By The Grace Of Todd-Louise Galveston

By The Grace Of Todd
Louise Galveston
Razorbill, Feb 27 2014, $16.99
ISBN 9781595146779

The victim of bullies, BFFs Todd and Duddy pray they live through their sentencing as sixth graders at Wakefield Middle School. While cleaning up his environmentally hazardous room with help from his home schooled neighbor Lucy, Todd finds a colony of pint-sized humanoids thriving on one of his smelliest socks. Lucy the scientist congratulates Todd for creating life through the cosmic cesspool of the most fundamental building block: grossness.

At school, Todd’s prime tormenter Max learns of the existence of the “Toddlians” and decides to use them in a science project that would most likely leave the new species extinct. The Toddlians trust that their creator “the Great Todd” will keep them safe from mad Max, but their adulation may not be enough for him to say no to the bully.

With a nod to The Borrowers (by Mary Norton and illustrated by Joe & Beth Krush), By The Grace Of Todd is a wonderful satirical middle school tale. Rotating between Todd and Toddlian Lewis, the character-driven story line focuses on the tweener victim of bullying who knows he must stand up to his tormenter to keep the little people who believe in him safe. Although the two subplots don’t blend smoothly together, tweener fans will appreciate the journey.

Harriet Klausner

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