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Battle Bullying With Books!

By Bianca Schulze, The Children’s Book Review
Published: January 25, 2010

Thanks to Lauren Donovan from Random House Kids, I have the following book list to pass on …

Join in GLSEN’s No Name-Calling Week (January 24-28, 2011) with titles from Random House Children’s Books:

By Trudy Ludwig; Illustrated by Beth Adams
(Tricycle Press / on sale August 24, 2010 / $18.99 / Ages 8-12)

Ever wonder what goes on in the mind of a bully? Katie has been caught bullying a classmate and now she’s in big trouble: both her parents and the principal insist that she meet with the school counselor, Mrs. Petrowski, to get to the bottom of her behavior. Mrs. Petrowski encourages Katie to keep a diary where Katie can explore her reasons for bullying and the repercussions of what she’s done, not only for those around her, but for Katie herself. Over the course of writing her journal, Katie uncovers the various forms bullying can take, both emotional and physical. She discovers how her actions have isolated her from her peers and kept her from making real friendships. Ultimately, Katie comes to the conclusion that she needs to make right her wrong and learn how to become a better friend. Chock full of useful, real-life advice and information, Confessions of a Former Bully will help kids identify bullying right from the start and gives them a “toolbox” with everything they need to stop it in its tracks. The notebook format, including full-color cartoons and relevant facts and quotes, makes this highly accessible for upper elementary students. Trudy Ludwig is an award–winning author who specializes in writing children’s books that explore the colorful and sometimes confusing world of children’s social interactions. She has received rave reviews nationwide from educators, experts, organizations, and parents for her passion and compassion in addressing relational aggression—the use of relationships to manipulate and hurt others. Since her first book, My Secret Bully, she has become a sought–after speaker, presenting at schools and conferences around the country and educating students, parents, and teachers on the topic. She has been featured on television, radio and in print.

“Confessions of a Former Bully is unmatched in providing effective tools for girls and boys in EVERY social role, whether they are instigators, targets or bystanders. Rarely does a book speak so effectively to both kids and adults alike; certainly a must-read for all young children, as well as educators and counselors.”
–Melissa Norman, Founder & Executive Director, Girl CHARGE, Inc

Add this book to your collection: Confessions of a Former Bully

By Rose Cooper
(Delacorte Press / on sale January 11, 2011 / $12.99 / Ages 10 & up)

In Rose Cooper’s debut novel, one sixth grader is all ears—and puts it all online, until she discovers a secret so juicy, it has the power to take down the most popular girl in school. Meet Sofia Becker, the Blogtastic Blogger who comes to (anonymous) fame because of her almost-popular blog on the Middlebrook Middle School website. While Sofia has promised never to blog about her BFF Nona, no other dish is off-limits—especially when it concerns Mia St. Claire, the richest, prettiest girl in school. Eavesdropping from the girls’ room proves to be a surefire way to get the latest scoop, and Sofia keeps the school buzzing with her updates on who cheated on the last math test (Megan) and whose designer sneakers are actually knockoffs (Penelope’s). But when she discovers that Mia St. Claire’s wealthy airs may be a sham, Sofia must decide if a scandalous blog entry is worth ruining a reputation. Readers will love Sofia’s tell-it-like-it-is attitude and assessments of her parents, teachers, and classmates, complete with playful black-and-white sketches and caricatures. Sharing the timeless lesson that getting the dirt is not as important as who it hurts, this bubbly tween read will capture the hearts of tattletales everywhere.

Add this book to your collection: Gossip From the Girls’ Room: A Blogtastic!

By Holly Thompson
(Delacorte Press / on sale February 8, 2011 / $16.99 / Ages 12 & up)

In ORCHARDS, Holly Thompson lyrically depicts one girl’s search for answers after a bullied classmate commits suicide Written in spare, yet evocative verse, ORCHARDS handles the fraught topics of bullying and teen suicide with sensitivity and insight. When an oft-teased classmate takes her own life, Kana Goldberg cannot stop wondering if she is partially responsible. Her close group of friends recently treated this classmate thoughtlessly, with a tragic outcome none of them could have foreseen. In the hopes that Kana will reflect on her behavior and regain her sense of self, her parents send her to visit her relatives in Japan for the summer. There, after a few cultural clashes, Kana finds an unlikely haven amidst the village culture, and even forms a close bond with her tradition-bound grandmother. Gradually, Kana is able to come to terms with the pain and guilt she is harboring about the tragedy back home, until another tragedy strikes. After returning home, will Kana find a way to turn all of the darkness into light?

Add this book to your collection: Orchards

By Catherine Ryan Hyde
(Alfred A. Knopf / on sale October 12, 2010 / $16.99 / Ages 14 & up)

Elle is a loner. She doesn’t need people. Which is a good thing, because she’s on her own: she had to move into her own apartment so her mother’s boyfriend won’t have to deal with her. Then she meets Frank, the guy who lives next door. He’s older and has a girlfriend, but Elle can’t stop thinking about him. Frank isn’t like anyone Elle has ever met. He listens to her. He’s gentle. And Elle is falling for him, hard. But Frank is different in a way that Elle was never prepared for: he’s transgender. And when Elle learns the truth, her world is turned upside down.  Now she’ll have to search inside herself to find not only the true meaning of friendship but her own role in jumpstarting the world. Tender, honest, and compassionate, JUMPSTART THE WORLD is a stunning story to make you laugh, cry, and honor the power of love and acceptance.

Add this book to your collection: Jumpstart the World

The eighth annual National No Name-Calling Week (January 24–28, 2011) is created by the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN) and Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing. Sponsored by Simon & Schuster Children’s Publishing, GLSEN, Albert Whitman & Company, Rosen Publishing, and Candlewick Press. For more information, visit www.nonamecallingweek.org.

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Bianca Schulze is the founder of The Children’s Book Review. She is a reader, reviewer, mother and children’s book lover. She also has a decade’s worth of experience working with children in the great outdoors. Combined with her love of books and experience as a children’s specialist bookseller, the goal is to share her passion for children’s literature to grow readers. Born and raised in Sydney, Australia, she now lives with her husband and three children near Boulder, Colorado.

  • I think your site is wonderful. I would like to know if there is an option to list my 2 children’s books on your site as tools in helping change the way children view other children with differences.I’m an elementary school teacher and my books teach a very important lesson in handling the differences children face early on. The first book is Ella’s Golden Hearts and it was just followed by Ella’s Golden Hearts Go To Camp.It’s difficult to allow children the opportunity her books teach at an early age without a good platform for their parents to know where to find them.
    Best Regards,
    Dawn Engle

    August 30, 2011
    • Dawn,

      I’m so glad that you enjoy the site. Kudos to you for writing books about such an important topic. I have sent you a more in-depth e-mail.

      August 31, 2011

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