Stanley, a seventh grader, has been at a new school for two weeks now--after having been kicked out of a private school for his behavior. He already has the reputation for being a bully. He takes money from other kids, shoves them into lockers, and is unkind in both actions and words.
Stanley is often late to class and usually looks unkempt and sullen. When the rest of the seventh graders go to the mall after school, they notice that Stanley is always there, sitting alone and listening to music. The other students have no idea what his home is like or why he behaves the way he does. But bullying is usually a symptom that something else is going on. Is that the case with Stanley, or is he just mean? Maybe his classmates can help him find his way.
In this story for middle readers, when a new student's bullying causes problems among his classmates, they wonder what might be behind his behavior.