“BYSTANDER” Made VOYA’s Suggested Summer Reading List

My editor said, “Here’s to many more lists recommending Bystander.”

My agent said, “Huzzah!”

And I chanted, “Show me the money, show me the money, show me . . .”

I mean, er, “Well, goodness, this is certainly an honor.”

Click here for the full, annotated list, featuring categories that range from “Core Curriculum” (Little Women, The Time Machine, The Phantom Tollbooth) to “Anti-Bullying/Tolerance” (Bystander) to Social Studies (Amelia Lost, Chains) to Sci-Fi (The Maze Runner) to ALL SORTS OF OTHER STUFF.

Seriously, why make me work so hard? Get off my back and jump, instead, on the above link.

One title that captured my interest . . . Scrawl, by Mark Shulman.

It came with this annotation: “Enter the mind of a bully by reading his journal.”

Cool cover, don’t you think? Color me curious. I’m going to buy it right now.


  1. Doret says:

    I loved Scrawl. The link doesn’t work.

  2. DakotaMarshall says:

    I was reading your book called BYSTANDER. In the chapter called ” repairs”. I was reading page 198 and It said “Cody pulled a dirty bandanna from his back pocket to wipe the grease from his hands.” I thought it said cody pulled a dirty banana out of his back pocket. I was reading it in a group and every one laughed when i said ” dirty banana” instead of “dirty bandanna”.

  3. Makayla Boutelle says:

    I read your book BYSTANDER and to be honest it was outstanding! You really know how to use all types of figurative language. Like when you described the buses as being “enormous Twinkies.” It really made our class laugh out loud. I liked how you titled the chapters, like how you made them important in that section of the book. You are a truly talented author and I look forward to reading more of your books. Thank you for your time Mr. Preller.

  4. jimmy says:

    Dakota, ha!

    “And then he pulled a dirty banana from his back pocket . . .”

    Sounds like something from SHADES OF GREY.

  5. jimmy says:

    Makayla, thanks for your note. I am sometimes a funny guy in real life, and I’ve written books that contain a lot of humor, but I feel like BYSTANDER is probably the least-funny book I’ve ever written. So it’s nice to know you got a laugh out of it somewhere.

    As a semi-funny person — I’ve heard that a lot over the years, “You’re so funny” — I’ve learned that, for me, as a writer, I get into all sorts of trouble when I TRY to be funny. It often comes off as forced and desperate, like a bad stand-up comedian in a night club, sweating under the lights. So I decided that I’d just tell the story, you know, and trust that my natural humor would seep into it somehow.

    Thanks for your kind words, have an awesome summer!

  6. jimmy says:

    Oh yeah, Makayla:

    I have a new Young Adult novel, BEFORE YOU GO, coming out on July 17th. A little bit older and more mature than BYSTANDER, but about the same length. Of love and death, mostly.

  7. Alexis Minor says:

    The BYSTANDER book was just outstanding to read and i wish i didn’t have to put it down after reading two chapters. I like how you just use words and phases that never has been really used before. Like how many people read the part about the bandana they would say banana: i know i did that not meaning to of course. Well if you ask me you should really continue on with another book about BYSTANDER!
    Thank you for the good books you have wrote!:)
    (:!ALEXIS MINOR!:)

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