How to Eat Fried Worms
by Thomas Rockwell (1973)
Note: Currently out of print. ☹️
How to Eat Fried Worms is a truly “squirm in your seat” read – and that makes it a perfect Intro selection for One School, One Book. One sure way to get children wanting to read more is to expose them to wriggly, gross scenarios where they can vicariously imagine and experience classic kid-based grossness. Hit ‘em where they live. And that’s what How to Eat Fried Worms supplies. Worms. Plenty of ‘em.
It’s been provoking, entertaining, and grossing out kids for a few generations now and that’s because it’s not just about cheap thrills and slime. The worm-eating contest at its core supplies the vehicle for the wholesome lessons you’re looking for in a book to share with all our families. Thomas Rockwell uses a contest to eat worms to supply lessons in standing by your man, sticking to your word, following through on projects, respecting others, and telling the truth. And we know that’s what you’re really looking for from One School, One Book.
The characters in this contest, starting with the protagonist, Billy, are strong-willed and continually and creatively test each other’s fortitude and forgiveness. There’s a big money bet, teamwork, and repeated efforts at sabotage. And days and days of eating worms by all sorts of methods. Which culminates in a valuable lesson in plowing through the hard stuff to get to a big reward.
Thomas Rockwell’s How to Eat Fried Worms will intrigue your students with the squiggle and squirm – and delight your parents with its witty, lessons – squirm and all. Bon appetit!