too-tall Molly to join nerdy Karl in the lamest club ever: Safety Patrol. Mr. Dupree, a Shakespeare-quoting hippie janitor who is able to arm fart “Greensleeves,” advises them to take control with a series of hilarious attempts to get back at (bully) Roy.

Much that the Odd Squad does to get to Roy (stealing, breaking into school records) is not admirable. But this gives the characters dimension: The bully is not all bad; the bullied are not all good. Abundant cartoon-style illustrations enhance the book’s silly yet sensitive portrayal of bullying and unlikely friendships.

An important message, humorously delivered, that will appeal to Diary of a Wimpy Kid fans.

Okay, so maybe that’s a tad more than 35%.  If they count the words and come after me I’ll let you know.

Anyway, terrific review!  Woo-Hoo!*

*Just a reminder: Pre-order your book on Amazon and I’ll send you a hand-drawn drawing of one of characters. See details in the side bar.

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Read the First Three Chapters of The Odd Squad: Bully Bait

Click on the widget below to read an excerpt from my new middle grade illustrated novel, “The Odd Squad: Bully Bait.”  If you pre-order the book off Amazon and send me a receipt with your address to overhedge@verizon.net, I’ll send you a hand drawn cartoon of one of the characters.

I really will.


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The Odd Squad: Bully Bait Now Available For Pre-Order On Amazon

My Middle Grade illustrated novel, The Odd Squad: Bully Baitis now available for pre-order on Amazon.  Here’s the blurb:

Nick is the shortest seventh-grader in the history of the world (he’s pretty sure), doesn’t fit in with any groups or clubs (who needs ’em?), and spends more time inside than outside his locker (they’re roomier than you’d think).

Things only get worse when a well-intentioned guidance counselor forces Nick to join the school’s lamest club—along with fellow misfits Molly and Karl—in her quest to cure all three of their “peer allergies.” What starts off as a reluctant band of hopeless oddballs morphs into an effective and empowered team ready to face whatever middle school throws at them, including bullies, awkward romance, zany adults, and a brave new world of surprising friendships.

Renowned* cartoonist Michael Fry brings an unforgettable cast of characters to life in an illustrated novel brimming with honesty, humor, and heart.

*I’m pretty sure they meant round cartoonist.

The hardcover novel is 224 pages, with 296 illustrations.   It’s for middle grade (ages 8-12), but the humor is pretty universal and I think kids of all ages who enjoy Hedge will enjoy The Odd Squad.

This first book will be available February 12, 2013.  With the second in the series coming out Fall 2013.

Yeah, I know it’s early, but to everyone who orders it early and sends me a copy of their receipt, I will email  you a signed, hand-drawing of the main characters (Nick, Molly and Karl) as a thank you note.   I will.  I’ll do it.

I promise.

To order the book click on the cover image or here.

To forward your receipt email me at: overhedge@verizon.net

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The Odd Squad: Bully Bait Cover

Behold the official, double super secret probation cover for my middle school illustrated novel, The Odd Squad:  Bully Bait (Disney-Hyperion).  It’s Due on book shelves (both real and virtual) February 12, 2013.   I got the Advance Review Copy last night and it looks pretty sweet.   It has weight and mass and occupies actual physical space.  In other words, it’s a real book!

It’s for ages 8-12.   And anyone who’s emotional development arrested in middle school.   Which includes me and I’m pretty sure most Hedge fans.

So, if you are a parent or a grandparent or a great grandparent or a librarian or a book store owner or a lover of Shakespeare spouting ex-hippie school janitor/mentors (you’ll see) please stay tuned.  We’ll be promoting more as we get closer to publication date.  In the meantime, I have to write Book 2.

It’s due September 15th.




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