How to Eat Fried Worms

How to Eat Fried Worms

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Because of a bet, Billy is in the uncomfortable position of having to eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. The worms are supplied by his opponent, whose motto is "The bigger and juicier, the better!" At first Billy's problem is whether or not he can swallow the worm placed before him, even with a choice of condiments from peanut butter to horseradish. But later it looks as if Billy will win, and the challenge becomes getting to the worm to eat it. Billy's family, after checking with the doctor, takes everything in stride. They even help Billy through his gastronomic ordeal, which twists and turns with each new day, leaving the outcome of the bet continually in doubt.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780739336564
Publisher: Penguin Random House Audio Publishing Group
Publication date: 07/11/2006
Edition description: Unabridged
Pages: 2
Sales rank: 630,952
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 5.80(h) x 0.50(d)
Age Range: 9 - 12 Years

About the Author

Thomas Rockwell is the author of a number of books for young readers. He was the recipient of the Mark Twain Award, the California Young Reader Medal, and the Sequoyah Award for How to Eat Fried Worms. He lives in Poughkeepsie, NY.

Read an Excerpt

Chapter I: The Bet

Hey, Tom! Where were you last night?"
"Yeah, you missed it."
Alan and Billy came up the front walk. Tom was sitting on his porch steps, bouncing a tennis ball.
"Old Man Tator caught Joe as we were climbing through the fence, so we all had to go back, and he made us pile the peaches on his kitchen table, and then he called our mothers."
"Joe's mother hasn't let him out yet."
"Where were you?"
Tom stopped bouncing the tennis ball. He was a tall, skinny boy who took his troubles very seriously.
"My mother kept me in."
"What for?"
"I wouldn't eat my dinner."
Alan sat down on the step below Tom and began to chew his thumbnail.
"What was it?"
"Salmon casserole."
Billy flopped down on the grass, chunky, snub-nosed, freckled.
"Salmon casserole's not so bad."
"Wouldn't she let you just eat two bites?" asked Alan. "Sometimes my mother says, well, all right, if I'll just eat two bites."
"I wouldn't eat even one."
"That's stupid," said Billy. "One bite can't hurt you. I'd eat one bite of anything before I'd let them send me up to my room right after supper."
Tom shrugged.
"How about mud?" Alan asked Billy. "You wouldn't eat a bite of mud."
Alan argued a lot, small, knobby-kneed, nervous, gnawing at his thumbnail, his face smudged, his red hair mussed, shirttail hanging out, shoelaces untied.
"Sure, I would," Billy said. "Mud. What's mud? Just dirt with a little water in it. My father says everyone eats a pound of dirt every year anyway."
"How about poison?"
"That's different." Billy rolled over on his back.
"Is your mother going to make you eat the leftovers today at lunch?" he asked Billy.
"She never has before."
"How about worms?" Alan asked Billy.
Tom's sister's cat squirmed out from under the porch and rubbed against Billy's knee.
"Sure," said Billy. "Why not? Worms are just dirt."
"Yeah, but they bleed."
"So you'd have to cook them. Cows bleed.”
"I bet a hundred dollars you wouldn't really eat a worm. You talk big now, but you wouldn't if you were sitting at the dinner table with a worm on your plate."
"I bet I would. I'd eat fifteen worms if somebody'd bet me a hundred dollars."
"You really want to bet? I'll bet you fifty dollars you can't eat fifteen worms. I really will."
"Where're you going to get fifty dollars?"
"In my savings account. I've got one hundred and thirty dollars and seventy-nine cents in my savings account. I know, because last week I put in the five dollars my grandmother gave me for my birthday."
"Your mother wouldn't let you take it out."
"She would if I lost the bet. She'd have to. I'd tell her I was going to sell my stamp collection otherwise. And I bought that with all my own money that I earned mowing lawns, so I can do whatever I want with it. I'll bet you fifty dollars you can't eat fifteen worms. Come on. You're chicken. You know you can't do it."
"I wouldn't do it," said Tom. "If salmon casserole makes me sick, think what fifteen worms would do."
Joe came scuffing up the walk and flopped down beside Billy. He was a small boy, with dark hair and a long nose and big brown eyes.
"What's going on?"
"Come on," said Alan to Billy. "Tom can be your second and Joe'll be mine, just like in a duel. You think it's so easy — here's your chance to make fifty bucks."
Billy dangled a leaf in front of the cat, but the cat just rubbed against his knee, purring.
"What kind of worms?"
"Regular worms."
"Not those big green ones that get on the tomatoes. I won't eat those. And I won't eat them all at once. It might make me sick. One worm a day for fifteen days."
"And he can eat them any way he wants," said Tom. "Boiled, stewed, fried, fricasseed."
"Yeah, but we provide the worms," said Joe. "And there have to be witnesses present when he eats them; either me or Alan or somebody we can trust. Not just you and Billy."
"Okay?" Alan said to Billy.
Billy scratched the cat's ears. Fifty dollars. That was lot of money. How bad could a worm taste? He'd eaten fried liver, salmon loaf, mushrooms, tongue, pig's feet. Other kids' parents were always nagging them to eat, eat; his had begun to worry about how much he ate. Not that he was fat. He just hadn't worked off all his winter blubber yet.
He slid his hand into his shirt and furtively squeezed the side of his stomach. Worms were just dirt; dirt wasn't fattening.
If he won fifty dollars, he could buy that mini-bike George Cunningham's brother had promised to sell him in September before he went away to college. Heck, he could gag anything down for fifty dollars, couldn't he?
He looked up. "I can use ketchup or mustard or anything like that? As much as I want?"
Alan nodded. "Okay?"
Billy stood up.

