Everyone is special, and everyone has at least one hard spate during school years. Before the beloved Holes, Louis Sachar wrote There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom, published in 1987, long before the emotional welfare of school children became more part and parcel of the education system. In this title, we have Bradley Chalkers, and no one likes him except the newfangled school counselor Carla. Carla has newfangled ideas that don’t jive with everyone. Bradley’s behavior seems to fit what we now call an autism spectrum disorder. He ends up spending time with Carla. Jeff, a new student, and popular Colleen also need counselor visits.
Events that transpire create a tense read, yet offer insight, loads of humor, and an imperfect but satisfying ending in which all the characters grow in a way that is not at all corny. There’s a Boy in the Girls’ Bathroom is a wonderful book to share with third graders and beyond, and is usually a good deal ($4) via the classroom Scholastic book order’s ritual.