How to Eat Fried Worms

by Thomas Rockwell (1973)

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 pick a book that is filled to the brim with classic kid-based grossness.  Hit ‘em where they live.  And that’s what How to Eat Fried Worms supplies.  Worms.  Plenty of ‘em. All ready to be eaten.

How to Eat Fried Worms has been grossing out kids for a few generations now.  The grandparents of your students may well have read it as kids when it was first published in the 1970s.  It all starts innocently enough – just some boys talking about getting punished for not eating their supper.  It quickly evolves into a bet – $50 says you can’t eat 15 worms in 15 days.  But, this book isn’t just cheap thrills and slime.  The worm-eating bet is a vehicle for teaching lessons about standing by your friends, 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. The bet results in teamwork as well as repeated efforts at sabotage. And days and days of eating worms prepared lots of different ways. Ultimately, this book 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!