November 8, 2012

New books about bullying offer different perspectives

The Washington Post

The Washington Post

These books on bullying offer different perspectives on what it is and how hurtful it can be:

* "EACH KINDNESS" by Jacqueline Woodson. Ages 5 to 8. $16.99. 32 pages.

This picture book is about a girl who is continually mean to a new student in her class. Months later, the teacher talks to the entire class about kindness, but is it too late for the girl to learn a lesson?

* "BULLY" by Patricia Polacco. Ages 8 to 13. $17.99. 48 pages.

Lyla is a middle-schooler who is caught between a group of cheerleaders and her new best friend, Jamie, who is teased by the girls. When Lyla stands up for her friend, the cheerleaders want revenge.

* "HOW FULL IS YOUR BUCKET? FOR KIDS" by Tom Rath. For age 3 and older. $16.95. 32 pages.

Felix's grandfather explains that being happy and self-confident is like having a full bucket of water. When someone is mean to you, she is dipping into your bucket. Felix finds out how to fill others' buckets while filling his own. Marshall Elementary in Manassas, Va., used this book as the basis for a play.

* "MY SECRET BULLY," by Trudy Ludwig and Abigail Marble. Age 5 and older. $15.99. 32 pages. Monica and Katie have been friends for several years, but Katie sometimes embarrasses Monica in front of their classmates. Monica eventually tells her mom, who helps her deal with the problem.

* "BYSTANDER POWER," by Phyllis Kaufman Goodstein and Elizabeth Verdick. Ages 8 to 13. $8.95. 128 pages.

This book isn't a story. Instead, it's a tool for kids on how to change from a bystander to an "upstander," someone who speaks up when he or she sees bullying. Cartoon characters explain different kinds of bullying and test readers knowledge. The book is colorful, easy to read and gives a lot of helpful advice, but it doesn't emphasize that an adult should be told about all bullying situations.

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