The Bully Brigade: Headmaster Bully by Tamala Floyd is a fun romp with the gang from Misfit Elementary School. When headmaster Strongarm is replaced by a new headmaster, Ms. Turnbull, things are set for a rapid change of pace. The new headmaster is determined to stamp her authority and her power on her school and all activities that the pupils had so long taken for granted were soon going to be challenged and changed. But it is not only the pupils who will suffer under the tyrannical rule of the new headmaster – even the teachers are in for a rude shock and awakening. For the gang, Petey, Charlie, Diego and the rest of the kids, known as the Bully Brigade, there is only one answers. Bullies must be dealt with and taught a lesson, even if they are the headmaster. The young people of Misfit Elementary rally behind their favourite teacher who seems to be the main target of Headmaster Turnbull’s wrath, Mr Funkbury and come up with a plan to dethrone the bully headmaster once and for all.
This book is targeted at Grade 4-6 children and The Bully Brigade: Headmaster Bully certainly reaches that target audience. The story is fast-moving and the language is appropriate for the audience’s age-group. Author Tamala Floyd has an excellent series of stories here revolving around the young people that make up the Bully Brigade and although I haven’t read the previous books in the series, it was not necessary to enjoy this iteration of their adventures. I particularly enjoyed the children’s preparedness to stand their ground when confronted by unfair or inappropriate tactics and punishment from the new Headmaster. The children certainly are not “little angels” by any stretch of the imagination but they are able to differentiate what is acceptable behavior (even from an adult) and what is not. I particularly enjoyed the obvious loving relationship between the children and their teachers (especially Mr Funkbury) and the willingness and enjoyment they clearly received from their schooling, prior to the arrival of the terrible Turnbull. Without a doubt, the message came through loud and clear – Bullying is NEVER okay, even when it comes from someone in authority and it should always be challenged, regardless of who is doing it. An excellent read with a compelling message.