76 pages 2 hours read

Thomas Rockwell

How To Eat Fried Worms

Fiction | Novel | Middle Grade | Published in 1973

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How to Eat Fried Worms

  • Genre: Fiction; middle grade humor
  • Originally Published: 1973
  • Reading Level/Interest: Lexile 560L; grades 3-7
  • Structure/Length: 41 chapters; approx. 118 pages; approx. 1 hour, 50 minutes on audio
  • Protagonist and Central Conflict: Billy needs a new minibike, so he accepts a $50 bet from his friend Alan to eat 15 worms in 15 days.
  • Potential Sensitivity Issues: Name-calling; outdated language/gender roles

Thomas Rockwell, Author

  • Bio: Born in 1933; grew up in Arlington, Vermont, where he attended class in a one-room schoolhouse; son of painter Norman Rockwell; attended Bard College; currently lives in Poughkeepsie, New York
  • Other Works: How to Fight a Girl (1987); How to Get Fabulously Rich (1990)
  • Awards: The Mark Twain Prize for American Humor (1975); the California Young Reader Medal (1975); The Sequoyah Book Award (1976)

CENTRAL THEMES connected and noted throughout this Teaching Unit:

  • Overcoming and Learning Through Challenges
  • The Fine Line Between Honor and Cheating
  • Parallels Between Life and War

STUDY OBJECTIVES: In accomplishing the components of this Unit, students will:

  • Gain an understanding of the authorial context regarding Thomas Rockwell that also informs the approach to childhood that Rockwell takes in the novel.
  • Read paired texts and other brief resources to make connections via the text’s topics and themes, including Overcoming and Learning Through Challenges.