I am sorry that Teddy Steinkellner was dumped in a trashcan in middle school. Truly I am. Nobody deserves to be humiliated like that, and I hope the boys who did it look back on that episode and feel gut-wrenching, ball-twisting shame. I hope they grow up and have children and experience the fear that some little pack of fourteen-year-old pricks is going to do something like that to one of their kids.
And I have to praise a book about middle school that gives us an episode of upside-down in a garbage can. The clarity of the prose, the observational exactness as the garbage juice trickles into the boy's hair - it is necessary to hear this. If it happened, and especially if it is likely to happen again, we need to know what it is like. It's a little like climbing Everest - if a person has been there, they owe it to the rest of us to tell us what it's like.