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Book Review: How To Eat Fried Worms

How To Eat Fried Worms (real worms, not book worms) is one of those precious gems from my childhood that I still can’t get enough of.  And yet, just like with Where The Wild Things Are, some lame-o always wants to take it off the shelves.  The reasons may surprise you.

How To Eat Fried Worms book summary.



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  • Suzannah-Write It Sideways September 23, 2009, 3:59 am

    Ha ha, I love it. I remember seeing this book when I was a kid, though I don’t think I ever read it.

    I personally think there isn’t much point in banning books, even if they truly are offensive. There’s offensive stuff everywhere. Maybe we should ban family members who have potty mouths, or co-workers who steal the dessert from your lunchbox.

    You can easily choose not to read something you find offensive. Banning a book because it promotes anti-social behaviour or gambling isn’t going to magically rid our world of those things.

    Just silly, I say.

  • Gordie Rogers September 23, 2009, 5:16 am

    Ha ha! I vaguely remember reading that when I was about 10!

    You’re right, those are lame reasons put up by lame-os!

    The West is way too PC.

  • Lisis September 23, 2009, 5:26 am

    Oh, this is great! I LOVED that book… perhaps uncharacteristically for a silly old girl! In fact, I hate that it’s gotten dusty and forgotten on the library shelves.

    Maybe now that it’s getting banned, kids will want to read it again since, about the ONLY way to get a kid to want to do something is to tell him he’s not allowed to. 😉

  • Casey September 23, 2009, 7:23 am

    My grandma read this book to me and my sibs when we were visiting her house years ago for a few nights!

    Funny thing is I used this book as inspiration and made a bit of money back in grade school eating worms of dares.

  • Amy Jurrens September 23, 2009, 8:59 am

    It is toooooo funny that you did a post on this book. Sunday I just told my kids (ages 8 & 11) that they had to read How to Eat Fried Worms. I told them what it was about and how much I enjoyed it as a kid. My third grade teacher read it to the entire class. I remember thinking “Wow! That kid must have really wanted to get that bike. He’s got guts.” Isn’t that the take-away – if something matters to you, you’ll work hard, stick to your plan no matter what to reach “the prize” (whatever it may be).

    The would-be censors have free speech to try to argue for their censorship. The rest of us also have free speech to argue against it. Isn’t being an American freakin great!!

  • Larissa September 23, 2009, 10:05 am

    The whole issue of banning books is really bonkers to me. Who do these people go to to request(demand) that a book be banned? And why aren’t they going after TV shows? I could sooooo pull up a soapbox right now! 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne September 23, 2009, 10:51 am

      @Larissa, they do go after TV shows, but those don’t get pulled because they make too much money.

      @Amy: Amen on all points. I hope your kids love it.

  • Brian Heys September 23, 2009, 11:02 am

    It’s strangely reassuring to know that England is not the only country in the world in which ‘political correctness’ is being taken to extremes.

    I think you’re right here Josh. People are getting sick of living under a ‘nanny state’. We can make our own minds up what to read. We don’t need anyone else to make those decisions for us.

  • Leah September 23, 2009, 11:42 am

    Right arm, Josh, as we used to say in the ’70s! Banning books is so lame to begin with– and this was a terrific book! My kids read it, and their stints as axe murderers and arsonists who deal in the human slave trade were reasonably short-lived.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 23, 2009, 11:55 am

      @Leah: What does “right arm” mean? Or, what did it mean?

      @Brian: I’m getting the impression that this is a Western thing, the Nanny state. There are still countries where they can absolutely ban things by state mandate, but those aren’t nanny states, that’s for sure.

      @Casey: So you’ve eaten some worms? How many? How are they?

      @Lisis: yeah, you’d think the banners would have heard of reverse psychology by now. Our gain.

      @Gordie: Is it less PC in China? In China, wouldn’t they just ban the books outright without needing to explain it?

  • Casey September 23, 2009, 2:59 pm

    Not really sure how many I’ve eaten… over 15 less than 20. Been a long time since I did that last.

    They don’t really taste like anything, except for maybe dirt if you don’t clean them.

    The interesting thing is that you really need to chew them. It sounds gross, but if you don’t there’s a strange wiggling going on in your stomach. I’m not about to say if it really is the worm rolling around in you or if it’s your mind playing tricks, but I’ve definitely felt it!

    • Josh Hanagarne September 23, 2009, 3:00 pm

      Casey, I want a video and an article about the caloric content of worms. Go now. Run, don’t walk.

  • Casey Brazeal (North and Clark) September 23, 2009, 3:55 pm

    In honor of banned books week I am going to try only posting profane, scatological, and blasphemous material…

    Or maybe I’ll just crack open Huck Finn again.

    • Josh Hanagarne September 23, 2009, 4:50 pm

      Casey B, you don’t have to get too extreme. Remember, Where’s Waldo? Alice in Wonderland, Where The Wild Things Are…none of them profane, scatalogical, or blasphemous.

  • Beth L. Gainer September 23, 2009, 7:18 pm

    I don’t know, Josh. Maybe the worms were protesting and demanded that this book be banned for anti-wormism. And the word “bookworm” is politically incorrect, according to the worms, who don’t read, so I’m not sure why they’d want to ban this book in the first place.

    Seriously, people who try to ban books are cowardly idiots. I’m a worm-a-phobe, but I’m going to buy it for my nephew.

  • Jessica Marie September 24, 2009, 3:24 pm

    I find it interesting that they consider this a book that promotes anti-social behavior considering how young boys generally act. I believe the anti-social behavior is naturally a part of them and is conditioned out by society. The question is – are they learning any better behavior from violent video games, vulgar tv shows, or what they hear on the bus to and from school? As to the idea that this encourages betting, I don’t think kids would focus on that point. Most would focus on the worms and the dare of eating them, not the actual money. Besides, anyone to take that bet from a young boy deserves to loose their money. 🙂

    • Josh Hanagarne September 24, 2009, 4:34 pm

      Jessica, as a former grubby little boy who like to eat roly polies, I agree with just about everything you’re saying.

  • Josh's amazing sister Megan September 24, 2009, 4:36 pm

    Josh why did they ban it? Sydnee likes this book. I’ve actually never read it but did see the movie (with Sydnee). I wouldn’t really recommend the movie. At all.

  • mayra February 21, 2011, 9:53 am