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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How to Eat Fried Worms 4.1 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 44 reviews.
5thgradestudents More than 1 year ago
I recommend the book How to Eat Fried Worms. If you like to dare people to do stuff this book will be good for you. It begins when a group of boys bet Billy to eat fried worms. Billy's mom saw him eating worms and she called the doctor. If you want to know more, you can read the book How to Eat Fried Worms.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
EWWWWW!!! Never Eat Fried Worms you know why you should never eat fried worms. You should never eat them because they can make you sick like Billy. Never eat them even if you made a bet for money or something else. What happens in How To Eat Fried Worms is that a boy named Billy is doing a bet with two other boys named Joe and Alan. You want to know what the bet is? The bet is that Billy has to eat 15 worms in 15 days and if he does he is going to get $50 but if doesn't he is not getting anything. You want to know what is my favorite part is? My favorite part of How To Eat Fried Worms is when Billy ate all the worms and said I won the $50. I recommend this book to you because it is funny and the author wrote the book with good expression. This is why I recommend this book to you. Mustard ketchup and horseradish on a worm? That is from the book how to eat fried worms. The book is about 2 friends that make a bet to see it Billy can eat 15 worms in 15 days. The friends start the bet by saying that Tom stayed in for not eating his dinner then Billy said that he could eat anything then Joe said no you can't how about worms? And that is how the bet started. My favorite part was when Joe and Alan sendt a fake letter to Billy's mom. I don't recommend that anyone else read this book because it was boring.
Guest More than 1 year ago
When I read this book I was amazed.I read it millions of times, and I still lagh when read it.
Guest More than 1 year ago
How To Eat Fried Worms is a hillarious story! I have read it dozens of times and still laugh out loud and cheer for corageous Billy. A great story for all ages.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Have you ever read How to Eat Fried Worms? Well, I have and it is a good book. It doesn¿t have many pictures, but it is still a good book. It seem like a mystery book sometimes because you don¿t know what¿s going to happen next. The book is about a kid named Billy. He makes a bet with two kids named Joe and Alan. Joe and Alan bet Billy he couldn¿t eat 15 worms in 15 days. If Billy can eat 15 worms in 15 days, then Joe and Allan will give Billy 50 dollars. I like the end of the story because Billy had to sneak out of the house so he could do something, but I can¿t tell you what he had to do. If you have a dog or a cat at home, you should read How To Eat Fried Worms to him/her.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is cool. I had to read it for a class assiment and I couldn't put it down. It may sound gross but it is soo cool.
lalfonso on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a humorous tale about a boy, Billy, who has a $50 dollar bet with friends. Billy says that he could eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. His friends, Allen and Joe, doubt it so they bet him $50 dollars that he could not get through the 50 worms. 3rd-5th graders will enjoy this book. It could lead to a class discussion about the importance of having self-determination and making smart choices.
KFBruck on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This book is about a group of friends and how they bet their friend Billy to eat 15 worms. The bet gets a little out of control and before you know it they have multiple ways you could eat a worm. As disgusting as it seems the book was written and illustrated in a way that made you feel as if you were there and grabs the attention of the reader.
Heather19 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I have so many wonderful memories of this book. I got it when I was very young, maybe four or five, and my uncle would read it to me and deliberately gross me out with dramatizations of the worms and stuff. It was the subject of many discussions and pretend-play, and I must have read it (and had it read to me) at LEAST fifteen times over the course of my childhood. It's a classic! The very thought will make you shiver, but you just can't stop reading, because omg is this kid seriously doing this??
cacv78 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Rockwell, Thomas. (1973) How to Eat Fried Worms. Pictures by Emily McCully. New York: Franklin Watts.Billy and his friends are all involved in a bet that involved $50 and 15 worms. Billy is successful at eating the first 3 worms at the horror of his friends and realizes that the others will be a piece of cake. But his friends don't want to let him win that bet so they try to find ways to sabotage him and make him lose. They are unsuccessful and Billy is able to eat all 15 worms and wins the $50 and buys himself a minibike. This book is great and has been popular after all these years. It has simple easy drawings that help the story along. The story premise is realistic and something that some kids would actually do since they are always looking for something daring.
oapostrophe on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The whole thing is a dare. Alan bets Billy fifty dollars that he can't eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. Tom hangs with Billy and Joe with Alan as Alan frets and worries that Billy will actually eat them. Alan and Joe try to find ways to freak Billy out or trick him into losing the bet, and there are some dicey moments! Pretty cute book. 115 pages with illustrations a great 2nd grade read.
