The Bookworm: Bread Bags & Bullies – Surviving the 80s by Steven Manchester

  • Title: Bread Bags & Bullies
  • Author: Steven Manchester
  • Format: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Luna Bella Press
  • Published: 19th of November 2019
  • Genre: Fiction
  • ISBN 10: 1611882605
  • ISBN 13: 9781611882605
  • Source: E-book gifted for Review
  • Buy: Amazon
  • Goodreads: Link here

In an apple core (The Bookworm’s version of a nutshell)

A heartwarming story of sibling rivalry, real-life heroes, anti-bullying, and standing up to your fears, all during a very wintery snowy week.


It’s the winter of 1984. Twelve-year old Herbie and his two brothers—Wally and Cockroach—are enjoying the mayhem of winter break when a late Nor’easter blows through New England, trapping their quirky family in the house. The power goes out and playing Space Invaders to AC DC’s Back in Black album is suddenly silenced—forcing them to use their twisted imaginations in beating back the boredom. At a time when the brothers must overcome one fear after the next, they learn that courage is the one character trait that guarantees all others.

This hysterical coming-of-age tale is jam-packed with enough nostalgia to satisfy anyone who grew up in the ‘80s or at least had the good fortune to travel through them.


My Thoughts

First and foremost, I will say this. This book definitely holds the title for the strangest book title I’ve come across amongst all of Steven’s books. Like, what do bread bags have to do with bullies? Beats me! And here I am, after finishing the book, and it all makes sense now.

I review a lot of Steven’s books here on my small blog. And it’s for a very simple reason. They’re meant to be read. Repeatedly. This year’s offering is no exception. Bread Bags and Bullies is the sort of book that one should read at different stages of one’s life in order to fully grasp every little morsel of it. Not only are there lessons to be learnt, a signature of Steven’s books, but this one will evoke memories of times long past. There are things in Steven’s books that you’ll only come to understand as you mature, making it the perfect book to be savoured over and over again.

As this reader never got the chance to grow up with any siblings, nor experience wintery snow-ins, this book served to teach this reader about the joys of being born into a great, big family as well as the wonders and survival methods necessary for getting through childhood being surrounded by rascals.

Steven’s inclusions of popular celebrities, songs, cereals,  and toys from the 80s was a lovely addition and added such a relatability to the story. I got to relive parts of my childhood through those verses. It was a blast reading these bits, it gave me such a rush whenever I could relate to a certain food or TV show!

As for the meaning of the bread bags, you’ll have to read it to believe it. Again, as someone who lives in a country with no winter, this was news to me! It’s something hilarious but sensible all at the same time! What a money-saver and such a great recycling tip! Read it, you have to.

But at the crux of this story is the biggest lesson this book is meant to impart. If you haven’t guessed by now, this book is all about anti-bullying. With the story being about three brothers being cooped up at home, some bullying is bound to happen. Which brings us to the great examples Steven uses to emphasise this lesson. We learn about how the brothers learn to work together and overcome bullying between themselves but also with their peers.

Bread Bags and Bullies is definitely a keeper to be shared with the whole family. Yet another classic Steven Manchester story that will make you laugh, cry, and hug the heroes in your life.


Watch The Book’s Trailer

Steven Manchester is the published author of the #1 best seller, Twelve Months, as well as A Christmas Wish (the holiday prequel to Goodnight, Brian). He has also written Pressed Pennies, The Unexpected Storm: The Gulf War Legacy and Jacob Evans, as well as several books under the pseudonym, Steven Herberts. His work has appeared on NBC’s Today Show, CBS’s The Early Show, CNN’s American Morning and BET’s Nightly News. Recently, three of his short stories were selected “101 Best” for Chicken Soup for the Soul series.

Give Steven Manchester a buzz:
Email * Website * Facebook

Check out Steven’s other books:

Twelve Months – Amazon * Book Depository
Goodnight, Brian – Amazon * Book Depository 
The Rockin’ Chair – Amazon * Book Depository
The Changing Season – Amazon * Book Depository
Pressed Pennies  Amazon * Book Depository
The Thursday Night Club – Amazon 
Gooseberry Island – Amazon * Book Depository
Ashes – Amazon * Book Depository
Read my reviews of Steven’s other books:
Goodnight, Brian
The Rockin’ Chair
The Changing Season
Pressed Pennies
The Thursday Night Club
Gooseberry Island
Three Shoeboxes 
Disclosure: I was sent the book for review but was not compensated financially or otherwise. Everything mentioned are my own thoughts based on my experience.

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