Sunday, July 12, 2009

Bullies Never Win

Margery Cuyler
Illustrations by Arthur Howard

In first grade, Jessica faced a lesson that had nothing to do with getting her homework done, or even getting it turned in on time. Jessica's biggest problem was Brenda Bailey. Every day Jessica went to school, Brenda found ways to bully her. From the clothes Jessica wore, to the way she played kickball, even to the homework Jessica turned in.

If that was not enough for Jessica, she also worried about other things. For example, Jessica worried if her socks matched, if she could find her barrettes, and even worried about her knobby knees. For a first grader, Jessica had a lot to worry about.

Her teacher, Mr. Martin, had advised his class to "just ignore" the bullies. But Jessica didn't think she could do that. So, after telling her mom about the problem with Brenda, Jessica came up with a plan.

The next day, when Brenda began her bulling ways, Jessica put her plan into action. Brenda was stunned, embarrassed, and finally quiet.

Can you imagine what Jessica's plan was? Could your child learn from Jessica? If your child has been bullied, or knows a child who is being bullied, the strategy Jessica used just may be helpful. This is a book that should be kept in all elementary classes, and read out-loud regularly. Empowering children starts early, and Jessica's story and her solution are about empowering children.

The colorful illustrations are humorous and on target for the elementary grades. If given the opportunity, children in grades 1st through 4th will enjoy picking this book up and reading it by themselves.

BIBLIO: 2009, Simon & Schuster Books For Young Readers, Ages 5 to 9, $16.99
REVIEWER: Debby Willett
FORMAT: Picture Book
ISBN: 978-0-689-86187-1
REVIEWED FOR: Children’s Literature, Online Version, 5/09

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