Jdonldsn on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Prepare to be grossed out in the most hilarious ways as you follow a dare that leads to more trouble than Billy bargained for even the $50 he will get for completing the dare. With an undercurrent of the value of supportive family and friends, this book is a great read for reluctant readers.
CTieyah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Alan bets Billy fifty dollars that Billy can¿t eat fifteen worms in fifteen days. After successfully eating the first few (coated with condiments and even fried), Alan and his friend Joe get worried that they will. They begin trying all these different ways to trick Billy into losing the bet. From gluing two worms together to sending fake letters from the doctor, the boys try everything they can think even up to the last minute of the bet to get Billy to lose. Billy goes through the fear of being poisoned to having nightmares, but in the end, he wins the bet¿and even begins to like eating worms.I think this is a cute book. I remember reading it when I was younger. Although it is humorous and light, it has good morals about cheating and peer pressure. I have a two year-old son, so when I was reading this I kept putting myself in Billy¿s mom¿s position. It would be funny to experience that sort of situation among your son and his friends. However, I am not sure I would be as willing as she was to fry up any worms in my kitchen!One extension would be to discuss the issue of peer pressure. This book was funny but peer pressure is a serious subject. The class could make a list of ways to deal with peer pressure and how to say no. They could decorate a poster board with that list and it could be put up in the hall or somewhere in the school. Another simple extension would be for the students to write about the grossest thing they have ever eaten/tasted and explain whether they would eat it again for something they really want (and what it is they really want). They could share it with the class.
lia1tan on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
My teacher read this book to the class in second grade and I liked it because it tells readers how many different ways to eat fried worms. After we finished the book we ate fried worms and we used almost all the different ways the book mention. Worms were actually quite tasty.
kshielee on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
How to Eat Fried Worms may seem a little out of date with some of the language the author uses, but for the most part this book fits realistic fiction very well. The author does an excellent job of describing everything that is happening in such a way that the reader can imagine what is going on between the boys in this book and how their friendships are tested. The setting is not too specific though, so the reader could imagine the story happening in many different locations, such as their own neighborhood.
shelbyweryavah on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This books is about four friends and a bet. Alan bets Billy that he can't eat fifteen worms, one a day for fifteen days. The loser has to give the winner fifty dollars. Tom and Billy are on a side, and Tom is working really hard to make sure Billy eats the worms. Meanwhile, Joe and Alan are cheating, doing anything and everything they can to make Billy lose.I liked this book, it showed that friendship is more important than any bet. It also shows how cheating at simple bets or even games you play with your friends can ruin your friendship.For an extension we would watch the movie in class and compare the similarities and differences of the two. During the movie, the students can eat candy worms if they wish. The students can also make a menu, for a restuarant, of a variety of worm entrees. They can also design the shape of the menu into a worm and give the restuarant a name.
IzzyInTheAlley on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Okay, I think I would have liked this book more if I was younger when I read it. Because I was in the 7th grade when I read it, it didnt really do much for me. Never the less, I think that elementrary kids will really enjoy this quirky and fun story.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I real y enjoyed the book! When is the next one coming out?
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love this book it's good
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I didn't like it ws boring
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Good book.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I like it but if it was a 4 or 5 year old to read this book I wouldn't recommend it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is wierd,disguising,and cool!The reason why it's cool to me is because hes eating a fried worm!!!!! Cool!!
myna720 More than 1 year ago
I thought it was about someone eating worms. My feelings about this book was enjoyed. How to eat fried worms was what I expected. I feel the same about the book and nothing has changed. How to eat fried worms is a story were this kid named Billy eats worms because he made a bet. He was making fun of this kid that didn’t eat his vegtables so he couldn’t go hang out with his friends. So Billy said he could eat fifteen worms. This book is fiction and the author is Thomas Rockwell. I liked this book because the story is well written and and just great. You should read How to eat fried worms. I feel that this book is for kids ages 6-14.  This book rocks
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I give this book 5 out of 5 stars because it was really exiting. Billy, Allan, Joe, were making a bet. Allan asked Billy, I’ll give you 50 dollars if you eat 15 worms the bet is on he said. Allan was kind of nervous because he would have to ask his dad 50 dollars out of his bank account if he lost. I would recommend this book because it was really exciting and interesting.